CASA GRANDE — A Casa Grande man is facing charges after pointing a gun at another motorist while trying to enter a local car wash and then leading a high-speed chase, authorities said.
Deiontay Lewis, 22, has been booked into the Pinal County jail on suspicion of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a weapon by a prohibited person, possession of marijuana, a drug paraphernalia violation, unlawful flight from a law enforcement vehicle, endangerment and a warrant.
According to the Casa Grande Police Department, officers received a call at 11:49 a.m. on Sept. 1 from a man who was attempting to get his car washed at a car wash on Florence Boulevard with his 7-year-old child in the back seat. The caller said as he drove through the gas station parking lot to the car wash, a gray Camaro also entered the parking lot and the two vehicles nearly collided. The caller allowed the male driver of the Camaro to go ahead of him toward the car wash.
According to the police report, the driver of the Camaro suddenly pointed a gun at the caller and yelled something at him. The caller told officers that he couldn’t hear what the other driver said.
The caller reported the license plate number of the Camaro and a description of the driver and a passenger as he followed the vehicle into the car wash.
When the caller was later asked why he had followed the Camaro into the car wash, he told officers he didn’t know why and added “that maybe because he had already called police.”
A police officer near the Interstate 10 entrance interchange at Florence Boulevard spotted the Camaro as it entered the highway and followed the car. As the officer tried to catch up to the car, the driver of the Camaro suddenly pulled over onto the shoulder. The officer pulled onto the shoulder about 100 feet in front of the Camaro. As the officer exited his patrol car, the Camaro sped off.
The officer got back into his car and gave chase, trying to follow the car as it weaved through traffic at around 100 mph. Another motorist in an SUV motioned to the officer that the Camaro had left the highway at Jimmie Kerr Boulevard.
The officer got off the highway at Jimmie Kerr Boulevard and spotted the Camaro ahead of him, doing nearly 100 mph on the three-lane street. The officer lost the car around Sunland Gin Road and ended the pursuit.
A few minutes later, a U.S. Border Patrol agent reported that the Camaro made a right turn onto Sunland Gin Road and nearly struck his vehicle. The Border Patrol agent followed the Camaro as it made another turn off of Sunland Gin Road into the parking lot or a hotel. When the agent found the Camaro, it was abandoned. The agent also discovered a gun in a trash can.
A woman at a nearby truck stop told officers that three men entered the store. One man left the store and started walking up to vehicles, asking if he could get a ride. A K9 officer stopped two of the men.
At the same time, an officer spotted the third suspect getting into a white truck and leave the area. Officers were able to stop the truck in a fast food drive-thru at another nearby truck stop, ordered the suspect, Lewis, out of the truck at gunpoint and placed him in handcuffs.
According to police reports, the man who called in the incident positively identified Lewis as the man who pointed the gun at him. Officers were able to use video footage from the car wash to identify Lewis as the driver.
At the police station, one of the men in the car told officers that the car belonged to a family member. He was hanging out with a friend and Lewis and the trio had been using some drugs. He said he didn’t know Lewis well and Lewis had allegedly threatened to pistol whip him with the gun if he didn’t allow Lewis to drive the car. The man said he didn’t see what happened at the car wash because he was looking at his phone and thought police were trying to pull them over because Lewis was speeding. In a second interview with officers, the man admitted to seeing the confrontation.
When the trio got to the truck stop, Lewis allegedly threatened to pistol whip the man again if he didn’t take the gun and get rid of it. The man said he took the gun and threw it into a trash can.
The other man in the car had a similar story, stating that Lewis was driving the Camaro when they went to the car wash. He also said he didn’t see what happened at the car wash because he was on his phone at the time. He told officers that he never saw a gun during the incident. In a second interview with officers, the man admitted to seeing the gun when the trio stopped at the truck stop.
When Lewis was interviewed by officers, he allegedly told them that he was driving the car because the other two men were under the influence of drugs and he feared they were going to wreck. Lewis told offices that he didn’t have a gun and he hadn’t pointed a gun at anyone. He also said he hadn’t gotten into a dispute at the car wash.
Lewis said he didn’t know why he took off when officers started following him. He said he didn’t stop because he was scared because he had been using drugs.
Officers collected DNA samples from Lewis and one of the other men and put in a request to have the gun tested for DNA by the Arizona Department of Public Safety lab.