SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A suspected carjacker was arrested after he drove off a cliff in Santa Cruz and escaped injury, authorities said Wednesday.
"It was going really fast," said witness Ellen Kane, who was driving home about 4 p.m. Wednesday when the stolen Honda whizzed past her.
"And then all of a sudden this car's shooting on the other side, went past us and blew the stop sign and then a police car turned off Woodrow and was chasing it," Kane said.
A few blocks later, the stolen car plunged into the ocean near West Cliff Drive and Stockton Avenue, near a scenic vista known as Whale Point.
"This is a really sharp corner," Kane said. "Because if you're going 60 or 70 or a lot faster, it could be that he just couldn't make the corner.
The suspect may not have made the corner. But miraculously, he made it out alive, climbing out of the car as officers held up at gunpoint.
"He was able to get out of the vehicle on his own and he climbed up the cliff and we were able to make an arrest without further incident," said Ashley Keehn, spokeswoman for the Santa Cruz County sheriff's office.
Authorities arrested JAir Force veteran John Kenyanjui, 56, of Portland on suspicion of carjacking, evading police, hit-and-run and a weapons violation.
It all started near Davenport north of Santa Cruz, where witnesses called 911 to report a man firing a handgun into the air.
"Not long after that, we then got calls saying the same man had carjacked a victim in that area and fled in that vehicle," Keehn said.
He started heading north on Highway 1 but turned around and ended up going south toward Santa Cruz.
"The suspect refused to pull over, going at extremely high rate of speed, up to over 100 mph," Keehn said.
Video taken by a witness shows the suspect driving on the wrong side of the road while being chased by California Highway Patrol officers and deputies.
Law enforcement officials say they called off the pursuit as the suspect entered Santa Cruz. He catapulted into the water a short while later.
First responders - including rescue swimmers on jet skis - spent time scouring the ocean to confirm that the suspect was only person on board.