Suspect in pepper spray robbery to be arraigned

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A man accused of spraying an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer in the face with pepper spray in an attempt to rob the lawman in Old Town is scheduled for arraignment Friday in a downtown courtroom.

Angel Blanco, 21, was arrested Wednesday night after the incident.

Shortly after 10:30 p.m., CHP Officer Ken Jackman, who was out of uniform, was approached by three men at Juan and Taylor streets, according to San Diego police Officer David Stafford.

One of the suspects — later identified as Blanco — asked the CHP officer for the time and then sprayed him with peppery spray while he was distracted, Stafford said, noting that the assailant simultaneously demanded cash.

The officer drew his service weapon and arrested Blanco, Stafford said. The other two suspects got away on foot.

Robbery detectives were investigating whether the incident was part of a crime binge that began about an hour and a half earlier in northern Clairemont.

Shortly before 9 p.m Wednesday, two male suspects walked up to a male pedestrian and sprayed him in the face with an unknown substance at Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Diane Avenue and took an mp3 player from him, Stafford said.

Around 10 p.m., a lone suspect entered the AT&T building on University Avenue in Hillcrest and sprayed an employee in the face with pepper spray, Stafford said. The suspect then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

About 20 minutes later, two suspects got out of a four-door sedan in the 2400 block of Jefferson Street in Old Town and walked up to a 38-year-old man, sprayed him in the face with pepper spray and demanded cash, according to Stafford.

The victim refused to comply and was sprayed a second time before the suspects fled without any cash or property from the victim, Stafford said.

No serious injuries were reported.

Categories: KUSI