SAN DIEGO — Naval Base Coronado went into lockdown Friday night after a driver attempted to plow through the facility’s main gate, a military spokesperson confirmed to FOX 5.
Around 10:30 p.m., an individual trying to access the main gate on North Island became aggressive and tried to drive through the entry way, said Naval Base Coronado Public Affairs Officer Kevin Dixon.
Officials say the driver attempted to breach the gate without clearance, leading military guards to shoot at the car. No injuries were reported.
“They had to be going decently fast, got airborne, sirens and then all of a sudden you hear small arms,” Jeremy Braud, who lives near the main gate, said to FOX 5. He, along with another neighbor, said they heard at least 10 shots fired.
On Saturday morning, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department confirmed a deputy had been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in connection to the incident.
The suspect has been identified as Sgt. Michael Cruz, who was off duty at the time of the incident, SDSO said. He was booked into San Diego Central Jail on a charge of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol or violation of Vehicle Code 23152(A).
According to officials, Cruz bailed out jail and has a pending court date.
SDSO says the deputy has been placed on paid administrative assignment while a Sheriff’s Internal Affairs investigation takes place.
Retired Sheriff and San Diego District Attorney Investigator Jack Strumsky said the first step in this will be to figure out the “why.”
“He knows they are armed, he knows the base is protected, and it’s a secure base, it’s sensitive stuff on that base,” Strumsky said
He said the entire investigation and legal proceedings could take a year, but the sheriff’s department could make a decision on the sergeant’s status this week.
“They’ll (likely) make a determination on his status probably Monday, Tuesday (or) Wednesday to see how long he is going to be suspended for or (if) we going to move toward termination,” Strumsky added. “All the agencies have had officers and deputies arrested throughout the year, every time it happens its embarrassing, you want to get rid of the bad apples.”
Cruz has been with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department since 2006 and was assigned to the Sheriff’s Emergency Planning Detail, officials confirmed.
The main gate was briefly placed on lockdown but military officials said it reopened sometime Saturday morning following an investigation.
SDSO says criminal behavior in its ranks “will not be tolerated” and they will “hold employees accountable for their actions.”
FOX 5’s Zara Barker contributed to this report.