Police ID cop who shot driver of stolen car

SAN DIEGO — Police officials Monday identified the San Diego officer who shot through a car window last week in Linda Vista, striking the driver’s arm, in the belief that the suspect was about to ram him with the stolen sedan.

The officer was Jarrel Davis, a three-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department, SDPD Lt. Mike Holden said. The suspect who was struck by Davis’ gunfire sustained only minor injuries and was arrested after a short vehicle pursuit, a crash and a brief foot chase.

The incident began just after midnight last Wednesday when Davis and another patrol officer spotted two men drinking alcohol in a stolen Acura sedan in the back parking lot of the Kearny Mesa Recreation Center, according to Holden. Police later identified them as 20-year-old Jason Santana and his 25-year-old passenger, Marco Huerta.

When the officers contacted the men in the parking lot, Santana became agitated, refused to exit the car, reached for an unknown object in his pocket and then put the car in reverse, SDPD officials allege. The driver steered the car “so that he was in the path of the officer,” according to police.

“Believing the driver was going to strike him with the vehicle, the officer fired one round from his handgun,” Holden said last week. “The round struck the driver in the arm.”

Santana sped away, leading police north on Armstrong Street into Clairemont Mesa for about a mile, Holden said. The pursuit ended when the Acura crashed into a parked SUV on Marlesta Drive.

Huerta, who was briefly pinned in the passenger seat of the damaged car, was arrested for a suspected parole violation.

Santana ran from the car but was quickly apprehended, according to Holden, who said a loaded handgun was found in the suspect’s pants pocket.

Santana was taken to a hospital, treated and released back into police custody.

He was charged with at least a dozen felonies and misdemeanors, including assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, and remains in custody in lieu of $300,000 bail pending his next court hearing on Dec. 12