Deputies force fleeing suspect to roll his car during pursuit

Whatcom County sheriff’s deputies arrested a Bellingham man wanted on warrants from Illinois and other charges when he crashed his car after a 10-mile chase northwest of Bellingham on Thursday, Oct. 6, authorities said.

Undersheriff Jeff Parks said in a news release the incident began after Robert E. Little, 25, was stopped in his four-door Chrysler on a traffic violation about 5:45 p.m. Thursday on the 2000 block of Marine Drive.

Parks said Little wouldn’t provide identification or otherwise communicate with deputies.

“While deputies were trying to communicate with the driver, he suddenly and without warning accelerated and sped away, nearly striking deputies with his vehicle,” Parks said in the release.

He said deputies pursued Little west on Marine Drive to Smokehouse Road, Haxton Way, Cagey Road, and Lummi Shore Road. Several Sheriff’s Office patrol cars joined the pursuit, along with Lummi police officers.

“For over 10 miles, the suspect aggressively avoided attempts to disable or trap his vehicle by swerving across the roadway, accelerating and braking, and changing lanes,” Parks said.

Officers laid spike strips in an unsuccessful attempt to deflate Little’s tires. He finally was stopped by a PIT maneuver, in which an officer’s car taps the rear quarter of the fleeing vehicle, causing it to spin.

Little’s car sailed into a ditch and rolled onto its side. He fled on foot but was caught by a police dog about 6:10 p.m. on the 3000 block of Smokehouse Road on the Lummi Nation Reservation, authorities said.

As Little was being taken into custody, he took a swing at a sheriff’s deputy, causing a minor injury, Parks said.

Parks said Little was arrested and booked into Whatcom County Jail on the fugitive warrant for aggravated assault.

He also was booked on suspicion of attempting to elude a police vehicle, resisting arrest, obstructing a law enforcement officer, third-degree driving with a suspended license, and third-degree assault on an officer.

He also faces other warrants in Whatcom County courts for failure to appear on charges of second- and third- and fourth-degree assault and third-degree theft.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty