VALLEY CENTER, Calif. — A man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting sheriff’s deputies with a deadly weapon after he intentionally rammed his pickup truck into occupied patrol vehicles and led authorities on a chase that turned into a standoff in Valley Center, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.
David Salas Junior, 47, was arrested Sunday and faces charges of several felonies, including multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, according to Lt. Jim Emig. His bail was set at $1,000,000.
The sheriff’s department received a call around 7:43 p.m., when Salas Junior and his 15-year-old son attended a Super Bowl party in the 14000 block of Rancho Copa. Witnesses called 9-1-1 after seeing Salas Junior, who was believed to be heavily intoxicated, becoming involved in a verbal fight that turned physical with other partygoers, Emig said.
When deputies arrived on scene to several people attempting to hold Salas Junior down, the sheriff’s officials say he was able to break free and run to his Dodge Ram dually pickup truck. Emig said Salas Junior then began to drive away, crashing into another vehicle on the property and continued without stopping.
As Salas Junior drove away from the party, Emig said responding deputies attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver refused to stop, initiating a pursuit. Salas Junior continued to refuse to listen to deputy commands after stopping his vehicle several times.
During the chase, deputies said Salas Junior backed his vehicle into occupied sheriff’s patrol vehicles on two separate occasions, which caused them to be inoperable.
When Salas Junior finally stopped his vehicle in front of his home in the 2600 block of West Duro Road on the San Pasqual Indian Reservation, he and his son refused to exit the vehicle and a standoff ensued, according to the sheriff’s department.
Emig said the Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Detail personnel was called in to respond, using communication by telephone with Salas Junior to de-escalate the situation. Salas Junior eventually agreed to surrender and exited the vehicle with his son, walking halfway between their truck and deputies with their hands up in the air.
However, that’s when Salas Junior suddenly turned around and walked back towards his truck, Emig said. Deputies ran after him and attempted to pull Salas Junior from the vehicle as he climbed into the driver’s seat, fearing he would use the vehicle to assault deputies again. Sheriff’s officials said Salas Junior was able to accelerate the vehicle forward into a ditch that caused a deputy to be partially dragged in the process. The deputy was not reported injured.
Enig stated the standoff lasted just under an hour, with Salas Junior being taken into custody.
Salas Junior and his son were transported by ambulance to the hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries, the sheriff’s department said.