Tejada’s crashed car
VENTURA — Proving once again that many fans of the hit movie franchise The Fast & Furious may labor under the misperception that superstars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, and Tyrese Gibson can actually drive high-powered cars down city streets and evade contact with law enforcement with impunity, 23-year-old Oxnard resident Manuel Vincent Tejada led Ventura County Sheriff’s Department patrol officers on a merry chase Ventura city streets during the morning rush hour on August 31st.
It all began with Tejada failed to come to a stop before making a right turn against a red light, a violation that soon brought the flashing red lights of a patrol unit into his rear view mirror.
After Tejada pulled to a halt at the curb, he waited for the deputy to alight from his black-and-white to approach Tejada’s vehicle.
Suddenly, Tejada hit the gas and took off. As he did so, however, he tossed what VCSD spokesperson Capt. Patti Salas described to the media as “a large, long metal object” out the driver’s side window.
The deputy quickly gave pursuit, tailing Tejada as he “drove south in the northbound lanes” of a busy, multi-lane downtown thoroughfare.
As the chase began, nearby witnesses retrieved the object Tejada had abandoned, quickly noting that it was rifle.
After negotiating his wrong-way escape route, Tejada lost control of his car, slammed into a brick wall, and attempted “to flee on foot,” a doomed and desperate effort, as he was quickly subdued and taken into custody.
Back at the scene of the attempted traffic stop, deputies retrieved Tejada’s loaded and illegally-modified .22 caliber rifle.
Tejada was then transported to Ventura County Jail, where he was booked on charges of evading a police officer, being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm in public, possessing a short-barreled rifle, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Photos: Courtesy Ventura County Sheriff’s Department