The officers had been pursuing a stolen car for nearly
20 minutes before the driver was captured after turning down a dead-end street on Narragansett Avenue.
Arrested was Allen Blount, age 33, according to
Det. Gary Hassen of the police department’s Western Division.
Driving at speeds not exceeding 30 miles per hour, the chase took on a parade-like nature as customers, employees and residents in the area scurried outside to view the spectacle.
Hundreds of curious onlookers, many with cell phones capturing the action, watched the event unfold as the stolen vehicle criss-crossed the area repeatedly, even driving right down store-lined Newport Avenue at one point.
Besides the police cars following the 1999 two-door black Honda vehicle, other patrol units raced up and down streets in an attempt to get in front of the vehicle, whose driver made random turns, at times retracing his route, said Hassen.
At the corner of Abbott and Saratoga streets, police were successful in deploying a set of spike strips in front of the car, and the hollow spikes did their job, puncturing both of the car’s left tires, said Hassen. Still, the suspect continued driving until the car was down to its rims.
But the suspect made a mistake when he turned westbound in the 5100 block of Narragansett Avenue, which dead-ends at the ocean. Hassen said officers were concerned the suspect might jump down to the beach below, but he was quickly taken into custody at gunpoint by a cluster of officers who had leaped from their cars as the Honda came to a stop.
The incident began when an alert patrol officer spotted the Honda westbound on West Point Loma Boulevard at Chapman Street. The officer radioed in the car’s license plate to dispatchers, who quickly confirmed it was stolen.
The officer followed the Honda westbound as other patrol units, including a canine officer and a law-enforcement helicopter raced to assist. By the time the suspect reached Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, the procession included five patrol cars, with others en route.
When officers attempted to make a traffic stop on the vehicle near Abbott Street, the suspect refused to stop, and the chase was on, according to Hassen.
Blount is expected to be charged withreckless driving while attempting to evade police officers, possession of controlled substances and a violation of parole.