The driver who led state troopers across freeways in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa on Monday afternoon had a warrant for his arrest in connection with a drug possession case, court records show.
State troopers pursued Allen K. Bartoli, 27, of Morristown, for nearly an hour, finally stopping him at the Gilbert Road overpass on the Loop 202 in Mesa.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety began pursuing Bartoli when he refused to pull over when troopers attempted to stop him for a traffic violation on Interstate 10, near 67th Avenue, officials said. That happened at 4:14 p.m., DPS said.
The car drove east through central Phoenix on I-10 as rush-hour traffic was picking up. Numerous trooper vehicles began attempting to stop the black hatchback car, but Bartoli refused to stop as he transitioned from I-10 to the Loop 202 freeway and headed into Tempe.
DPS troopers deployed Stop Sticks at several points, which deflated tires on the vehicle, but Bartoli continued moving slowly on flattened tires into Tempe and east into Mesa on Loop 202.
Troopers were able to keep rush-hour traffic several miles behind, allowing the car to move slowly as the pursuit continued. Television helicopter pictures showed police throwing more Stop Sticks on Loop 202 in Mesa, but Bartoli evaded one of them, officials said. Pictures clearly showed damage to the tires, as the car continued moving slowly, followed by multiple DPS vehicles.
Troopers initiated a pit maneuver on the vehicle as it moved under the Gilbert Road overpass, bumping the car, causing it to spin and come to a stop. Bartoli was taken into custody after a struggle in which troopers used what was described as an “electronic control weapon” to incapacitate him, DPS said. Live television pictures showed him walking under his own power in handcuffs.
Bartoli was booked on suspicion of felony flight, possession of dangerous drugs, aggravated DUI and resisting arrest and on an outstanding felony warrant from Pinal County, DPS said.
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