San Diego suspect with felony warrant arrested at church altar after interrupting memorial service

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A suspect wanted on a felony arrest warrant was taken into custody on the altar of a San Diego County church on Thursday after allegedly leading police on a pursuit, according to reports. 

Jose Espinoza allegedly led San Diego Sheriff’s deputies on a slow-speed chase from Dulzura in southeastern San Diego to Chula Vista, finally getting out of his vehicle and going into the Most Precious Blood Catholic Church and interrupting a funeral service for a child,  FOX 5 San Diego reported. 

Espinoza was handcuffed on the floor of the altar as attendees of the memorial service were seen rushing out of the church. 

“Kneeling, hands raised, I saw cops coming in and told all the people to get out,” Father Paul Selvaraj told FOX 5. He said he was in the middle of the service. “I said, ‘What is going on?’ Something strange is happening.”

He added, “We had some kids also because he was going to school. Kids, teachers, parents, families, everybody.”

In addition to his arrest warrant for allegedly making criminal threats, Espinoza now also faces felony evading arrest and disorderly conduct charges, according to KNSD-TV in San Diego. 

“We are still processing this experience, which was a tragedy, which we (have) never seen or went through,” Selvaraj told FOX 5. “It was a new experience. A whole new experience.”


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