Police chase, fire at stolen car in the Sunset

A driver who allegedly tried to run over officers during a traffic stop led police on a high-speed chase through the Sunset District before crashing into a pole on Ocean Avenue, police say.

Three members of the Taraval Neighborhood Team, which targets violent crime hotspots, pulled over a four-door gray Accura at the corner of Junipero Serra Boulevard and 19th Avenue at about 3:55 p.m. Monday after noticing that the car had been reported as stolen, according to Lt. Mike Caplan of Taraval Police Station.

“As they approached the vehicle, the suspect – who’s a parolee – put the car in reverse and tried to reverse over the officers,” Caplan said.

One officer nearest the car fired three shots that hit the driver’s side door, but no bullets struck the driver or his female passenger, according to Caplan.

The officers leapt back to their car and chased the duo north on Junispero Serra Boulevard and then east for 21 blocks on Holloway Avenue. When the driver became cornered at the Harold Avenue intersection, police allege he deliberately backed into the squad car as he turned the car around.

From Holloway Avenue, the car sped one block north on Harold Avenue to Ocean Avenue, where it hit a pole. The car’s rear flew up in the air and crashed back down on the trunk of the squad car, according to Caplan.

The driver was arrested at the scene of the crash, while the female passenger was arrested after a foot chase to City College, he said. Neither of the suspects was seriously injured, he said.

The officers suffered mild injuries, including whiplash, but they were back at their jobs later Monday after being released from hospital, according to Caplan.

“It banged up one of the radio cars and it’ll be out of service for a while,” Caplan said.

The crash that ended the chase disrupted a handful of Muni services for about two hours, according to agency spokeswoman Kristen Holland.

jupton@sfexaminer.com

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