What began as a routine, predawn patrol drive for D.C. police Sgt. William T. Boone yesterday ended in a wild chase in which a motorist rammed two police cruisers, sideswiped at least a dozen other cars, and left a path of destruction from 13th and G to 7th and T Streets NW.
About 6:45 a.m., Boone spotted a 1976 Grand Prix car being driven down the sidewalk on 13th Street. He approached the car and got out to investigate, police said. But the car glanced off Boone, rammed into his cruiser and sped off.
Police said they later observed the car at 11th Street and New York Avenue, where it failed to stop at a red light. The driver tried three times to hit a police cruiser there, but eventually struck only a parked car, police said.
With police in pursuit, the errant vehicle struck cars at 11th Street and Massachusetts Avenue, at Logan Circle, at 11th and Morton Streets and on Georgia Avenue before it was confronted by another police cruiser at 7th and T Streets NW.
Police said Officers James A. Griffin and Connie R. Johnson tried to stop the car when the driver attempted to run them down. Each officer fired a shot; the car swerved and struck their cruiser, a tree, a parking meter, a trash can and another tree before stopping on the east side of 7th Street.
Police said they arrested Paul G. Cenate, 20, a parking lot attendant, of 230 N. Baylor Dr., Sterling Park, Va., and charged him with three counts of assault on a police officer, reckless driving, driving under the influence of drugs and several counts of leaving the scene of a collision.