SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.—U.S. Border Patrol agents pursued a man on Wednesday who ran the San Clemente checkpoint on Interstate 5 in a car reported as stolen.
The incident began at approximately 1 p.m., when the driver of a white 1999 Lexus was referred for secondary inspection. The driver appeared to comply initially, but as he approached agents waiting in the secondary inspection area, he collided with a curb then suddenly accelerated. He headed north on I-5 at a high rate of speed. Agents pursued, turning on their emergency lights and sirens. Disregarding the agents, the man continued his flight. Twice he exited I-5, only to immediately re-enter the freeway.
During the flight, the man sideswiped a Honda Civic and a Ford Econoline van. He then entered a San Clemente neighborhood, where he found his flight blocked by a cul-de-sac. He abandoned the Lexus and fled on foot; agents gave chase. The abandoned vehicle rolled 50 yards down a hill and landed on the roof of a house.
As agents pursued the 22-year-old U.S. citizen, they ordered the man to stop. He abruptly laid down on the ground in a prone position. Agents handcuffed him, placed him under arrest, and transported him to the San Clemente Border Patrol Station. He was charged with high-speed flight from a checkpoint. Later, he was turned over to the San Diego Police Department and faces carjacking charges and evading a peace officer with disregard for safety.
“The Border Patrol agents at the San Clemente Station responded exceptionally, putting an end to the reckless and dangerous actions of this individual,” said David BeMiller, Patrol Agent in Charge of the San Clemente Station. “Utilizing checkpoints throughout San Diego Sector further enhances our ability to target illicit activity and keep communities safe.”
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on major corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.