Photo credit: Wiki Commons
Photo credit: Wiki Commons

A fugitive who drove off in a truck with a National City Police Officer hanging onto the side of the vehicle, prompting another officer to shoot the defendant, pleaded guilty Tuesday to assault with a deadly weapon and other charges.

Two officers responding to a report of suspicious people in a vehicle parked off the 2700 block of East 16th Street in National City found Jesus Leos sitting in a black Chevrolet Silverado alongside a woman and an infant shortly before 8 a.m. on April 16, according to police.

After the lawmen determined that Leos was wanted on an outstanding felony warrant, the 30-year-old suspect suddenly accelerated in reverse, pulling one of the officers down the dirt access road a short distance and prompting the other to open fire, Sgt. Alex Hernandez said.

Despite being wounded in the upper right arm, Leos kept driving, and the officer hanging onto the side of the truck tumbled onto the ground, the sergeant said. Medics took the lawman to a hospital for evaluation of apparently minor injuries.

Police fanned out through the area and searched from above via helicopter, finding the pickup truck abandoned on Fenton Place in Lincoln Acres, about a half-mile south of the site of the shooting.

About 9:30 a.m., officers found Leos hiding in a shed at La Vista Memorial Park and Mortuary on Orange Street, and the shirtless and bloodied suspect surrendered without further incident. Medics took him to a hospital for treatment of his non-life-threatening gunshot wound.

Officers tracked down the mother and baby at their National City home. They were unharmed, according to police.

Leos and the woman were believed to have “some sort of relationship,” the sergeant said. It was unclear if the suspect is the father of her year-old child.

In addition to assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, Leos pleaded guilty today to felony child endangerment and an assault charge stemming from a separate jail fight. He is expected to be sentenced on July 15 to seven years in prison.

—City News Service