Murder suspect arrested following pursuit from Anaheim to Solana Beach

SAN DIEGO -- A 35-year-old homicide suspect was arrested Tuesday following a pursuit on Interstate 5 that lasted over an hour and stretched from Anaheim to Solana Beach.

Officers searching for a homicide suspect attempted to stop a driver at about 7:35 a.m. on Magnolia Street and Lincoln Avenue, Anaheim Police Department Sgt. Jeff Mundy said.

The suspect, identified as Miguel Reveles Villegas of Placentia, was wanted for what investigators suspect was a gang-related shooting about 6:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve in the 500 block of North Sabina Street, Mundy said.

The victim of that shooting -- 45-year-old Fernando Guerrero Cervantes of Anaheim -- was taken to an area hospital, where he lingered until succumbing to his wounds Monday morning, Mundy said.

"When officers attempted to contact (the suspect) he fled and a pursuit ensued, which went southbound on (the Santa Ana Freeway) to Solana Beach, where the suspect abandoned his car and attempted to flee on foot, but officers chased him and took him into custody without incident," Mundy said.

California Highway Patrol officers were called in to assist with the pursuit about 7:40 a.m. and continued pursuing the suspect, who was driving a gray Honda Accord, CHP Officer Jim Bettencourt said.

The chase continued on Interstate 5 through the Oceanside area, reaching speeds as high as 80 mph, Bettencourt said.

As officers pursued, Villegas encountered heavy traffic in Encinitas and used the center median to continue his flight.

Officers deployed a spike strip around 8:30 a.m. near Leucadia Boulevard, but it was not immediately clear if the vehicle ran into it, Bettencourt said.

The suspect pulled over on the right shoulder south of Via De La Valle, got out of the car and attempted to flee on foot up an embankment off the right side of the freeway, Bettencourt said.

The CHP blocked all traffic on southbound Interstate 5 near Via De La Valle during the foot chase, Bettencourt said.

Villegas was later booked at the Anaheim Detention Facility on suspicion of murder and felony evading. He was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, Mundy said.

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