Fugitive, acquaintance surrender after 2 1/2 hour SWAT standoff - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Fugitive, acquaintance surrender after 2 1/2 hour SWAT standoff

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ESCONDIDO (CNS) - A 30-year-old fugitive and female acquaintance surrendered peacefully early Friday following a nearly two-and-a-half-hour SWAT standoff in Escondido that began with a high-speed chase several hours earlier, police said.

Omar Jacobo Hernandez and Natalie Mejia were taken into custody at the Mount Vernon Inn on West Mission Avenue around 3:40 a.m., according to Escondido police Lt. Mike Loarie.

Detectives in marked police vehicles first spotted Hernandez driving a white car near Mission Avenue and Rock Springs Road about 9 p.m. Thursday, Loarie said in a statement.

They knew he was wanted on state and federal warrants stemming from an earlier arrest on suspicion of drug possession, violation of gang injunction and alien smuggling, Loarie said.

Hernandez sped off toward San Marcos, with detectives in pursuit with lights and sirens blaring, according to the lieutenant.

Roughly three minutes later, detectives canceled the pursuit for safety reasons and lost sight of Hernandez. Police then notified San Marcos sheriff's deputies, who found Hernandez' white car abandoned.

Over the next several hours, detectives gathered information that led them to the Mount Vernon Inn early this morning, Loarie said.

Around 1:15 a.m., detectives and officers evacuated several rooms on the western portion of the building and focused their attention on room 333, where Hernandez was holed up with two women, Loarie said.

One of the women immediately came out and talked to detectives, while

Hernandez and Natalie Mejia, 23, refused to leave the room, he said.

Nearly two and a half hours later, Escondido SWAT fired a chemical agent into the room, and the duo surrendered a few minutes later. According to Loarie, neither was injured.

Hernandez was arrested and booked into the Vista jail for the outstanding warrants and on suspicion of felony evading during the earlier pursuit and resisting or obstructing of arrest. Mejia faces charges of harboring a felon and resisting or obstructing of officers, Loarie said.

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