LAKESIDE, Calif. - A road-rage incident ended with a fiery crash in Lakeside, sparking a blaze that destroyed a business, authorities said Sunday.
The initial confrontation began shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday between two vehicles on State Route 67, San Diego County Sheriff's Sgt. Dustin Lopez said. One of the drivers, a Lakeside resident, exited the highway in an attempt to seek help at the Lakeside sheriff's substation.
At Vine Street and Parkside Street in Lakeside, about two blocks from the substation, the woman driving the other vehicle attempted to speed around and cut off the Lakeside man seeking law enforcement help, Lopez said. But the driver lost control and crashed into Solis Hair Studio at 12585 Parkside Street, authorities said. The vehicle caught fire, igniting a blaze inside the salon that badly damaged the building.
"The occupants of the vehicle, a female driver and male passenger, ran from the vehicle and fled northbound on Vine Street near the Lakeside library," Lopez said.
The driver was described as white with blonde hair wearing a blue shirt, and her passenger was described as a white man with his hair in a ponytail, with several tattoos on his arms and wearing a hat.
A deputy responding to the crash spotted a white sedan speeding away from the scene with four occupants, including a man who appeared to match the description of the passenger who fled, Lopez said. The deputy attempted to stop the white sedan, but it sped away.
As deputies chased the car, one occupant jumped from the moving vehicle on Channel Road in Lakeside, sustaining head and shoulder injuries that required he be taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital for treatment, Lopez said. The pursuit continued into El Cajon where the other three occupants ran away when the driver stopped at Coogan Way.
One of the three, 35-year-old Chula Vista resident Ruben Chavez, was arrested and booked into the San Diego Central Jail on drug and weapon charges, the sheriff's sergeant said. Another occupant escaped, while deputies chased the third into the CVS Pharmacy at 572 Fletcher Parkway, across the street from the Parkway Plaza mall.
Inside the pharmacy, the suspect , identified as 27-year-old Erik Talavera, pulled out a knife and threatened to stab himself if deputies approached, Lopez said. Talavera attempted to run out a locked door and instead used chairs to barricade himself inside the pharmacy's break room.
When deputies forced their way into that room, Talavera stabbed himself in the neck several times, Lopez said.
A deputy used his Taser on Talavera and detain him, Lopez said. Talavera was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital with multiple stab wounds to his neck. He will be booked into jail on various criminal charges when he's released from the hospital, Lopez said.
Deputies later determined the sedan was not involved in the road-rage incident or the crash.
Sheriff's officials asked anyone with information about the road-rage incident or the pursuit to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.