CHP chase through Berkeley ends with vehicle on fire

An early morning CHP pursuit into Berkeley ended in arrest Wednesday. Photo: CHP Oakland
An early morning CHP pursuit into Berkeley ended in arrest Wednesday. Photo: CHP Oakland

California Highway Patrol officers arrested a Berkeley man early Wednesday morning after chasing him for more than an hour through two counties from I-880 to the Caldecott Tunnel.

Oakland CHP spokesman Officer Sean Wilkenfeld said the man refused to get out of his vehicle even after it caught on fire. Police ultimately used a K-9 [police dog], which bit the man, to get him out of the vehicle.

Police identified the man as 28-year-old Abdul Henan Zahid and arrested him on suspicion of evading police and driving under the influence.

The pursuit began before 3:25 a.m. Wednesday after the Menlo Park Police Department tried to stop Zahid, according to the CHP. Menlo Park police and the Hayward CHP used a spike strip to flatten some of the tires on Zahid’s black Toyota Avalon, but it didn’t stop him. 


The Oakland CHP picked up the 25 mph chase on northbound Interstate 880, and followed Zahid at low speeds on both city streets and the freeway for about 90 minutes, Wilkenfeld said.

The vehicle finally stopped at about 5:15 a.m. near where Tunnel Road becomes Skyline Boulevard, not far from the Caldecott Tunnel.

Once stopped, the vehicle began catching fire, but the suspect would not exit the car,” Wilkenfeld said. “Officers used a less lethal shotgun, which shoots bean bags, to break open a window. However, even after breaking open a window, the suspect still would not exit the burning car, so a K9 was used to apprehend him.”

According to NBC Bay Area, at one point Zahid was waving a pole out of his window before he was arrested.

CHP Sgt. John Koven said Zahid was “sweating very profusely” when he was taken into custody and appeared to be showing signs of intoxication or “possibly a mental disorder,” according to media reports.


Wilkenfeld said Zahid will ultimately be taken to Santa Rita Jail for booking once he is medically cleared.

Have a question about a local public safety incident? Write to crime@berkeleyside.com. Photographs and videos are always appreciated. (The headline of this story was corrected after publication for accuracy.) 

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