FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. CONTACT WATCH COMMANDER @ 760.839.4767
PREPARED BY CAPTAIN MICHAEL LOARIE, INVESTIGATIONS AND PIO
On Saturday, May 04, 2013, at about 5:10 AM, an Escondido Police officer was on patrol in the area of Valley Pkwy and Hickory St. The officer was alone and in his car travelling westbound on Valley Pkwy.
A Cadillac Escalade SUV was behind the officer’s patrol car and struck the patrol car two times at a moderate speed. The officer’s car was pushed forward and became disabled. The driver of the SUV, later identified as Michael Najera (23 year-old resident of Escondido), fled in the SUV after the collision and made no attempt to stop or check on the officer.
The officer requested help and additional officers responded. They found the SUV within minutes and tried to stop it. Najera refused to yield and the officers pursued him in their patrol cars.
Najera drove at low speeds throughout the city and eventually drove to Hwy 78. He headed westbound. San Diego Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol assisted as the EPD officers pursued Najera out of the city and into San Marcos.
Najera continued to flee and collided into a wall of an elderly care facility near San Marcos High School. He fled the SUV on foot and was quickly apprehended by the officers who had been pursuing him. He was taken into custody without further incident.
From the moment of the collision to the capture of Najera, about fifty minutes elapsed. This was a slow speed pursuit. No other vehicles were involved.
The EPD officer sustained minor injuries from the collision at Valley Pkwy and Hickory St. He was treated at a local hospital and released.
Najera was not injured.
Najera exhibited symptoms of being under the influence of drugs.
EPD Traffic Division is investigating the first collision at Valley Pkwy and Hickory St. The San Diego Sheriff’s Department: San Marcos is investigating the collision where the pursuit ended.
Najera will be booked at Vista Jail on the following charges:
- Felony DUI (Drugs)
- Felony Hit-and-Run (Valley Pkwy and Hickory St)
- Misdemeanor Hit-and-Run (San Marcos collision)
- Felony Pursuit
- Resisting Arrest
EPD does not intend to release any additional information on this incident today.
To report any suspicious activities in your neighborhood, you may contact the Police Department directly, or you may make an unidentified call on our Anonymous Tip Line at 760-743-TIPS (8477) or via our Web site at police.escondido.org. For breaking news releases, please follow the Escondido Police Department on Twitter at twitter.com/escondidopolice.