Three weeks ago a pursuit began when Sheriff deputies spotted a black 2006 Audi A3 that had been reported stolen in Valley Center. Driver Brian Kleinfeldt, a career criminal, took off and started a 37-minute chase which got up to 90 miles per hour.
The stolen Audi went through the Rincon and Pauma and Pala Indian reservations, on its way to Highway 395. The California Highway Patrol was able to deploy spike strips and punctured the tires on the vehicle, but multi-felon driver Kleinfeldt continued on to the 15 freeway. The total mileage for the pursuit was 26 miles, ending when the Audi finally burst into flames and stopped on the 15 freeway near the Valley Parkway exit in Escondido, about 5 p.m. on June 28, 2017.
Brian Eugene Kleinfeldt, 43, appeared in San Diego Superior Court this week, on July 17. The six-foot-tall defendant sat in court with his hands cuffed to chains around his waist, his tattooed arms protruding from the short sleeves of his jail shirt. Kleinfeldt chose to make a plea deal and admitted two felonies: vehicle theft and evade officers with wanton disregard for public safety. He admitted prior convictions and prison stints for vehicle theft and home burglary in San Diego County.
One of his past offenses happened in May of 2006, while he was on parole for a prior conviction. In that incident, Kleinfeldt led deputies on a chase from Poway into Rancho Penasquitos. That pursuit went on for more than 40 minutes and reached 100 miles per hour. Deputies first noticed Kleinfeldt when he was blocking traffic and driving erratically. During that chase Kleinfeldt got on and off the 15 freeway; he finally bailed out of the car while it was still moving, leaving the stolen BMW to run into a parked car. In that case he was arrested on suspicion of under the influence of drugs and possession of stolen property and auto theft and felony evade. (Deputies also arrested Kleinfeldt’s friend, into whose home he had run trying to escape, his pal was wanted on an outstanding drug warrant.)
Public records show at least 17 different criminal cases have been filed against Kleinfeldt in different courthouses in San Diego County, since he was 19 years old.
For his most recent offenses, Kleinfeldt is expected to be sentenced to seven years and four months in prison. Superior court judge Sim von Kalinowski remarked that Kleinfeldt could have gotten more than 13 years if he had been convicted at trial, because of his prior convictions, which normally “enhance” sentencing.