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He was driving without headlights, but ended up in worse trouble

Alex J. Andrukov’s 2008 Mercedes C300 is shown after he crashed during a chase from downtown to near Bellis Fair mall late Thursday night.
Alex J. Andrukov’s 2008 Mercedes C300 is shown after he crashed during a chase from downtown to near Bellis Fair mall late Thursday night. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A 23-year-old Bellingham man is facing several charges in connection with a police chase and car wreck late Thursday, authorities said.

Alex J. Andrukov was arrested early Friday after fleeing police in a pursuit across Bellingham that began just before midnight, when an officer saw him driving a 2008 Mercedes C300 without headlights in the 200 block of East Magnolia Street.

Andrukov was booked into Whatcom County Jail about 2 a.m. Friday on charges of attempting to elude a police vehicle, hit and run of an attended vehicle, reckless endangerment, DUI and resisting arrest.

“Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, which failed to yield and attempted to elude officers by driving away in a reckless manner,” said Bellingham Police Lt. Don Almer.

Almer said Andrukov ignored the patrol car’s emergency lights and siren and drove toward Interstate 5, entering the freeway northbound at King Street, which is the Lakeway Drive on-ramp. A second police unit joined the pursuit, which reached speeds “well over the posted speed limit” both on city streets and on the freeway, he said.

After leaving the freeway at Meridian Street, Andrukov headed north and then turned west on Telegraph Road, where he drove across a median strip and smashed into a retaining wall at Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar.

Andrukov ran after crashing his car, but an officer shot him with a Taser, Almer said.

“Officers gave lawful commands to Andrukov, who disregarded them,” Almer said. “An officer utilized a Taser successfully to stop Andrukov’s flight.”

Firefighters examined both Andrukov and his passenger, a 22-year-old Bellingham man, but they weren’t taken to the hospital, Almer said.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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