It started with what appeared to be a drug-fueled joy ride in a stolen pickup truck. It ended with a nap.
Spokane police arrested Benjamin P. Aleto, 27, Tuesday night after they say he fled from Officer Ron Van Tassel through a north Spokane residential area, according to an affidavit. Aleto had a woman in his car, who later said she knew Aleto from high school, but couldn’t remember his first name.
Van Tassel was driving north on Napa Street when he saw Aleto driving a stolen Toyota pickup southbound, according to an affidavit. Aleto shifted into Van Tassel’s lane, traveling toward him at a high rate of speed, court documents say. Van Tassel flashed his lights, but Aleto didn’t slow or stop.
At the last minute, Aleto turned west onto Boone Avenue, narrowly avoiding Van Tassel’s patrol car, police said. Van Tassel began chasing Aleto. The woman begged Aleto to let her out, but he refused, the documents say.
The chase finally ended at Columbus Street and Mission Ave; or at least, Van Tassel tried to end it. The officer performed a PIT maneuver, attempting to hit the back end of the truck to turn it around, according to the affidavit. Aleto didn’t stop, however. He attempted to drive in reverse on Mission.
Van Tassel attempted another PIT maneuver, but his patrol car somehow became attached to the truck, according to the affidavit. Aleto continued to attempt to flee, dragging the patrol car about seven feet.
Aleto refused to exit his vehicle, instead staring ahead with a “crazed look on his face,” according to the affidavit. Van Tassel said he had to drag Aleto out of the vehicle in order to arrest him.
Aleto, who appeared to be high, then closed his eyes and went to sleep in the roadway, according to the affidavit.
Officers found methamphetamines and a glass pipe in the truck, as well as a key ring with shaved keys on it, according to the affidavit. The truck had been reported stolen Aug. 9, according to the affidavit.
No officers were injured, police said. Aleto suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Aleto was booked into Spokane County Jail on charges of attempting to elude police, unlawful imprisonment, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and driving with a suspended license. His bond was set at $35,000.