An out-of-control SUV operator and his passengers came under police fire yesterday morning after the driver used his vehicle to assault two officers, police said.

Shortly after 2 a.m., a SEPTA officer in Old City watched as a black Ford Expedition sped through the neighborhood before parking on Chestnut Street near Letitia.

The officer approached the SUV on foot and as he did so "the vehicle came right towards him," said city police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore.

A city police officer on club detail rushed to the scene to assist, police said. As he neared the vehicle, it fishtailed, pinning him against a parked a car.

The city cop was freed when the driver again directed his vehicle at the SEPTA cop, police said. Numerous shots were fired by both officers before the SUV fled east on Chestnut Street with its rear window blown out, Vanore said.

The city police officer was treated for minor injuries, including shoulder and leg pain, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. The SEPTA officer was unhurt.

It's unclear how many individuals were in the SUV, but shortly after the incident the bullet-riddled vehicle and injured men showed up at and around the Hospital of the University Pennsylvania.

At least one man entered the hospital seeking treatment for a gunshot wound, while another was found "a block or so away" on Spruce Street, Vanore said. The men were held for questioning.

"Right now, we believe both of these guys could have been in the vehicle . . . but we're not sure who was the operator and who were the passengers," he said. "We're investigating, but as of yet, no one has been charged."

Yesterday morning's gunfire played out just feet from a parking lot off Chestnut where a man was shot in the head and killed and another critically wounded three weeks ago at about the same time of night.

On Nov. 18, police said at the time, patrons who had left Dreemz Ultra Lounge at 120 Chestnut St. got involved in an altercation on the parking lot.

Gunfire erupted, and James Glover, 23, of Upper Darby, was shot in the head and killed, police said. Another man was wounded. It was not clear if Glover had been armed, police said. No one has been charged in the killing. *