A suspected car thief drove toward a sheriff’s deputy in Valley Center early Monday, narrowly missing the lawman and setting off a pursuit that ended with the driver getting away, authorities said.

The deputy saw the driver blow through a red light at Valley Center and Cole Grade roads around 2:20 a.m., according to San Diego County sheriff’s Sgt. Nick Peters.

San Diego County Sheriff's Department cruiser.  Photo by Chris Stone
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

The deputy followed the driver to a dead-end road, where the man turned the black Nissan 240 he was driving around, facing the lawman, who had exited his patrol vehicle after using it to block the driver’s, Peters said in a statement.

Instead of complying with the deputy’s orders to stop, the man immediately drove toward the lawman and his vehicle, narrowly missing both, Peters said, adding that the deputy got back into his vehicle and pursued the man for about 10 miles.

The pursuit ended at Paradise Mountain and Lake Wohlford roads when the man crashed and bailed on foot. Peters said a sheriff’s helicopter and police dogs were used to search for the man, but he got away.

The Nissan turned out to be stolen from the Oceanside area, according to Peters, who said investigators were also looking into whether the man was involved in a burglary that occurred earlier in the night in the Valley Center area.

— City News Service