BELLINGHAM - A man who had been on the run since September was arrested on Tuesday, Dec. 11, after a police chase through Skagit and Whatcom counties that ended with a crash on Nulle Road and an armed standoff that lasted several hours.
Detectives in an unmarked car first spotted Adrian Sassen Van Elsloo, 30, of Bellingham driving a 1990 blue Lincoln Town Car in the 1700 block of Old Highway 99 North in Skagit County. He was wanted on numerous felony warrants on a variety of drugs, weapons and eluding charges, said Bellingham police spokesman Mark Young.
As the detectives followed Sassen Van Elsloo, he began to drive erratically. As more police cars arrived to help, Sassen Van Elsloo sped off, refusing to pull over. Several vehicles chased the car to the outskirts of Fairhaven, along Old Samish Road, down East Lake Samish Drive and, ultimately, to Nulle Road, where the car hit spike strips and spun into a ditch. During the pursuit, Sassen Van Elsloo reached speeds in excess of 80 mph, Young said.
Law enforcement officers swarmed the scene and a Bellingham Police SWAT team arrived. Sassen Van Elsloo was waving a handgun and threatened to commit suicide when talking to a negotiator. After failed attempts to get Sassen Van Elsloo to surrender, police shot a non-lethal pepper ball into his car. Sassen Van Elsloo placed the loaded handgun on the dashboard and was arrested.
Sassen Van Elsloo was taken to St. Joseph hospital, where he was treated and released for a minor injury, then booked into the Whatcom County Jail on numerous felony warrants and for attempting to elude a police vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm and driving with a revoked license. Deputies from the Whatcom and Skagit County Sheriff's Office along with troopers from the Washington State Patrol assisted in the arrest.
Sassen Van Elsloo has a history of leading police on dangerous high-speed chases.
In 2001, he was eluding a patrol car when Whatcom County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Herzog was killed, according to court records. A deputy in training was driving the patrol car that chased him for speeding on Samish Way.
Herzog, seated in the passenger side of the patrol car, was killed when the driver lost control and crashed into a ditch, striking a tree.
Sassen Van Elsloo was sentenced to four years in prison.
He had been on the lam since September, when he was named as a suspect in another high-speed chase through Bellingham. He was two hours late to a court date - for additional driving-related charges - when that chase started.
At the time, Young said, Obviously, he likes to run from cops. We dont want anything else to occur.
Reach CALEB HUTTON at email@example.com or call 715-2276.