Car theft suspect with child in backseat leads police on pursuit

SAN DIEGO -- A woman driving a stolen sedan with a child in the back seat rear-ended a patrol car on an East Village street Tuesday, then led officers on a reckless, high-speed road chase that authorities soon called off for safety reasons.

The minor collision in the 1600 block of Imperial Avenue kicked off the pursuit shortly before 2:30 p.m., according to San Diego police Officer Dino Delimitros.

As the unidentified motorist fled to the east and south at speeds up to at least 80 mph, one of the front tires on the car she was driving went flat for unknown reasons and shredded apart. Patrol personnel tailed her for about five minutes before being directed by supervisors to back off due to her hazardous driving, the officer said.

Though she was now riding on three tires and a bare wheel, the suspect continued on into the Encanto area before abandoning the disabled vehicle in the area of Angelus Avenue and Di Marino Street, Delimitros said.

Officers searched the area by ground and aboard a patrol helicopter but were unable to locate the suspect and the child, he said.

No injuries were reported.