Wrong-way driver suspected of DUI rams patrol car in Bellingham

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A man who refused to pull over rammed a patrol car, drove the wrong way on Interstate 5 and had a stolen motorcycle in the back of his truck, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

On Sunday at around 1:30 a.m., deputies saw a truck without a license plate heading south on I-5 near Meridian Street at Bellis Fair Parkway in Bellingham.

Police said the truck was weaving and had several equipment violations, including driving with an unsecured load.

Deputies said that when they tried to pull the driver over, he exited the freeway and slowed down in the right lane as if he was going to stop.

“Instead, the driver accelerated and maneuvered to intentionally ram the front passenger side of the patrol vehicle, pushing it down the onramp to I-5 and continuing back onto the freeway,” a news release from the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies followed the driver, later identified as a 44-year-old Bellingham man, and continued to try to get the man to pull over. At one point, the truck drove northbound in the southbound lanes of I-5.

In an effort to stop the driver, deputies performed a pursuit intervention technique maneuver, which flattened the rear driver’s-side tire, but did not stop the truck.


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As the truck continued to flee, the flattened tire fell off the rim and the truck continued to accelerate, leaving a shower of sparks in its wake.

Deputies then performed a second PIT maneuver, which stopped the truck. Police said the driver ignored commands to get out of the truck and was seen reaching under and behind his seat. Deputies fired an OC pepper powder projectile into the truck, which caused the driver to get out.

The man was taken into custody.

Through the open driver’s side door, deputies saw a .380 semiautomatic pistol on the floor between the door and the driver’s seat. Deputies also saw pieces of tin foil, glass pipes and torches, all of which are used to smoke narcotics.

In the truck bed, there was a motorcycle that was reported stolen through the Bellingham Police Department.

Deputies also saw a vehicle trip permit on the truck’s back window that had been altered. It could not be seen by deputies earlier because of the large motorcycle in the truck bed.

After getting a search warrant, deputies searched the truck and found a blue M30 pill, commonly known to be fentanyl, partially smoked on a foil on the driver’s seat.

The man was booked into Whatcom County Jail on the following charges:

  • Driving under the influence
  • First-degree assault
  • Attempting to elude a police vehicle
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm
  • Possession of a stolen vehicle
  • Possession of a controlled substance – fentanyl
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Resisting arrest
  • Third-degree driving with a suspended license
  • Vehicle trip permit violation

The man was out on bail for 2021 charges for possession of a stolen vehicle and failure to register as a sex offender.