MURRIETA – A young man who reportedly threatened to shoot himself led Murrieta police officers on a low-speed chase throughout the downtown area, circling back to where he started before being taken into custody by force, a sergeant said today.
The 19-year-old Murrieta resident, whose identity was not immediately released, was spotted around 6:30 p.m. Sunday outside the Guitar Center at 24370 Village Park Place.
Witnesses called 911 reporting the man was outside the business, holding a pistol and indicating he wanted to end his life, according to Murrieta police Sgt. Sandra O’Donnell. She said by the time patrol officers arrived, the man had gotten behind the wheel of his 1991 Nissan 240 SX. When an officer approached, he pulled out of the parking lot and headed downtown.
Officers pursued the motorist as he drove below the speed limit, with a flat left front tire, onto Jefferson and Madison avenues, as well as Los Alamos Road. He then drove into the city of Temecula for a short distance, made a u- turn on Jefferson and returned to Murrieta, the sergeant said.
The man returned to the Guitar Center parking lot and stopped, but had to be coaxed out of the vehicle by a police K-9 team, according to O’Donnell.
He was transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries and a psychiatric screening. Once he’s cleared to leave the medical facility, he will be booked on suspicion of being in possession of a stolen gun, failure to yield to a peace officer and resisting arrest, O’Donnell said.