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SWAT standoff leads to discovery of drug operation at South Bay home

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – A passenger in a car pulled over for a traffic violation on a South Bay street Friday jumped out, ran off and holed up in a nearby home, prompting a several-hours-long law enforcement standoff that ended with him and two other people under arrest, authorities said.

Deputies stopped the vehicle in the area of Orange Avenue and Interstate 805 in Chula Vista shortly before 11:30 a.m., according to sheriff's officials.

Shortly after the driver yielded, a passenger got out and bolted, and a deputy suffered a minor knee injury while trying to stop him from getting away, Lt. Jason Vickery said.

The fleeing man, later identified as Fernando Salas, 24, allegedly fled into a neighborhood near Parkview Elementary School and entered a residence in the 1400 block of Camellia Court.

Salas refused deputies' repeated commands to exit the home, Vickery said. Because the suspect was thought to possibly be armed, a sheriff's SWAT team was called in.

Prior to the arrival of the special weapons and tactics personnel, however, other occupants of the home forced Salas out, and he was taken into custody.

Deputies and U.S. Border Patrol agents, meanwhile, surrounded the home and ordered the rest of those inside to give themselves up. A man unrelated to the traffic stop was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment, and the federal officers detained several other people for possibly being in the country illegally.

The personnel had everyone cleared out of the home shortly after 2:30 p.m., sheriff's Lt. Christopher Collier said.

The man who had been driving the car from which Salas fled was later identified as Daniel Garcia, the owner of the home. He was arrested for possession of brass knuckles and a controlled substance, according to Vickery.