Attempted warrant arrest leads to pursuit

PA man investigated for eluding deputies, reckless endangerment

PORT ANGELES — An attempt to serve a warrant resulted in an extended vehicle pursuit that included a Port Angeles man driving the wrong way on a one-way street in a U-Haul truck and wrestling with a Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy in stinging nettles.

Andrew P. Benson, 28, was booked into the Clallam County jail early Saturday morning for investigation of eluding a police vehicle, DUI-drugs, resisting arrest, obstructing a law enforcement officer, reckless endangerment and third-degree driving while license suspended, according to the sheriff’s office.

Acting on an anonymous tip, deputies attempted to serve a state Department of Corrections warrant on Benson at about 10 p.m. Friday at a residence in Gales Addition, the sheriff’s office said. They also had probable cause to arrest him for motor vehicle theft and eluding a police officer.

Deputies checked the area but were not able to locate him. A deputy returned to the area about 11:25 p.m. and spotted a U-Haul truck, which Benson had been reportedly driving, the sheriff’s office said. It was occupied a female passenger and a male driver, whom the deputy recognized as Benson.

The deputy told Benson several times to exit the U-Haul as the passenger got out and walked away, the sheriff’s office said. Then Benson drove erratically past the deputy, crossing the centerline of the roadway, causing deputies to suspect Benson might be under the influence, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies received supervisor permission to pursue Benson for the suspected DUI.

Benson’s reportedly forced other vehicles off the road, drove the wrong way on a one-way street and nearly collided with other vehicles, the sheriff’s office said.

Benson drove the U-Haul into a yard at the north end of North Baker Street, stopped, jumped out and started fleeing, jumping over the edge of an embankment, the sheriff’s office said. A deputy grabbed Benson from behind and both went over the embankment, falling about 10 feet into blackberry bushes and stinging nettles.

Benson was arrested after a short struggle and then told deputies he had swallowed a baggie containing about 1½ grams of fentanyl, the sheriff’s office said. Medical personnel were called and Benson was taken to Olympic Medical Center.

After he was treated, Benson was booked into the Clallam County jail.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@soundpublishing.com.

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