A woman is in custody Wednesday after leading police on a slow-speed pursuit through four cities with a young girl in her backseat before surrendering in Chula Vista, police said.
The chase began about 9:30 Tuesday night in Coronado when an officer attempted to stop a blue Hyundai sedan in the 1800 block of Silver Strand Boulevard by Coronado City Hall, Coronado Police Cpl. Ralphy Garcia said. The Hyundai did not stop, instead continuing down the coastal highway toward Silver Strand State Beach.
The driver eventually led officers into Imperial Beach, where sheriff’s deputies took out two tires with spike strips and where she got out of the vehicle before jumping back behind the wheel, Garcia said. Officers continued to pursue her into San Diego and Chula Vista, where she finally stopped and surrendered.
The child, whose age and relationship to the woman wasn’t immediately known, was unharmed, Garcia said. Investigators believe the woman was driving while under the influence of an intoxicant.
Speeds at one point reached about 50 mph but were typically much slower, Garcia said. The spike strips were only deployed because officers believed the slow speeds reduced the risk of endangering the child.
“We did have information and did notice that there was a child in the vehicle,” Garcia said. “But probably at that point speeds were no faster than 30 miles per hour, and lots of times at 15 and 18 miles per hour.”
The driver also exited the vehicle in Imperial Beach before returning to the wheel, Garcia said.
“She looked back at us (and) failed to comply with any commands that we gave her,” he said. “She then turned around, raised her hands, got back in the vehicle and proceeded again eastbound on Palm Avenue.”
The Hyundai continued onto Main Street and Fourth Avenue in Chula Vista before stopping on residential Montgomery Street, Garcia said. Investigators believe the woman was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and might live in the neighborhood where she stopped, while officers immediately rushed to ensure the child’s safety.
“The little girl is fine, no issues,” Garcia said.
The driver was arrested on suspicion of failing to yield to police and child endangerment, and police expected to add charges for driving under the influence.
—City News Service
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