A suspected drunk driver hit multiple parked cars, bounced off of two trees on Shoreline Boulevard, ran a red light and drove the wrong way in an effort to escape police on Wednesday morning. The suspect was finally caught while attempting to flee on foot after his car lost a tire and got stuck on a median near the intersection of North Shoreline Boulevard and Terra Bella Avenue on March 19, police said.
No one was injured in the chase, but the incident did add to rush-hour gridlock in the area Wednesday morning.
It all began around 7:30 a.m., according to Sgt. Saul Jaeger, public information officer for the Mountain View Police Department. An officer making a traffic stop first saw the driver making a U-turn from the southbound lanes of North Shoreline Boulevard to the northbound lanes at the intersection of Montecito Avenue.
According to Jaeger, the driver took the turn too fast and ended up going off the road, over the sidewalk and onto a patch of grass and dirt. The driver accelerated, passed back over the sidewalk, crossed over the two lanes and hit a tree on the median.
At this point, Jaeger said, the driver of the car backed up the vehicle -- a dark gray Ford Explorer -- made eye contact with the witnessing officer and then drove north on North Shoreline Boulevard.
The officer pursued the driver at relatively low speed, Jaeger said -- observing as the suspect pulled into oncoming traffic near North Shoreline Boulevard and West Middlefield Road, in order to drive around other vehicles in his way. While on the wrong side of the road, the man ran a red light at the intersection of North Shoreline and West Middlefield.
At the next intersection -- Terra Bella Avenue and North Shoreline Boulevard -- the man ran the car up on the median, where it became stuck, Jaeger said. He tried to flee on foot, but didn't make it far before he tripped and fell on the sidewalk. That's where the officer arrested him.
Police identified the driver as 30-year-old Jesus Haro of Mountain View. He was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI, Jaeger said, noting that more charges will likely follow.
Upon further investigation, Jaeger said, police believe Haro may have hit multiple parked cars in the parking lot of the Safeway located at 570 N. Shoreline Blvd. prior to making the wild U-turn that initiated the chase.