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Driver escapes after erratic chase across city

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SAN DIEGO -- A motorist who fled from officers in La Jolla Thursday crisscrossed the coastal San Diego area for about 45 minutes before finally pulling over in the East Village and escaping on foot.

Patrol personnel were responding to a request to check on the man's welfare when they found and tried to contact him as he sat in a parked Honda Accord in the area of Caminito Eastbluff and Via Sonoma about 5:15 p.m., according to police.

Seeing them, the man drove off, and the officers followed and tried in vain to pull him over.

The suspected driver, Ahran Haugley, fled to the north through La Jolla, driving at high speed and so recklessly that police decided to back off the chase for safety reasons, San Diego Police Department Officer Robert Heims said.

The motorist, believed to be in his early 40s, continued to the north, at one point pulling over briefly in a commercial parking lot in Del Mar before continuing to drive in the direction of Solana Beach.

Near the Del Mar Race Track, the man turned to the east, then entered Interstate 5 and headed south as news helicopters tracked his movements from above.

Making his way through heavy rush-hour traffic and driving in a mostly safe manner, the motorist went through Carmel Valley, merged onto Interstate 805 and then entered state Route 163.

After traversing Mission Valley and Hillcrest, he arrived in downtown San Diego.

A police helicopter crew watched as the man drove on city streets for several blocks and pulled into an underground parking lot below a multi-use building in the 900 block of F Street.

Officers converged on the structure and found the man's car abandoned inside the parkade, Heims said.

Police took up positions in the area and searched the building and surrounding areas for the driver, but he was not found and the search ended about 7:30 p.m., Heims said.

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