A Whitewater man who threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and led law enforcement officers on a chase along Interstate 10, leveling a handgun at his pursuers, was bound for state prison today to serve a seven-year, four-month sentence.
Jairo Santiago Chaides, 37, pleaded guilty Thursday to exhibiting a firearm at a peace officer, being a convicted felon in possession of a gun, felony evading and domestic violence. Under the plea agreement with the Riverside County District Attorney's Office, three related charges were dismissed.
During a hearing at the Banning Justice Center, Superior Court Judge Mark Singerton certified the terms of the plea deal and imposed the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defense.
Singerton later signed an order authorizing Chaides' transfer from the Smith Correctional Facility to the state penitentiary.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, in the predawn hours of Jan. 18, deputies were sent to investigate reports of domestic abuse in the 12800 block of Emerald Drive in Whitewater.
Sgt. Dave Morton said Chaides assaulted his ex-girlfriend, held her against her will and, while waving a black handgun, threatened to kill her before fleeing in a Ford pickup truck, eluding deputies.
Around 4:38 p.m. that same day, the pickup was spotted on I-10 near Washington Street in Palm Desert, Morton said. As officers attempted to stop Chaides, he floored the vehicle and pointed the black handgun at deputies.
California Highway Patrol officers took over the chase as it entered I- 10, deploying a spike strip near Date Palm Drive in Cathedral City, disabling the defendant's pickup, according to Morton.
"While he was sitting in the driver's seat, Chaides pointed the handgun at his own head and refused to exit the vehicle,'' Morton said. "After numerous attempts of requesting Chaides to surrender peacefully, a chemical agent was deployed."
Morton said that after the tear gas, Chaides was taken into custody without further incident and treated at a hospital for a self-inflicted non-life-threatening gunshot wound.
He recovered within weeks.
Court records show that Chaides had a prior conviction for being in possession of a gun while under a restraining order.