Victor Diaz's sister say her family loves a good joke. But Victor's holiday prank caused a huge holiday traffic jam, on one of San Diego's busiest freeways and prompted a massive response from law enforcement. NBC 7’s Wendy Fry has the story.
With a single phone call, Victor Diaz, 28, tied up Thanksgiving Day traffic for miles on Interstate 15, landed himself in county jail and cost taxpayers thousands of dollars for emergency response crews. A legal expert tells us he isn't likely to serve any time for the prank.
"It's like, yeah, we're not going to send this kid to prison, but we need to send a message that this kind of behavior is not going to be tolerated," Attorney Tony Solare, a former prosecutor, told NBC7. "This doesn't smell like a custody case, but you know, some days of picking up trash and maybe a like a fair number of days picking up trash to like, re-enforce like, 'Hey, don't do this any more.'"
Deanna pulled over in a panic, ditched her car and ran from the freeway. Then called 9-1-1. Emergency crews responded in full force, including a San Diego Fire-Rescue bomb experts.
"Those are considered felonies. It's like doing the real thing. And the consequences can be very dire," said San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesman Maurice Luque.
Traffic was at a standstill for 3 hours. Mostly with families on their way to Thanksgiving dinners. Diaz's sister, Deanna, tells us her brother is extremely sorry for his bad judgement.
For now, Diaz remains in county jail, being held on $50,000 bail. His first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday. New details about his alleged crime could be revealed at that hearing.