A Lynden-area resident learned the hard way that if police are chasing you, your home isn’t a safety zone.
Ira Dean Hagins, 36, was arrested Sunday on charges stemming from an incident early Saturday when he sped away from a Lynden Police officer, slammed into a guardrail and drove home – where he refused to answer the door, said Lynden Police Chief Jack Foster.
“We just went back and arrested him the next day,” Foster said. “It’s pretty easy when he’s known to you.”
Foster said having officers return the next day to make an arrest seemed more prudent than surrounding the house in a standoff. He said officers won’t be able to allege that Hagins had been drinking, but he faces several more serious felony charges.
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Hagins remained in custody Monday morning at the Whatcom County Jail, where he was booked for no valid operator’s license without other ID, aiding and abetting an attended hit and run, attempting to elude a police vehicle, reckless driving, and reckless endangerment.
Whatcom County District Court records show that Hagins was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in November 2010 – he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving in that case. He has been cited and found guilty several times in the past several years for driving without a seat belt. In January 2017, he was cited and paid a fine for driving too fast for conditions.
Foster said the chase began about 2 a.m. Saturday when an officer clocked Hagins’ open-topped Jeep going 54 mph in a 25 mph zone on Grover Street downtown.
“He made a wide turn and accelerated rapidly” to flee, Foster said, adding Hagins angled north where Grover Street becomes Vinup Road, traveling at “a much greater speed” than the initial 54 mph.
He ran the stop sign at East Badger Road and slammed into a guardrail, where his Jeep got stuck, Foster said. As the officer approached to make an arrest, Hagins freed his Jeep and fled.
“At that point, he got his vehicle loose and headed east,” where he turned into his driveway, Foster said. Footprints led from the Jeep to Hagins’ door, the chief said.