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Witness: downtown standoff leads to 'crazy' drive on sidewalk, crowded street

Witness: downtown standoff leads to 'crazy' drive on sidewalk, crowded street
Posted at 4:06 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 20:43:23-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Witnesses are sharing new details about a wild downtown scene Monday afternoon when a standoff led to a car driving onto a sidewalk, barely avoiding hitting people in the street.

Vanny Uat was working from home Monday afternoon, in his 3rd floor apartment, when he heard the sirens.

Outside, near W. Cedar Street and Union Street, police were in a slow-speed pursuit of a man they say was driving erratically.

“The guy was waving his hand, flipping the cop off. The cop was able to get him pulled over on Union street. As he pulled over, he wouldn't come out of the car. He wouldn’t listen to the cop’s order,” said Uat.

Uat scrambled outside. He recorded cellphone video about a half hour into negotiations. Several officers can be seen standing right next to the car.

An hour-and-a-half into the incident, he says police tried to end it.

“I see them shooting the pepper balls inside of the car. Also, pepper-spraying the guy inside the car. Didn't do much. He rolled up the window and started flipping the cop off again,” said Uat.

Cellphone video captures what Uat says happened next. The car pulled forward onto the sidewalk before turning left, driving a short distance before it moved onto the street. There,

It sheared off the bumper of a news vehicle — barely missing a group of people in the street — before driving off.

“It happened so fast it was like a movie. I was In shock. Didn’t know what to say,” said Uat.

As police chased after him, they left behind neighbors in disbelief at what they just saw.

“We neighbors thought they had it under control, and when the guy got away, we were disappointed,” said Uat.

Police said Monday they had followed him that night to his home, where he refused to come out. A felony warrant has been issued for his arrest, but it's unclear if he's in custody.

A San Diego Police spokesperson said they always try to deescalate these situations in the most peaceful way possible, taking into account the safety of the public and suspect. In this case, they said they deployed measures while the car was parked, including spike strips and blocking the car's path from behind.