Over the weekend, a man found himself arrested while leading Washington State Police on a high-speed chase on Interstate 5 with a few winding roads.
With all that is happening in the world with the spread of COVID-19 scaring everybody, one good thing happened out of this epidemic. Thankfully, no one was injured or killed. What baffled everyone was what they saw behind the wheel driving the vehicle.
While almost every state is pushing the mandates for the stay at home order, many people were off the road and out of the public. This poses an excellent reason why there was not too much damage done.
Two vehicles were struck by the car, which was being chased by State Police on two separate occasions. Both times the car refused to stop after the accidents and continued to lead the officers on the hunt. Minor injuries were reported but nothing life-threatening, according to a spokeswoman.
State Trooper Heather Axtman told reporters, “He was driving very erratically. So erratically, that multiple people called 911.” She described the suspect as driving “absolutely recklessly.”
The top speed of the chase maxed out at 109 miles per hour while troopers were clocking the pace. One trooper went around the side of the vehicle in an attempt to block the car.
That’s when they noticed something was definitely out of the norm. The suspect sitting in the driver’s seat at the steering wheel was a pit bull. Yes, the dog was driving the car.
The dog was sitting on the driver’s side, and the passenger, a man from Lakewood, Washington, was helping the dog steer the car.
There was no mention of who had control of the gas pedal and the brakes, but according to those who witnessed everything, there was no time for braking!
Yes, this was a scene one would only think could happen in the movies. Maybe another sequel to “Smokey and the Bandit.” It took its effect on the State Troopers as they wondered how to stop a dog who is driving a car while a lunatic is helping the dog steer from the passenger seat. This was surely something these troopers had not trained for.
The more the State Troopers worked to get the vehicle off the road, the more persistent the drivers of the car became to getaway. They took a detour off onto Centennial Trail. Bicyclists and pedestrians use this trail in Snohomish County, and Axtman said it is continuously being used.
Axtman stated, “The fact that there wasn’t anybody on the trail is nothing shy of miraculous. We are very thankful.” As bad of a situation, this was, it could have turned out much worse with people dead or many people injured.
The state of Washington is one of the hotspots for the coronavirus and was issued a stay at home order.
At the end of the line, State Troopers used spike strips to bring the pursuit to an abrupt end. A hard day’s work turned into something rather humorous when they finally were able to make the arrest.
Police officers hear every excuse in the book. So what did this fellow have to say for himself? He stated he was “trying to teach his dog how to drive.”
Axtman gave her input to reporters after realizing the excuse the man offered. She stated, “I wish I could make this up. I’ve been a trooper for almost 12 years, and wow, I’ve never heard this excuse. I’ve been in a lot of high-speed chases, I’ve stopped a lot of cars, and never have I gotten an excuse that they were teaching their dog how to drive.”
According to the Washington State Police, the man was charged with two counts of hit and runs, reckless endangerment, felony eluding, and driving under the influence. The judge set his bond for $8,500, and his court date was March 30, a few days before April Fool’s Day.
No, this is not a joke. This actually happened, and with the police working tirelessly, the State Police may have thought they were seeing things from over-exhaustion.
Apparently, since the man was under the influence, he was probably going to have his dog be the designated driver. That’s not how that works. A dog cannot drive a car, and this is a prime example. Technically, the man still had the wheel. As for the dog, Axtman called her “a very sweet girl,” and she was taken to an animal shelter.