San Diego police chase with van ends near 54th Street

SAN DIEGO — A police chase through San Diego has ended in an hours-long standoff between authorities and a possibly armed man in a van Saturday morning.

Officers and a SWAT team had the vehicle surrounded near the intersection of 54th and Lea streets in Chollas Creek, a San Diego Police Department watch commander said. Traffic was blocked and residents on nearby Chollas Parkway and Streamview Drive were asked to stay away from the standoff.

The chase started around 7 a.m. at a home on Rex Avenue in City Heights, where officials were called about a potential case of domestic violence, according to the police spokesperson. Officers who went to the home saw a man drive off in a van with a woman. They tried to pull the man over but he refused to stop, SDPD said, and police chased him through the Mid-City area.

Eventually officers were able to get a spike strip under the car to puncture the driver’s tires. The van, a large passenger-style vehicle, could be seen in video from OnScene.TV winding slowly through a parking lot and losing air from several of its tires. A short time later, it came to a stop at the intersection in Chollas Creek.

Officers moved in and ushered the woman away from the van, pulling her to a safe distance and then turning their attention back to the driver in the vehicle. It wasn’t immediately clear what the woman’s relationship was to the man, but she had emerged from the van with a suitcase in her hand and officers could be seen interviewing her at a distance.

As police stood by and shouted commands, the man leaned forward and pulled the passenger-side van door shut. A unit with a police dog, a SWAT team and tactical paramedics with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department were called in. The SDPD watch commander said the man was thought to be armed at one point, but it wasn’t clear if he still had a weapon.

As of 11 a.m., police had not said the standoff was resolved, and were asking residents to avoid the area.

Check back for updates to this developing story.