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Thursday, April 2, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Chase ends with snooze

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.

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 high speed, court documents say.

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 chase ended at Columbus Street and Mission Avenue.

Van Tassel twice attempted a pursuit intervention technique maneuver to stop the truck. On the second try his patrol car somehow became attached to the truck, according to the affidavit. Aleto continued to attempt to flee, dragging the patrol car about 7 feet.

Aleto refused to get out of 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 the officer said appeared to be high, then closed his eyes and went to sleep in the roadway, according to the affidavit.

Officers found methamphetamine 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 Friday, according to the affidavit.

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.

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