Emergency vehicles on Thundernut Lane where the suspect was arrested. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Updated Nov. 26, 2017 at 1:21 p.m.

At least one San Diego County Sheriff‘s deputy and a suspect were taken to a hospital after a stolen vehicle pursuit that resulted in gunfire early Sunday.

Sheriff’s deputies later identified the suspected assailant as Kevin Meza, 22, a homeless resident of North County.

At about 3 a.m., deputies at the Valley Center substation received a radio call to be on the lookout for a stolen Honda Odyssey van, according to Sheriff’s Lt. Rich Williams.

The van was seen near Valley View Casino, and with the help of San Pasqual Tribal Police, deputies attempted to stop it.

Meza reportedly stopped for a few seconds, then drove off at a high speed, narrowly missing a patrol vehicle, Williams said. Deputies pursued the van northbound on North Lake Wohlford Road onto Thundernut Lane, where the driver again stopped briefly.

When deputies approached the van on foot, Meza attempted to drive into one of the deputies, causing the deputies to open fire, Williams said.

The driver again sped off, to the dead end of Thundernut Lane. He made a U-turn and sped toward the deputies, who again opened fire, Williams said. The driver struck two patrol cars, causing his vehicle to become disabled.

Meza was not struck by gunfire, but was taken to a hospital for injuries sustained in the crash, Williams said.

Deputies discovered a dog inside the vehicle that had apparently been struck by gunfire, Williams said. The dog, believed to belong to Meza, was taken to a local veterinary hospital for treatment, and was released after bring hit.

Meza was taken to the Vista Detention Facility on suspicion of vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, felony evading a peace officer with injury, three counts of assault on a peace officer and one count of resisting arrest with injury. He was being held in lieu of $335,000 bail.

One sheriff’s deputy was treated for whiplash and released from a hospital, Williams said.

The facts surrounding the confrontation were investigated by sheriff’s homicide detectives.

Deputies asked any witnesses to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321, or after hours at (858) 565-5200.

–City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.