Border runner tries to flatten local police officer
By Meg Olson
lone motorcycle cop narrowly escaped in one piece when a
border runner tried to mow him down with a stolen Dodge
Ram pickup. That guy tried to kill me, said
a shaken Jon Landis several hours after a bizarre chase
in downtown Blaine ended with the stolen truck crashing
back into Canada where the driver was later arrested.
Just after 10 a.m. on June 13 the truck was entering the United States at the Pacific Highway port of entry when customs officers ran the Alberta license plate and the truck came up as stolen. Asked to hand over the keys and get out of the vehicle, the driver hit the gas instead and fled into Blaine.
Just as it was coming out over the air everything happened at once, said deputy police chief Mike Haslip. As customs was just giving out details, a border patrol agent looked in his rearview mirror and saw the truck turn on to H Street. The pickup drove slowly past the schools and turned left on Mitchell, followed by local police officer Jim Glover who signaled the driver to pull over. As soon as he saw the lights, he rabbitted, Haslip said. The driver turned east onto Alder and slid to a stop at the dead end. Boxed in by Glover and a border patrol agent, he made his escape across a garden and a lot and onto Adelia Street and sped back to Mitchell Street.
Turning north again on Mitchell the truck encountered Landis and swerved into the opposing lane. When Landis tried to swerve out of the way, the truck veered towards the motorcycle again. I swerved over to the left but he came right at me again, Landis said. Landis broke to the right and missed being hit by the accelerating truck by inches, he said. He skidded into the curb but stayed on the bike. After I got my wits about me I did a U-turn, he said.
Police followed the truck at a distance as it crossed the freeway and headed back to the school zone. He had just tried to cream someone and school was in session, Haslip said. The truck sped past the schools and back up H Street, then did the unexpected. He surprised everyone by turning back towards Canada instead of running out H Street, Haslip said. Driving up the shoulder past truck traffic, the truck ran through a closed Canada Customs and revenue lane, breaking a metal barrier, and disappeared into Surrey. The Blaine pursuit had only lasted three to five minutes, Haslip said.
Shortly afterwards a Surrey resident reported an unknown truck at her home and the driver running into the bush. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police brought in a canine unit and arrested the 26-year-old male from Edmonton, Alberta.
It was frightening, Landis said of his near miss. I just saw that front grill getting bigger and bigger and thought that was it. Landis is now training another Blaine officer for motorcycle duty. It was good riding, Haslip said. He barely missed being struck but he stayed on the bike.