Driver with 4-year-old in his car leads long police chase - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 -

Driver with 4-year-old in his car leads long police chase

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A driver with his girlfriend's 4-year-old child riding in the back seat of his car led officers on a 45-minute road chase through several North County cities Friday before being forced to a halt and getting arrested.

The California Highway Patrol began getting 911 calls shortly after 2 p.m. from motorists reporting that a red sedan was stopped in a traffic lane on southbound Interstate 5 near Harbor Drive in Oceanside with a man and woman inside, apparently arguing, CHP public-affairs Officer Robert Catano said.

A short time later, the female passenger got out of the stationary 2010 Dodge Caliber and began trying to get the child out of the back seat, according to witnesses. The driver then suddenly sped off, leaving her standing on the freeway.

Within a few moments, a passer-by picked up the woman and started tailing the Caliber as the victim relayed its positions to an emergency dispatcher via her cell phone. The woman reported that the fleeing man was her boyfriend and the child her son, Catano said.

Just south of Leucadia Boulevard, the suspect yielded to a CHP motorcycle officer, but took off again after the patrolman dismounted and began walking toward his car.

The suspect then proceeded to exit and re-enter the freeway, this time heading north, according to Catano. After a short distance, he got off on Encinitas Boulevard and continued fleeing, leading officers over a number of city streets.

In several locations, police deployed tire-flattening spike strips in the suspect's path, but he apparently managed to avoid running over them.

Finally, just after 3 p.m., a CHP officer managed to stop the fleeing driver with a so-called PIT maneuver, in which the front of a police cruiser is used to nudge the back of a suspect's vehicle to make it veer out of control and skid to a halt.

The driver, whose name was not immediately available, was taken into custody near the intersection of Carlsbad Boulevard and Island Way without further incident. The unharmed child was taken into protective custody.

The suspect was expected to be booked into county jail on various charges, including failure to yield, resisting arrest and child endangerment.

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