SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 21-year-old man who allegedly stole a taxicab minutes after getting released from the downtown jail, then led police on a short road chase before being re-arrested, pleaded not guilty Friday to auto theft and receiving stolen property charges.

Qais Yonisi was ordered held on $50,000 bail.

Deputy District Attorney Kelly Rand told Judge Runston Maino that Yonisi was first arrested Tuesday on drug charges. Yonisi bailed out of jail about 6 a.m. Wednesday and jumped into the back of a cab, telling the cab driver that someone was trying to kill him and to drive off, Rand said.

A short time later, Yonisi allegedly kicked the driver out and took over control of the taxi, according to the prosecutor.

Officers caught up with Yonisi a short time later on State Route 15, near Market Street, SDPD spokesman Ed Zwibel said. The defendant refused to yield and fled to the north, entering Interstate 805 before exiting onto University Avenue in North Park.

Yonisi proceeded to flee to the west and south for a short distance, then pulled over in the 3800 block of Boundary Street and surrendered peaceably. He was positively identified by the cab driver, according to Rand.

A readiness conference was scheduled for Dec. 20 and a preliminary hearing for Jan. 10.