Ask the DUI Expert: What's the Craziest Encounter You've Had as a DUI Officer?
This week, we ask Officer William Pelarenos: What's the craziest encounter you’ve experienced as a DUI police officer?
Officer Pelarenos: I have had quite a few crazy encounters. The ones that come to mind are always those drivers that don’t stop for the police.
One night in March, 2009, I stopped a car for disobeying a stop sign. As I walked up to it, the vehicle sped off down the road. When I was able to catch up with the vehicle, it had already sideswiped a pillar underneath the expressway ramp, damaging the entire drivers side and blowing out a tire. I tried to stop him again but he took off onto the highway with a blown out front tire.
He continued down the highway, refusing to pull over. I could see that the rubber tire has been totally shredded away from his front wheel. Sparks flew from the metal grinding along on the concrete highway. Due this damaged tire, he was only traveling at about 20 or 30 mph. I pulled my squad car up directly next to his vehicle. We looked at each other. I motioned for him to pull over. He nodded his head as if indicating ‘yes,’ but continued to drive.
He took the next off ramp and exited the highway. The ramp dumped out onto an overpass, which was icy and slanted downward. As the driver pulled his wheel to the right, the car began twirling in a semi-circle. He hit the gas and the rear tires spun on the ice. The front rim was totally flattened at this point, so the vehicle would not move forward. When he stopped accelerating, the car would slide back. Then he would accelerate again and the tires began revolving, then slide back. It was like watching a pendulum rock back and forth.
I blocked all traffic with my squad car so no one could drive near this fool, then exited my vehicle and began walking slowly towards his. The vehicle’s driver's side door was crushed in from slamming against the pillar earlier, so there was no way he could open it. Next thing I knew, he slid across the front seat and evacuated the vehicle out of the passenger side. I took off after him. Sprinting towards the end of the bridge, he vaulted himself over the railing and disappeared into a grassy knoll below. That was the last I ever saw of him.
Back inside the vehicle, I found hypodermic needles. Obviously this guy was a drug addict and didn’t want to go back to jail. I towed and impounded the car, then chalked that one up for the books.
Got a DUI question for Officer Pelarenos? Ask him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Twitter, @policeproject1.