Driver, passenger arrested following high-speed chase

LAKESIDE (CNS) – A 33-year-old auto theft suspect was in custody Friday
after he allegedly led deputies on a 15-minute pursuit through the East County
in which he struck a patrol car and kept driving.

The pursuit began near Mapleview Street and Maine Avenue in Lakeside
about 11 p.m. Thursday when the man refused to yield for a traffic stop,
according to San Diego County sheriff's Sgt. Mike Forbes.

A deputy attempted to pull Branden Espinoza over after the lawman
noticed that the Honda Accord Espinoza was driving bore a license plate that
had been reported stolen, he said in a statement.

Espinoza allegedly drove southbound on Highway 67 and the pursuit went
from Lakeside into Santee, El Cajon and La Mesa. Near Grossmont College Drive
and Highway 125, he made an illegal turn, struck a patrol car and continued
driving, Forbes said, adding no one was hurt in the crash.

The suspect eventually drove over a spike strip but continued driving
with a flat front tire before stopping near Chatham and Witherspoon in La Mesa,
where he and his 28-year-old female passenger were taken into custody, Forbes

Espinoza was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property,
evading police, possession of heroin for sale, possession of ammunition, Forbes
said, adding that deputies also learned that Espinoza was named in a felony

Espinoza's passenger, Cortney Brackney, was also arrested for a warrant.

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