Updated at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 15, 2012
San Diego police say the man whose car was found abandoned on the Interstate 8 shoulder Tuesday night is a suspect in the violent home invasion of former San Diego Councilman Harry Mathis.
Mathis, 78, was pistol-whipped with his own gun a month ago at his University City home.
“The [Mathis assailants] were described as three black males, one of which was light skinned, or perhaps two black males and one white male. They all wore ski masks and were armed; two with handguns, one with a knife,” police Lt. Andra Brown said Wednesday.
During the subsequent investigation, she said, Robbery Unit detectives identified one of the suspects as Harvey Henry Duson, 45.
According to Brown: ”The suspect was thought to be in a disabled vehicle on Interstate 8 in El Cajon yesterday. However, it was later discovered he was not. The suspect is still outstanding.”
Original story from Feb. 14, 2012:
Countless Valentine’s dates were delayed Tuesday night amid a major freeway backup at rush hour that spilled onto surface streets around La Mesa.
CHP and other officers spent two hours checking out a dark 2011 Pontiac Grand Prix with tinted windows on Interstate 8 inside the El Cajon city limit, wary of a possible home-invasion suspect. Guns were drawn and shields used.
The vehicle was empty, it turned out. Parked on the right shoulder of eastbound I-8, it was the focus of radio and TV reports from about 5 to 7 p.m.
Officers had monitored the car in what was thought to be a standoff with a robbery suspect east of Severin Drive, causing a backup west to College Avenue near San Diego State University.
A home-invasion robbery had occurred in the area and officers were drawn to the abandoned vehicle. Officers, some in bulletproof vests, at one point used the K-9 unit and had their guns trained on the Grand Prix. Whereabouts of the car’s owner is unknown.
U-T San Diego quoted San Diego police Lt. David Rohowits as saying that police had planned to detain the suspect late Tuesday afternoon when he had a scheduled appointment with his parole agent.
“But the man called his agent about 4 p.m. and said that his car had become disabled on the freeway,” U-T San Diego reported. “San Diego police officers then headed immediately to the location on I-8, with the help of El Cajon police and the California Highway Patrol.”