Baby, dogs found in wreckage after police chase street racer
SAN DIEGO — A 26-year-old man was in custody Monday for allegedly leading a high-speed freeway chase that ended with a crash on a City Heights off-ramp, where officers discovered that an infant had been riding unrestrained in the suspect’s car.
The pursuit began shortly before 10:30 p.m. Sunday, when California Highway Patrol personnel tried to pull over Jesus Mendoza Figueroa on suspicion of racing another motorist on northbound state Route 15 in the Mount Hope area, CHP spokesman Jake Sanchez said.
Figueroa slowed down and pulled over onto the right-hand shoulder of the freeway near Market Street, then hit the gas again and sped off, according to Sanchez.
The suspect fled to the north for several miles at speeds in excess of 100 mph before exiting onto University Avenue, where his white Honda Civic plowed into a Toyota Corolla at the end of the connector ramp.
Officers arrested Figueroa and then discovered the baby, who was in a child car seat that was not properly strapped into the vehicle, Sanchez said. Medics took the infant, whose relationship to Figueroa was not immediately clear, to Rady Children’s Hospital for a precautionary exam.
No serious injuries were reported.
Figueroa was expected to face a felony child endangerment count along with charges of evading police, engaging in an illegal speed contest and driving with a suspended license.