Santee carjacking of off-duty officer leads to search and arrest of suspect

Downtown San Diego Central Jail
The Central Jail on Front Street in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

A man was in police custody Thursday after allegedly trying to hijack an off-duty police officer in Santee, sheriff’s officials said.

The officer, who is part of the El Cajon Police Department, was leaving a parking lot in the 10000 block of Woodside Avenue just before 9 p.m. Wednesday. A man opened the passenger door of the unmarked van he was driving, got into the vehicle and began shouting incoherently.

At one point, both parties exited the truck, according to Sgt. Michael Gonzales, and the carjacker was able to slip behind the wheel and drive off.

Santee Sheriff’s Deputies and El Cajon Police Officers searched the area with the Sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter overhead, but did not find the truck.

Just before midnight, authorities found the truck in Lakeside. The driver led deputies and officers in a vehicle chase to Chula Vista where he crashed into a fire hydrant in the 2000 block of Birch Road.

David Alejandro Felix, 29, who suffered minor injuries in the accident, was jailed in San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of carjacking, assault on a peace officer, auto theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and criminal escape.

Investigators also recovered firearms and police equipment from the officer’s stolen truck.