San Diego

La Mesa Police Pursuit Suspect Held on $250K Bail

A judge Wednesday increased Dontae Douglas Smith’s bail to $250,000

A convicted felon who led police on a high-speed chase down a busy San Diego freeway faces more than 10 years in prison for a series of alleged crimes.

A judge Wednesday increased Dontae Douglas Smith’s bail to $250,000 from the $50,000 amount set after his arrest last week.

Outside the courtroom after Smith’s arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Matthew Carberry explained that the increased bail reflects the seriousness of the charges against Smith, and his criminal record.

“After (his arrest), a firearm was located in the vehicle,” Carberry explained. “Being that he’s a convicted felon, that’s unlawful possession of a firearm.

Judge Joseph Brannigan entered not guilty pleas on Smith’s behalf.

The 28-year-old defendant is charged with five felonies: felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, evading arrest, and two counts of hit-and-run.

The prosecutor said Smith’s criminal record includes a felony “strike” and two prison priors, one of them for felony assault.

Smith was also on parole at the time of his alleged crime spree last week.

The defendant is accused of breaking into two homes on Dawson Avenue in Talmadge, according to the San Diego police.

Smith is accused of following a woman into her home and then running to a neighbor's yard two doors down.

A babysitter and two young children were in the backyard at the time, according to the police. The babysitter grabbed the children and ran to the driveway. The suspect ran through the house and out the front door, police said.

Officers arrived and got a witness description of the car that left the area. They located a vehicle matching the description and pursued the driver on Interstate 8 to Lake Murray Boulevard then to Spring Street in La Mesa.

The pursuit suspect's car collided with another vehicle on Spring Street, near the Spring Street Trolley Station.

The suspect jumped out of the car and fled to a nearby canyon, he said. A La Mesa motorcycle police officer saw the suspect fleeing and helped San Diego police locate and arrest him.

Smith is scheduled to return to court January 7 for a readiness hearing.

Smith’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 9.

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