A hit-and-run driver got a big surprise in San Diego Tuesday when the victim he struck began chasing after him, catching him after a mile-long chase both by car and on foot.
The victim – a city employee who wished to remain anonymous – said a silver minivan came out of nowhere and hit his car at Miramar Road and Camino Ruiz at around 5:45 p.m. and then took off.
“I just hit the gas pedal, trying to get away, and he hit me,” the victim recalled.
The city employee, who said he had police training, immediately reacted, following the suspect with his vehicle.
“I followed him. I started honking so other cars would get out of the way,” he said. “I called 911 and gave them the plate information.”
After a mile-long pursuit in the middle of rush hour, the hit-and-run suspect pulled over in a parking lot. He tried to run away on foot across Black Mountain Road but the victim ran up to him and pinned him to the ground until police arrived.
“I was a police officer. I went through phase training and it just kicked in,” the victim said. “I told him to stop, just don’t keep running. I told dispatch that ‘I will take him down now because he keeps running.’”
“[I] grabbed him by his arm, turned around and put him on the ground and put my weight on him and him to not try to get away,” he said. “He just said, ‘Leave me alone, I’m scared. Leave me alone.’”
According to San Diego police, this wasn’t the only hit-and-run the suspect was involved in. Right before this incident, police believe the suspect hit another car in the 8600 block of Miramar Road and drove away.
The victim said he doesn’t recommend anyone else doing what he did to chase down the suspect, and police agree. Officers said the pursuits should be left to them.
The victim said he only chased the suspect because of his prior training.
“I would not have done anything to endanger anyone else,” he added.