Road Rage Incident and Fiery Crash May Not Be Connected to Subsequent Pursuit

A road rage incident on Highway 67 and fiery crash may not have been connected to a subsequent pursuit across East County, San Diego Sheriff's deputies (SDSO) said. 

The incident first began around 6:50 p.m. Saturday when two cars were driving on State Route 67, SDSO Sergeant Dustin Lopez said. 

One of the drivers, a Lakeside resident, knew a Lakeside SDSO substation was coming up and got off the freeway to get help, Lopez said. 

As the driver was turning from Vine Street onto Parkside Street, a woman behind the wheel of another car tried to speed around the driver and cut him off. 

During the maneuver, she lost control of her car and crashed into the Solis Hair Studio on the 12500 block of Parkside Street. 

The car went up in flames right away, burning through the building and leaving the salon significantly damaged, Lopez said. 

Meanwhile, the woman driving the car and the man in the passenger seat got out of the car and fled northbound on Vine Street, toward the Lakeside Library. 

A responding Sheriff's deputy noticed a separate care, a white sedan, leaving the scene of the crash. Inside, he saw a man matching the description of the male passenger that ran from the fiery crash, Lopez said. 

The deputy tried to flag down the car, but it would not stop. Instead, the car sped up and onto Channel Road, Lopez said. One man jumped from the moving car and suffered a head and shoulder injury. The man was taken into custody and transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital for treatment. 

Meanwhile, the white sedan kept driving, launching a pursuit. Deputies followed the car to El Cajon, where the three remaining occupants inside the car ran out on Coogan Way. 

Deputies detained one suspect. The other two ran into a CVS Pharmacy on the 500 block of Fletcher Parkway. 

When deputies cornered the second suspect, later identified as Erik Talavera, 27, Talavera pulled out a knife and began telling deputies he would stab himself. 

The man then tried to run out of the store, but the door was locked, Lopez said. He ran into the break room, instead, Lopez said, and barricaded the door with chairs. 

By the time deputies forced the door open, Talavera had begun to stab himself in the neck with a knife, Lopez said. 

A deputy deployed a Taser, causing the suspect to drop the knife and letting deputies take him into custody. 

Talavera was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital with multiple stab wounds to the neck, Lopez said. Once released, he will be booked on various charges. 

Ruben Chavez, 35, of Chula Vista was identified as the passenger taken into custody. He was booked into San Diego Central Jail on drug and weapon charges. 

The police pursuit with the white sedan and road rage incident that caused the fire do not appear to be related at this time, deputies said. 

The man and woman from the initial road rage crash are still outstanding. 

Deputies do not have a distinct description of the woman involved. The man involved has a ponytail and multiple tattoos on his arms. 

The incidents are under investigation. 

Call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 with information and you will remain anonymous. You may be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to a felony arrest.

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