Crime

Bellingham police spin out car to stop suspected DUI driver

Officers had to force a car to spin out and shoot out its window to get a suspected drunk driver to surrender early Friday, Feb. 26, according to Bellingham Police.

The green 2000 Toyota Camry was first spotted after 2:20 a.m. in the 100 block of Prospect Street. An officer saw the car hit a curb and pulled it over. The driver cracked open the car window and, smelling of liquor, told the officer he had been drinking, according to police.

The driver, later identified as Vincent Salvatorie Deal, 25, of Whatcom County, drove off despite the officer’s warnings, rolling his car over a tire-flattening device the officer had placed by the right rear tire.

With the tire deflating, the Camry led police on a chase through downtown, out Eldridge Avenue, along Marine Drive and eventually to Bennett Drive. There a patrol car tapped the rear of the Camry, sending it into a spin before stopping. According to police, Deal kept a hand out of sight, so an officer shot a window and then fired nonlethal rounds at him, forcing his surrender.

Deal was taken to St. Joseph hospital after passing out while being processed at the jail, according to police. Once medically cleared, he was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence, attempting to elude police and driving with a suspended license.

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