Man found locked in car im­pounded in San Diego

Driver is ar­rested af­ter Chi­nese na­tional in U.S. il­le­gally is freed from com­part­ment.

Los Angeles Times - - OBITUARIES - By Lau­ryn Schroeder lau­ryn.schroeder @sdunion­tri­bune.com Schroeder writes for the San Diego Union-Tri­bune.

A Chi­nese man in the coun­try il­le­gally was found in­side a locked com­part­ment of an im­pounded car early Satur­day af­ter a traf­fic stop in San Diego, po­lice said.

The 2016 Toy­ota Tun­dra was pulled over about 2 a.m. on In­ter­state 15 in the Kearny Mesa neigh­bor­hood, Po­lice Sgt. Tom Sul­li­van said.

Of­fi­cers im­pounded the car af­ter the driver and reg­is­tered owner of the ve­hi­cle was is­sued ci­ta­tions for speed­ing and driv­ing with­out a li­cense, Sul­li­van said. The ve­hi­cle was taken to a lot by a Road One Tow­ing driver.

While tak­ing in­ven­tory of the ve­hi­cle, a tow com­pany em­ployee heard yelling and bang­ing from in­side the ve­hi­cle, Sul­li­van said. Of­fi­cers were called to the scene, along with San Diego Fire Depart­ment of­fi­cials.

The man was found in a com­part­ment built into the ve­hi­cle be­hind the back seat.

“He couldn’t get out,” Sul­li­van said. “Im­pound em­ploy­ees had to un­bolt the seat.”

The man was not in­jured, but of­fi­cers de­ter­mined he was in the coun­try il­le­gally. Bor­der Pa­trol of­fi­cials were called about 4:45 a.m.

Bor­der Pa­trol spokesman Mark Endi­cott said the driver was ar­rested and charged with hu­man smug­gling.

Of­fi­cers also found a hand­gun with 15 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion in the car, Endi­cott said.

The man found hid­den in the ve­hi­cle was also ar­rested and is be­ing pro­cessed for re­moval.

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