A police pursuit passed briefly through Costa Mesa on Friday afternoon.

The fleeing driver led patrol cars through the city at speeds of up to about 50 mph, Costa Mesa police said.

The pursuit started when Huntington Beach police tried to pull over the driver at about 12:30 p.m. near Beach Boulevard and Slater Avenue because he was wanted on a probation violation.

"We were asked by probation to detain him," said Huntington Beach police Lt. John Domingo. "We attempted to detain him, and then he fled."

Officers chased the man into Costa Mesa when he crossed over the Santa Ana River on MacArthur Boulevard.

The driver turned south on Harbor Boulevard, and officers followed him to Superior Avenue near the border with Newport Beach, and there Huntington Beach police decided to stop pursuing him.

Huntington Beach police said they had identified the man and decided it was safer to abandon the chase and contact him later.

"We thought the pursuit was going to be more of a threat than the lack of apprehending him at that time," Domingo said.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck