Police had planned to detain the suspect late Tuesday afternoon when he had a scheduled appointment with his parole agent, San Diego police Lt. David Rohowits said. But the man called his agent about 4 p.m. and said that his car had become disabled on the freeway. San Diego police officers then headed immediately to the location on I-8, with the help of El Cajon police and the California Highway Patrol.
So it was not known whether or not he was in the car when police arrived on the scene, and it took more than two hours, with no fewer than five police agencies combining their talents and forces, to determine that the suspect was not in the car. Meanwhile, the public was treated to dramatic television coverage of as many as half a dozen officers pointing their guns at the empty car, repeatedly advancing to within a few feet of the car and then slowly backing away.