Deputy injured after Valley Center pursuit results in crash, gun - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Deputy injured after Valley Center pursuit results in crash, gunfire

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VALLEY CENTER (NEWS 8/CNS) - At least one San Diego County Sheriff's deputy and a suspect were taken to a hospital after a stolen vehicle pursuit that resulted in gunfire early Sunday. 
 
Sheriff's deputies later identified the suspected assailant as Kevin Meza, 22, a homeless resident of North County. 
 
At about 3 a.m., deputies at the Valley Center substation received a radio call to be on the lookout for a stolen Honda Odyssey van, according to Sheriff's Lt. Rich Williams. 
 
The van was seen near Valley View Casino, and with the help of San Pasqual Tribal Police, deputies attempted to stop it. 
 
Meza reportedly stopped for a few seconds, then drove off at a high speed, narrowly missing a patrol vehicle, Williams said. Deputies pursued the van northbound on North Lake Wohlford Road onto Thundernut Lane, where the driver again stopped briefly. 
 
When deputies approached the van on foot, Meza attempted to drive into one of the deputies, causing the deputies to open fire, Williams said. 
 
The driver again sped off, to the dead end of Thundernut Lane.  

"He made a U-turn and came back toward the deputies, apparently intentionally [he] tried to strike deputies with his vehicle," said Williams. "He sideswiped one deputy's vehicle and hit another vehicle head on, hard enough to disable his vehicle and deploy the airbags."  

Deputies again opened fire but missed Meza.  

Meza was not struck by gunfire, but was taken to a hospital for injuries sustained in the crash, Williams said. 
 
Deputies discovered a dog inside the vehicle that had apparently been struck by gunfire, Williams said. The dog, believed to belong to Meza, was taken to a local veterinary hospital for treatment, and was released after being hit. 

The Pitbull-mix didn't seem to be badly hurt as the animal licked the deputies and was able to walk from the scene. 
 
Meza was taken to the Vista Detention Facility on suspicion of vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, felony evading a peace officer with injury, three counts of assault on a peace officer and one count of resisting arrest with injury. He was being held in lieu of $335,000 bail. 
 
One sheriff's deputy was treated for whiplash and released from a hospital, Williams said. 
 
The facts surrounding the confrontation were investigated by sheriff's homicide detectives. 

"We don't know at this point if the suspect was armed or not," Williams said. "We're still processing the scene and vehicle." 

As of Sunday, Meza remained in custody with an arraignment scheduled for Tuesday.  

Deputies asked any witnesses to call the Sheriff's Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321, or after hours at (858) 565-5200. 

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