A woman who was alongside a fugitive during a SWAT standoff at San Diego High School was behind bars Thursday on suspicion of vehicle theft and being an accessory to a crime after the fact, police said.
Janeth Iriarte, 33, was with 36-year-old Christopher Templo Marquez during an 11-hour standoff at the Park Boulevard campus that ended Tuesday morning when two SWAT officers fatally shot Marquez, fearing he was about to kill Iriarte, according to National City police. Iriarte was uninjured during the encounter.
The pair initially drove off when National City police tried to pull them over in the area of Interstate 805 and South 43rd Street around 8 p.m. Monday, San Diego police Lt. Matt Dobbs said Tuesday.
The pursuit wound its way to the north and west, eventually reaching Loma Portal via Interstate 8, Dobbs said. There, the fleeing driver exited the freeway, then promptly doubled back and got back onto it near the intersection of Nimitz and West Point Loma boulevards.
As the suspect’s vehicle entered eastbound I-8, one of the occupants fired on the pursuing police cruiser, he said. The chase then continued to the south into the East Village, where the police vehicle was again fired on in the area of A Street and 10th Avenue.
The chase lasted until about 8:45 p.m. Monday, when the fleeing fugitive drove through a gate at the downtown high school. At that point, one of the suspects fired a third volley at the pursuing police personnel, prompting a National City officer to shoot back with his service rifle.
No officers were injured by the shootings.
After pulling to a stop on a football field at the school, Marquez and Iriarte got out of the car and ran off, armed with a rifle and a handgun, and took refuge in the garbage bin.
Iriarte was booked into the Los Colinas Detention Facility Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of vehicle theft, being an accessory to a crime after the fact and identity theft, according to jail records. Iriarte was being held in lieu of $520,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for next Wednesday.
National City police Lt. David Bavencoff told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Iriarte had been assisting Marquez, her boyfriend, the entire time he was on the run.
She was also with Marquez when he shot at police April 5 in National City, the lieutenant told the newspaper.
Marquez’s capture had been a high priority for local law enforcement agencies over the last month, during which he allegedly fired on officers twice over a three-week period.
The first of the two firearm assaults occurred March 15 outside a home on East J Street in Chula Vista and left a bounty hunter who was trying to take Marquez into custody on a felony warrant with non-life-threatening bullet wounds.
The second shooting took place April 5, after National City police spotted a stolen car in a Jack in the Box drive-thru on Roosevelt Avenue, authorities said. Officers surrounded the restaurant and its parking lot and were trying to make contact with three people inside the vehicle when one of the passengers — later identified as Marquez — jumped out and ran off.
Marquez then allegedly opened fire on pursuing officers while bolting onto an on-ramp from East Seventh Street to northbound Interstate 5, prompting them to return fire. Marquez escaped by running across the freeway. That shootout resulted in no reported injuries.
– City News Service