Driver suspected of DUI rams patrol car during pursuit

10:20 a.m. February 19, 2008
LA MESA A patrol car driven by a California Highway Patrol officer was rammed late Monday night by a suspected intoxicated driver after a pursuit from La Mesa to Spring Valley, authorities said.
The officer first tried to pull the driver over on eastbound Interstate 8 at Jackson Drive shortly before midnight, but he exited the freeway and took off on surface streets, said CHP Officer Brian Pennings.

A passenger bailed out of the vehicle at one point and the driver ran through numerous stop signs and traffic signals and went the wrong way on surface streets, Pennings said.

The officer used his patrol car to force the vehicle to stop as it was heading west on Broadway near Lemon Grove. The man's vehicle ended up behind the patrol car and he accelerated and rammed into the back of it, damaging both vehicles extensively, Pennings said.

The driver, a 55-year-old man from San Diego, was arrested after he tried to run away. The man was believed to be under the influence of controlled substances and was booked into jail on felony and misdemeanor charges, Pennings said.

The officer complained of neck pain after the accident.

The passenger was picked up by La Mesa police. Pennings said he was a parolee at large and had outstanding felony warrants.