A man whose car tire was slashed during a dispute with a homeless person at a San Francisco gas station on Tuesday night ended up taking police on a low-speed chase that ended with a splash in a Berkeley lake.
Mick Lee, 50, of San Francisco, was arrested on multiple charges following the bizarre series of events that reportedly began with an argument with his neighbor near his Castro district home.
During that dispute, Lee allegedly bashed his neighbor's door with a hammer before fleeing the scene in his car, according to KTVU (Ch. 2).
Lee allegedly unraveled even further when he drove his black Landrover to the Chevron gas station at Sixth and Harrison streets, where he got into a dispute with a homeless person. The homeless person reportedly slashed one of the Landrover's tires during the spat. Lee then got into an argument with the gas station employee, police said. Apparently he thought the gas station should pay for the tires, KTVU reported. Outraged, Lee then allegedly rammed his vehicle twice into the door of the station's convenient store before fleeing.
Lee was then pulled over by California Highway Patrol at Seventh and Bryant streets. Instead of cooperating, he fled with CHP in pursuit.
The flat tire made for a rather sluggish pursuit. The chase ended when Lee allegedly drove the vehicle into a small lake in Berkeley off of Potter Street in Berkeley Aquatic Park.
Lee reportedly swam around in the lake a bit before coming to shore, where he was promptly arrested. San Francisco police said they were not involved in the chase, but handled the arrest.
The outburst would seem out of character for Lee, who was featured in a Christmas story in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2010. Every year for eight years, Lee claimed in the article, he would display white butcher paper and markers outside his home for passers-by to write their Christmas wishes upon.
Lee told the Chronicle it encouraged people to “stop and smell the roses and enjoy what is out there.”
Lee's mental health was being examined, a police official said Wednesday.
Lee was booked on vandalism, evading police and hit-and-run charges, police said.