Parents say man who crashed cop car on San Mateo Bridge had mental breakdown

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Twenty-eight-year-old Jeffrey Chambers allegedly stole a Hayward police car Thursday night and crashed it as he sped toward the San Mateo Bridge. (KGO-TV)

A man arrested in a bizarre chase appeared in court on Friday.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jeffrey Chambers allegedly stole a Hayward police car Thursday night and crashed it as he sped toward the San Mateo Bridge.

RELATED: 1 arrested after stolen police cruiser crashes on San Mateo Bridge

The parents say they believe their son had a mental breakdown and they even got to the point where they called 911 to report him.

Police came by the house, assessed him and determined he did not meet their criteria for a psychic hold.

But as of 9:40 p.m. Thursday, Chambers left his house, jumped in his car and sped away.



"He threw his sweatshirt off. He was just wearing jeans and shoes and he ran out the door. And I just hoped, when we heard him speed away, I was just hoping and praying that he wasn't going to get in an accident," his mother, Cathy Chambers Lowenstein, said.

But one block from his parents' home, Chambers crashed head-on into another car in the Hayward Hills neighborhood.

Witnesses say he escaped the smashed vehicle through the sunroof.

As paramedics assessed him and police arrived, he bolted into a nearby police car and zoomed off with the emergency lights on, headed for the San Mateo Bridge.

"While he's speeding towards the toll plaza, he gets into a vehicle collision, which causes the police vehicle to roll over, turn over, and go into the ravine area," Hayward Police Sgt. Ryan Cantrell said.

Chambers was arrested. Drivers in as many as five other vehicles suffered minor injuries.

"Thank God no one was injured severely. We thank God for that nobody was," his father, Arnold Lowenstein, said.

The Chambers say their son was agitated, even manic, when they desperately called 911 to report him to police just hours before the accident. They said he was intent on seeing his 9-month-old daughter in Redwood City.

"He had a mental breakdown and we tried to get help for him hours before this happened," Cathy said.

Chambers' parents intend to pay $25,000 to bail him out of the Santa Rita Jail and will then check him into a mental health hospital in Alameda or San Mateo County.

Chambers will be back in court next week to enter a plea.

Related Topics:
traffichighway 92accidentcar accidenttraffic accidentcar crashmental healthSan Mateo-Hayward BridgeHayward
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