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Suspected drag racer arrested after hitting police vehicle

SAN DIEGO — A drag racing vehicle struck an unoccupied police vehicle in a Bay Ho neighborhood Monday morning to escape a traffic pursuit but the teen driver was arrested when he returned to the scene of the alleged crime, police said.

Officers responded about 12:30 a.m. Monday to the report of vehicles drag racing in the area where Morena Boulevard reaches its northern end near Jutland Drive, San Diego police officer John Buttle said.

An officer attempted to stop one of the vehicles, but the car sped away and ran several stop signs at 50 miles per hour in a residential area, Buttle said.

“The suspect drove to the dead end of 4900 Monongahela Street and turned around facing the police unit,” Buttle said. “The officer exited his patrol vehicle, leaving the driver’s door open, and attempted to make contact with the suspect. The suspect sped off and stuck the open driver’s door, causing minor damage to the door.”

The officer whose vehicle was hit called off the chase but continued to search the neighborhood, Buttle said. Police eventually located the suspect back at the same dead end where he struck the police car, but his second attempt to escape was unsuccessful.

“The suspect saw the police approaching and accelerated, hitting a street sign,” Buttle said.

Officers arrested the driver, an 18-year-old man, without further incident, Buttle said. No officers were injured.