Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo

An Orange County man was behind bars Tuesday for allegedly breaking into an Encinitas-area home and stealing a resident’s car before leading authorities on a road chase that ended with his arrest on a San Diego freeway.

The events that led to the lengthy pursuit began about 11 p.m. Monday, when California Highway Patrol officers were advised to be on the lookout for the stolen black Chrysler Pacifica, said CHP public-affairs Officer Sal Castro.

A short time later, CHP personnel spotted the minivan heading south on Interstate 5 near Santa Fe Drive. When they tried to pull him over, the driver refused to yield and accelerated away at high speed in an attempt to evade arrest, Castro said.

After entering the city of San Diego, the fleeing man — later identified as 42-year-old Daniel Medina of La Habra — ran over a tire-flattening spike strip that officers had laid onto the roadway in his path on Interstate 805.

The suspect continued on for a short distance before finally pulling to a stop on northbound state Route 15 at El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights, Castro said.

Following a brief standoff, sheriff’s personnel sicced a service dog on Medina, who struggled with the animal and hit it with an umbrella before being taken into custody, 10News reported.

Medina was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of robbery, carjacking, resisting arrest, being in possession of a stolen vehicle, driving while intoxicated and attempting to harm a service animal. He was being held on $355,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. Feb. 11, 2020

— City News Service

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