Man arrested for leading police on high speed chase while "teaching his dog to drive"
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, WA - A man was arrested Sunday after leading troopers on a high-speed chase with his dog sitting in the driver's seat, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Patrol said.
According to CNN, the man hit two cars on separate occasions and failed to stop both times, leading state troopers on a high-speed chase up Interstate 5.
"He was driving very erratically. So erratically that multiple people called 911," trooper Heather Axtman told CNN.
Another officer attempted to corner the man's car and upon catching a glimpse of the driver's seat, saw that a pit bull was behind the wheel, while the its owner steered.
As the man continued his attempt to evade police, he swerved onto Centennial Trail, a path for pedestrians and bicyclists in Snohomish County.
"The fact that there wasn't anybody on the trail is nothing shy of miraculous," Axtman said. "We are very thankful."
Eventually, troopers were able to use spike strips to end the pursuit. During the arrest, Axtman said the suspect gave them one explanation: He was "trying to teach his dog how to drive."
"I wish I could make this up," Axtman, who is also a public information officer, said. "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."
No major injuries were reported in either crash and the Washington State Patrol charged the man with reckless endangerment, hit and run, driving under the influence and felony eluding. His bond was set at $8,500 and he is set to appear in court March 30.
The dog, however, was not ticketed.
In fact, State Police described the pit bull as a, "very sweet girl" and said she was taken to an animal shelter when her owner was arrested.
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