Police make arrest after chasing ‘erratic’ driver from El Cajon to La Mesa

LA MESA, Calif. – A juvenile was arrested Monday morning in La Mesa after being chased in El Cajon that involved a law enforcement helicopter and a stakeout of a crashed car, police said.

The chase began sometime after 11 p.m. Sunday when an El Cajon officer attempted to stop an erratic driver on West Main Street and North Marshall Avenue, El Cajon police Lt. Eric Taylor said. The driver of the vehicle sped away and eventually got onto westbound Interstate 8 heading toward La Mesa.

La Mesa patrol officers and a sheriff’s helicopter crew joined in the chase, and at some point, the suspect’s vehicle crashed, Taylor said. The driver and possibly a second occupant of the car fled on foot near Center and Commercial streets in La Mesa’s industrial zone just north of the I-8 near Grossmont Center.

The helicopter crew searched the area unsuccessfully for about 45 minutes, Taylor said. Police towed away the abandoned car, but an officer stuck who around to stake out the area in a dark vehicle with no lights later spotted someone running, and just before 1 a.m., the sheriff’s helicopter was back above the area, he said.

Police eventually arrested a juvenile who claimed to have been in the car but said he was not the driver, Taylor said. His name and age were not released because he is a juvenile.

The sheriff’s helicopter cleared the area around 2:30 a.m. without finding any other suspects.