San Diego

Beaten and Carjacked Ride-Share Driver Faces Months-Long Recovery

His attacker carjacked him in Oceanside and led police on a high-speed pursuit across Southern California before surrendering in Beaumont

Neighbors of a rideshare driver who was attacked and carjacked, and whose car was taken on a high-speed joyride that ended in the Inland Empire, say the victim has months of rehab ahead of him before he can get back to work.

The Oceanside Police Department (OPD) says the victim, identified by neighbors as Clay Daves, picked up his customer near the intersection of N. Cleveland Street and Mission Avenue at around 9 a.m. Sunday.

Shortly after, the customer, identified as 44-year-old Leonardo Tellez, assaulted Daves and stole his white Ford sedan.

Neighbors Keith and Greg couldn’t detail Daves’ injuries, but said he had a plate and screws in his chest and screws in his neck. They recounted when his wife came home and frantically told them he was beaten and in the hospital.

The LA County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the vehicle was stolen in Oceanside and that an airship tracked the vehicle via Lo-Jack.

CHP officers took over the pursuit as the car traveled at high speeds on eastbound Interstate 10 through the Inland Empire. NBC 7’s sister station in L.A followed the pursuit in a newschopper shortly after 3 p.m. as the vehicle traveled past Azusa into Pomona, Ontario and beyond.

The pursuit topped 100 mph, with the driver using the center divider shoulder to pass vehicles and avoid pockets of moderate traffic. At one point at approximately 3:35 p.m in the city of San Bernardino, the driver's attempt to pass a vehicle on the center shoulder of the freeway nearly resulted in a loss of control. However, the suspect recovered and avoided a crash. The driver seemed to heed the warning and cut down speeding from over 100 mph to roughly 75 mph or even slower.

Shortly before 4 p.m., the suspect slowed down and eventually came to a stop off the shoulder of the 10 Freeway in the Beaumont area. It was unclear if a spike strip had worked, if the vehicle ran out of fuel or if the suspect simply grew tired of the pursuit.

Tellez surrendered peacefully and is charged with attempted murder and carjacking.

According to Keith and Greg, Daves lives in a retirement community and picked up driving for both Lyft and Uber about six months ago when his family first moved here. They say their neighbor, who is in his 60s, has five months of physical rehabilitation ahead of him before he can work again.

Contact Us