San Diego

Driver Slams Into Front Yard Retaining Wall, Ending Police Pursuit Through Allied Gardens

The driver's car wound up wedged into a retaining wall in the front yard of a home at Alfred Avenue and Millbrook Street

A police chase through the streets of San Diego’s Allied Gardens area Friday ended with a suspect crashing into the retaining wall of a front yard, just feet away from a home.

The San Diego Police Department said an officer tried to pull over a driver along Mission Gorge Road after that motorist was seen driving erratically on Interstate 15 at around 4:30 a.m.

Instead of yielding to the officer, the driver – behind the wheel of a dark-colored Chevrolet Camaro – sped off.

Officers followed, pursuing the fleeing suspect through city streets and into Allied Gardens.

About 20 minutes later, police said the driver hit a minivan in the driveway of a home at Alfred Avenue and Millbrook Street and then crashed, ending the chase.

Just before 5 a.m., NBC 7 captured footage of the suspect’s car wedged into a retaining wall in front of a home at the intersection.

The car was at an incline; its nose and front-half resting on top of the front yard. The other half of the car was on top of the retaining wall, the back tires on the sidewalk.

Debris from the mangled retaining wall was strewn along the sidewalk.

SDPD officials said the driver was arrested.

Investigators are trying to determine why the motorist didn’t stop for police in the first place and if alcohol or drugs were factors in the subsequent chase and crash. Officers at the scene searched the car for evidence.

Allied Gardens resident Craig Dwyer heard the commotion in his neighborhood before dawn.

Dwyer told NBC 7 he and his wife had just gotten up and were getting ready to head outside for their morning walk when they heard a loud car zipping down the street.

Then, came a loud boom and a crash.

"It was a loud crash," he recounted.

Dwyer said he at first thought the crash may have happened further away, on Mission Gorge Road, but when he walked outside, he saw the wreck right on his street in front of his neighbor's house.

He then heard sirens and police officers ordering the driver repeatedly to get on the ground.

Dwyer said a family with children lives at the home where the suspect crashed. The family hadn't woken up immediately following the crash but, when they did, would find themselves with an unpleasant surprise in their yard.

No one was hurt in the crash.

When they family awakened, they were stunned to find the crash on their lawn and their damaged minivan in the driveway.

Christian Chapman lives at the home with his wife and children. He told NBC 7 his family slept through the crash but woke up a short time later to the sound of their minivan's alarm. When he walked outside, he saw the damage to his van and retaining wall.

Chapman said he was happy no one was hurt in the crash and that officers were there to quickly arrest the suspect.

At this point, Chapman said the clean-up would just involve time, money and dealing with insurance, but again, he said he can't be too upset, since at least his family is OK.

The driver's name has not yet been released by police.

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