Fleeing Orange County suspect caught after freeway chase ends near Del Mar


A suspect in an Orange County homicide was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 8, following a freeway chase that lasted over an hour and stretched from Anaheim to the Del Mar area during morning rush hour traffic, authorities said.

The chase started after Anaheim police officers, who were searching for a homicide suspect, attempted to stop a driver at about 7:35 a.m., Anaheim Police Sgt. Jeff Mundy said.

The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, was wanted for what investigators suspect was a gang-related shooting on Christmas Eve, Mundy said.

The victim of that shooting was taken to an area hospital, but died Monday morning, Jan. 7, as a result of his wounds, Mundy said.

According to Mundy, officers tried to make contact with the suspect, but he drove off. With police in pursuit, the driver jumped onto southbound Interstate 5.

California Highway Patrol officers were called in to assist with the chase about 7:40 a.m., and continued pursuing the man, who was driving a gray Honda Accord, CHP Officer Jim Bettencourt said.

The man continued down I-5 through the Oceanside area, reaching speeds as high as 80 mph, Bettencourt said.

During the chase, the fleeing driver encountered heavy traffic in Encinitas and used the center median to avoid traffic.

CHP officers deployed a spike strip around 8:30 a.m. near Leucadia Boulevard, but it was not immediately clear if the vehicle ran into the spike strip, Bettencourt said.

The man pulled over on the right shoulder south of Via de la Valle, got out of the car and attempted to flee on foot up an embankment off the rightside of the freeway, Bettencourt said.

The CHP blocked all traffic on southbound I-5 near Via de la Valle during the foot chase, he said.