Driving home tonight, on the southbound I-5 near San Onofre around 9 pm, four cop cars passed me, all in a row, pursuing a single pickup truck that was speeding in the right-hand lane. Oddly, the pickup had its hazard lights flashing. Was this a police training exercise? An out-of-control vehicle that had politely turned on its hazards? A vehicle that had just failed the immigrant check-point at San Onofre? It was just a single pickup truck, but there was a helicopter up above, beaming its searchlight down. Gradually I noticed four more aircraft up above, hovering. They might have been military aircraft, or news helicopters, but it seemed to me like a massive use of police resources for some kind of giant manhunt.
In the next few minutes, at least three more cop cars passed me, speeding, but without using their emergency lights. I saw two of these unlit cop-cars, around Las Pulgas, waiting to make a u-turn to return north on the 5. Before I got to Oceanside, at least four more cop cars sped past me, southwards, all with their lights on and sirens blaring. And then it all disappeared.
This makes my commute far more interesting, but I can’t find anything about it on the internet. Why this huge police presence? If I counted right, there were at least eleven cop cars and up to five police helicopters. Is Osama Bin Laden lurking in northern San Diego County, around Camp Pendleton? Is there another OJ-Simpson-like car-chase that I’m just unaware of because I have no tv? I have never seen every car on that stretch of highway all obeying the speed-limit, and even keeping the left lane open for the cops who just kept on speeding by.
Maybe I’m just finding reasons to be fascinated by my commute, because, finally, the semester is over so I don’t have to make that overly-long twice-or-thrice-a-week 70-mile drive for at least another month, now.
UPDATE: Mystery solved. San Diego’s newspapers tell me it was a carjacker, fleeing from Lynwood, who was finally pulled over at a prison near the Mexican border. Since it was a 2-county car-chase, I guess I got to see some of the cops from LA heading home while the cops from San Diego took over. It felt odd to be inside a tv movie.