Central jail in downtown San Diego
The central jail on Front Street in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

A man was in custody Thursday after allegedly attempting to carjack an off-duty police officer in Santee, Sheriff’s officials said.

The officer, part of the El Cajon Police Department, was leaving a parking lot in the 10000 block of Woodside Avenue just before 9 p.m. on Wednesday. A man opened the passenger door of the unmarked pickup truck he was driving, got into the vehicle and began yelling incoherently.

At some point, both parties got out of the truck, according to Sgt. Michael Gonzales, and the carjacker was able to slip behind the wheel and drive away. 

Deputies with the Santee Sheriff’s Station and El Cajon police officers searched the area with the Sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter overhead, but did not find the truck. 

Just before midnight, authorities found the truck in Lakeside. The driver led deputies and officers on a vehicle pursuit to Chula Vista where he crashed into a fire hydrant in the 2000 block of Birch Road. 

David Alejandro Felix, 29, who suffered minor injuries in the crash, has been booked at San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of carjacking, assault on a peace officer, car theft, possessing a stolen vehicle and felony evading. 

Investigators also recovered the firearms and police equipment in the officer’s stolen truck.