Driver Slams Into Hydrant in Oceanside While Fleeing Police

The suspect sheared a fire hydrant in front of the Ocean Vista Apartments on North Way, creating a huge mess

A driver slammed into a fire hydrant while trying to flee from police outside an apartment complex in Oceanside Friday morning, sending water shooting into the air and onto nearby parked cars.

The Oceanside Police Department received a call at 12:05 a.m. about a man with a handgun involved in a dispute at the Ocean Vista Apartment complex in the 3700 block of North Way.

When police arrived at the scene, the man was in the process of leaving by car, OPD said. After the suspect spotted police, he immediately reversed and hit a fire hydrant and several cars.

The man, who was driving a GMC Yukon, sheared the fire hydrant. A geyser spewed water high into the air.

The street was soaked, cars were soaked, and the area was a mess.

“This is, the kind of, stuff where you just hear it on TV or maybe in the movies or something but never – I guess, I’d never think to see this,” said resident Ernesto Solano.

Solano said the driver hit four cars, including his dad’s car.

He noticed his dad’s car had been hit when the car had moved positions in its parking space, nearly hitting the car parked next to him.

"I didn’t know what to think. I couldn’t comprehend how someone managed to hit all these cars and move the fire hydrant, with enough force to do that," said Solano. 

Eventually, the driver drove deeper into the apartment complex before hitting a dead end. OPD said he then fled on foot.

Police posted a message on Twitter at around 1:20 a.m. alerting residents of “police and helicopter activity” on Vista and North ways and Harvard Drive due to an armed suspect in the area.

Residents at the Ocean Vista Apartment complex were awakened to loud sounds of helicopters, sirens and gushing water.

“Around midnight, I just heard this loud – like, I was asleep – and I heard a loud, errr. And then I just heard, like, this, kind of, rush,” Solano said. “And I see all this water rushing out of the fire hydrant.”

At 1:45 a.m., Oceanside police said the area had been cleared.

People were seen outside the apartment complex with mops, cleaning up the water.

No injuries were reported.

Oceanside police are still looking for the driver. 

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