Man Behind Pursuit That Closed Border Arraigned

Carlos Romero, 30, pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges

The man at the center of a dramatic freeway pursuit had his first court date Tuesday.

Carlos Romero, 30, is charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, one count of auto theft, one count of felony evading and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

Romero pleaded not guilty.

The ordeal began Thursday night when police tried to pull over a pickup truck that had been reported stolen. The driver sped off, heading south on Interstate 5 toward the San Ysidro border, according to San Diego police.

Police said the driver encountered heavy traffic near the border crossing. He reportedly rammed two patrol cars and a Border Patrol vehicle, before making a U-turn and driving the opposite direction up southbound I-5.

Police said an officer and a Border Patrol agent fired their weapons because they thought the suspect could injure them.

Officers finally cornered the suspect on Dairy Mart Road. He was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg.

The San Ysidro border crossing was closed during the high-speed pursuit.

Romero’s bail was set at $250,000. He faces 10 years in prison if convicted.

A readiness conference is set for Jan. 16, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 21.

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