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Motorist leads reckless, meandering chase through San Diego

Posted at 2:30 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 17:30:03-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A motorist who fled from officers near Hoover High School Wednesday led police on a meandering, roughly 45-minute road chase, running stoplights and driving the wrong way on one-way streets before pulling over near Lindbergh Field and making a failed attempt to escape on foot.

The man drove off when patrol personnel approached him at about 12:15 p.m. to check on his welfare in response to a report that he appeared distraught while sitting in a white Chevrolet Malibu parked in the 4400 block of El Cajon Boulevard in the Teralta East area, according to San Diego police.

The fleeing motorist, whose name was not immediately available, traveled over various mid-city streets before heading west on University Avenue through City Heights, North Park and Hillcrest.

Early on in the chase, the driver ran over a spike strip laid out by police in his path, winding up with at least one flat tire on his car, Officer Tony Martinez said.

After crisscrossing streets near Scripps Mercy Hospital, the man -- who appeared to be talking on a cellphone throughout the pursuit -- headed south on Fifth Avenue, driving against light traffic on the one-way northbound thoroughfare.

Reaching downtown San Diego, the motorist crisscrossed the busy urban center for about 15 minutes, often driving at slow speeds, blowing through red lights and traveling in the wrong direction on one-way streets as police cruisers and an SDPD helicopter tailed him and officers placed more spike strips ahead of him.

Eventually, he proceeded west through the Cortez Hill and Little Italy districts on B Street, then north on Pacific Highway, at one point driving onto a sidewalk to evade the pursuing police personnel.

Just after 1 p.m., the fleeing man drove into a car-rental lot near San Diego International Airport, pulled over, jumped out of his vehicle and ran off into a parking garage.

Officers gave chase and got the man into custody following a brief struggle, police said.

No injuries were reported.