Police identify driver arrested in chase, hours-long standoff in North County


PALA MESA (CNS) – A 46-year-old man was behind bars Friday after leading authorities on a nearly two-hour pursuit from San Bernardino County to Interstate 15 in northern San Diego County, where he refused to exit his car for over three more hours, authorities said.

The incident began about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, when San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a person in a vehicle possibly doing drugs outside a home in Barstow, California Highway Patrol Officer Juan Escobar said.

Deputies tried to contact the man in the 2004 Saturn sedan, later identified as 46-year-old Ethan Francis Yoffe of El Cajon, but he fled and eventually entered southbound I-15, Escobar said.

CHP officers took over the pursuit on southbound I-15 and followed Yoffe until he stopped on the right shoulder south of state Route 76 shortly after 7:20 p.m., the officer said.

Based on information that Yoffe was allegedly armed with a bolt-action rifle, authorities shut down both directions of I-15 and both directions of SR-76.

Authorities attempted to get Yoffe to exit the Saturn, but he refused for more than three hours, Escobar said. CHP officers finally took Yoffe into custody without incident at about 10:30 p.m.

No weapon was found in the vehicle, Escobar said. All lanes on I-15 and SR-76 were reopened by 10:45 p.m.

Yoffe was booked into Adelanto Detention Center in San Bernardino County on suspicion of felony evading, according to jail records. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Monday afternoon.

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