A short police chase on Wednesday morning ended in Chula Vista with police facing off against a man who, police said, didn’t want to go back behind bars.
The pursuit began in the 400 block of Shasta Street and ended a short while later at about 10 a.m. on Nacion Street, not far from Interstate 805. About four and a half hours later, the driver, wearing a white tank top and jeans, came out of the car with his hands up and surrendered to authorities.
Chula Vista Police said that during the standoff, the 30-year-old suspect threatened to kill himself, telling police he would rather die than return to prison. Chula Vista Lt. Eric Thunberg said the man is on parole for auto theft.
Thunberg said that at one point early in the incident, the suspect put a gun to his head when officers approached. Officers said the man asked to speak to several family members, including his mother.
At about noon, a SWAT van pulled in behind the suspect's black Crown Victoria, which was boxed in from the other side by a patrol car. It seems possible that the man’s car could have been a patrol car at one time.
Many nearby residents were evacuated during the standoff. During the incident the California Highway Patrol closed a few lanes of the nearby freeway to aid residents who wanted to safely leave the area.
More than a dozen patrol cars were parked within a few blocks of the standoff; officers shut down the street from east L Street to Naples Avenue.