Pursuit suspect taken to ambulance
The pursuit suspect is taken to an ambulance after his arrest. Courtesy OnScene.TV

California Highway Patrol officers opened fire Thursday on a robbery suspect — missing him — during a road chase that stretched from Laguna Hills to northern San Diego County.

Two CHP officers were injured during the lengthy pursuit, which began about 4:30 a.m., when deputies tried to pull over a suspect in an attempted armed holdup that had occurred minutes earlier at a gas station about a half- mile northwest of Mission Viejo High School.

The suspect — later identified as 29-year-old Frankie John Garduno — refused to yield and entered southbound Interstate 5, at which point CHP officers took over the chase, San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Michael Blevins said.

After passing through San Clemente, Oceanside, Carlsbad and Encinitas, Garduno exited at Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach, Blevins said. A short time later, one of the pursuing officers used his cruiser to nudge the suspect’s car, forcing it to safely skid to a halt.

Still, Garduno allegedly refused to surrender, instead driving off again. As he fled, his car hit two officers. At that point, several of the CHP personnel fired on the car, causing no injuries.

Reaching La Floresta and Linea del Cielo, the suspect got into a collision, after which he abandoned his vehicle and ran off. Officers searched the area and found Garduno on a nearby cul-de-sac, where he surrendered without further incident, Blevins said.

The suspect and the two officers struck by his car were treated at a hospital — Garduno for minor injuries and the CHP personnel for moderately serious trauma.

Garduno was booked into county jail in Vista late Thursday afternoon on suspicion of assault and evading arrest. He was being held on $150,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Updated at 9:29 p.m., Thursday, April 25, 2019

— City News Service

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

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