Driver not hit by gunfire but dog in vehicle was injured
UPDATE: The suspect who rammed two Sheriff’s vehicles last night while driving a stolen van has been identified as Kevin Meza, a twenty-two year old transient resident of North County. Meza sustained minor injuries when he struck a Sheriff’s vehicle head-on last night during a pursuit.
Today, Meza was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, vehicle theft, felony evading a peace officer with injury, three counts of assault on a peace officer, and one count of resisting arrest with injury. He’s being held on $335,000 bail.
A Sheriff’s sergeant, as well as a dog believed to belong to the suspect, also sustained injuries during the pursuit and apprehension of the suspect. The sergeant was treated and released, and the dog is in stable condition, recovering at a local animal shelter.
Valley Center CA— Early this morning, Sunday November 26, 2017 at 3:18am, Deputies and a sergeant from the Valley Center Sheriff’s Substation received a radio call to be on the lookout for a stolen white Honda Odyssey van. Deputies located the vehicle and attempted to stop the van in the area of the Valley View Casino parking lot, with the help of San Pasqual Tribal Police Officers.
The driver initially pulled over, but his compliance lasted only a few seconds before he drove off at a high rate of speed, narrowly missing a Sheriff’s patrol vehicle. Deputies pursued the van as the driver headed northbound on North Lake Wohlford Road, across Valley Center Road and onto Thundernut Lane. The man again yielded briefly on Thundernut Lane. When Deputies approached on foot, the driver attempted to hit one of the deputies with the van, and a deputy-involved shooting resulted.
The suspect fled northbound on Thundernut until he reached the dead end and made a U-turn. He again intentionally drove towards deputies and collided with two different Sheriff’s vehicles. In the course of his ramming the deputies’ vehicles, a second deputy-involved shooting occurred. The second collision with the sheriff’s vehicle was a head-on crash that caused airbags to deploy and significant damage, so the suspect was unable to drive any farther.
The facts surrounding the confrontation are currently under investigation by the Sheriff’s Homicide Detail.
The suspect was not struck by gunfire but was treated at the scene and was transported to a local hospital for injuries sustained in the collision. Unfortunately, deputies located an injured dog inside the vehicle, apparently struck by gunfire. An officer from the Department of Animal Services responded for the injured dog. The dog was taken to a local veterinary hospital for treatment and released in stable condition.
The male driver has not yet been identified and is currently being treated for his injuries, which are believed to be non-life threatening. One of the involved deputies was evaluated for whiplash type injuries and released from a local hospital.