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I-10 back open after hours-long police pursuit and standoff

Interstate 10 is back open and a suspect is in custody after a police pursuit and hours-long standoff.

The pursuit was the result of a domestic assault call that came in at around 1:45 a.m. on Wednesday in Whitewater. According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, the suspect, a 37-year-old man from Whitewater, was accused of assaulting a woman, holding her against her will, and threatening to kill her while he brandished a black handgun.

The suspect fled the scene in a pickup truck before deputies arrived. His truck was spotted by Sheriff's Aviation on the I-10 near Washington Street on Thursday at around 4:38 p.m., the agency revealed.

Law enforcement attempted but the driver, who was visually identified as the same suspect, immediately fled at a high rate of speed. The driver led police westbound on the I-10 to eastbound Hwy 62, then westbound Highway 62 to eastbound Interstate 10.

According to the Sheriff's Dept., the suspect brandished a handgun and pointed it at deputies.

A viewer sent video of the suspect vehicle, which appeared to have smoke coming out of it, during the pursuit between Gene Autry and N Indian Canyon at 5:21 p.m.

Other viewer videos sent to the newsroom show the vehicle shooting out sparks as it looks to be missing a front tire as deputies chased it.

An agency spokesperson added that the California Highway Patrol deployed a tire deflation device that successfully disabled the pickup truck on eastbound Interstate 10 near Date Palm Drive. The suspect then pointed the handgun at his own head and refused to exit the vehicle.

This caused both sides of the 10 freeway to be shut down between Date Palm for several hours. Both sides were fully open by 10:00 p.m.

Crime scene at around 6:00 p.m.

After numerous attempts of requesting the suspect to surrender peacefully, a chemical agent was deployed. The suspect sustained a self-inflicted non-life-threatening gunshot wound, the agency revealed.

He was treated on-scene by deputies and Cathedral City Fire Department, then transported by ambulance to a local area hospital. 

The agency noted that the suspect will remain in custody while he is being treated and will be later booked into the Riverside County Jail. He faces multiple charges including assault with a firearm on a peace officer or firefighter. His bail has been set at $1,000,000.

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Jesus Reyes

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