Updated: 2:15 p.m. June 25, 2014
The man accused of leading authorities on a 25-minute North County chase that climaxed with a rollover crash was behind bars Tuesday, along with his female passenger, who allegedly threw an unloaded weapon out of the vehicle.
Adam Heath, 35, was taken into custody on suspicion of evading police, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance and other drug and weapons violations following the crash. It occurred near Interstate 15 and state Route 76, after a pursuit that took authorities from Escondido to Rancho Bernardo and back.
Passenger Tatiana Nedeljkovic, 34, was also arrested on suspicion of drug- and weapon-related offenses. She was being held in jail on a warrant from outside San Diego County.
The chase began shortly before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when Heath allegedly ran a red light at Nordahl Road and El Norte Parkway, then disregarded an order to stop, according to sheriff’s Deputy Michael Duong.
Sheriff’s officials said Heath also caused a near-collision with a sheriff’s cruiser at El Norte Parkway near Interstate 15 before heading south on the freeway.
Deputies chased him as he exited onto Via Rancho Parkway, drove through the Westfield North County Fair shopping center, Duong said.
The SUV then crashed through a chain link fence, drove up an embankment and re-entered I-15, this time heading north. As the SUV returned to the freeway, Nedeljkovic tossed out an unloaded firearm, Duong said.
California Highway Patrol officers then joined the pursuit as Heath headed toward state Route 76, the deputy said.
With a sheriff’s helicopter crew tailing from above, the driver left the freeway, made a u-turn, then tried to head south on the offramp to the northbound lanes, sheriff’s officials said.
Heath lost control and rolled the SUV near the ramp, Duong said.
Duong said Heath and Nedeljkovic were removed from the vehicle, and a subsequent search turned up another gun, drugs and potential stolen property, Duong said.
No injuries were reported.
Heath’s bail was set at $205,000, and Nedeljkovic’s at $90,000. The suspects were expected to make their first court appearances on Thursday afternoon.
– City News Service
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