The man who shut down a major San Diego freeway for three hours last Thanksgiving with a prank phone call has admitted to violating the law.
According to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, Victor Manuel Diaz agreed to pay nearly $8,300 to reimburse public safety agencies for the time and trouble his call cost.
On Thanksgiving Day 2013, Diaz disguised his voice and called his younger sister Deanna Diaz while she was driving on Interstate 15 to a family gathering in Escondido. He told her a bomb was in her car and it was about to explode.
Panicked, Deanna pulled over to the I-15 center divider near Miramar Way and called 911.
What followed was a massive response by fire and police officials to determine the possible danger – a response that, for hours, backed up drivers trying to get to Thanksgiving dinner.
When police found out there was no bomb, they called Diaz to the scene for questioning and arrested him.
In the subsequent investigation, Goldsmith’s office found that Diaz was on probation for a domestic violence conviction.
On Friday, Diaz admitted in superior court that he failed to remain law abiding, in violation of that probation.
The judge ordered that he spend nine days in custody, 20 days of community service and extended his term of probation for two more years – until March 2016.
As for the Diaz’s restitution, $3,864 will go to the California Highway Patrol, $3,406.61 to the San Diego Police Department and $1,029.29 to the San Diego Fire Department.
Last December, Diaz told San Diego media that he was sorry for the prank and the joke was not supposed to involve anyone but him and his sister.