Driver arrested after leading police on freeway chase across metro Phoenix
PHOENIX – A man that led dozens of law enforcement vehicles in a medium-speed chase across the Valley was arrested on Wednesday.
The chase began after the driver, 51-year-old Scott Rasmussen, failed to pull over for a traffic stop in east Mesa and fled the area.
Rasmussen’s tires on his white Jeep blew out during the chase, but he kept going on rims.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety’s SWAT Team boxed in the white Jeep with guns drawn after the vehicle lost control near Interstate 10 and Verrado Parkway.
Rasmussen then emerged and was taken into custody without incident a few minutes after stopping.
The arrest was made by U.S. Marshals Service, which worked with Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force members in partnership with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
“Troopers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety demonstrated excellent tactics and strategy during the pursuit and arrest of this desperate fugitive,” U.S. Marshal David Gonzales said in a press release.
Rasmussen was wanted for a federal supervised release violation out of the District of Utah. He was also wanted by the Harrisonville Police Department in Utah on forgery and theft by deception charges.
He may also face local charges, as Rasmussen was in possession of firearms at the time of his arrest, according to the release.
“Today’s display of teamwork as the Task Force apprehended a dangerous fugitive of justice, is indicative of our relentless commitment to public safety and solid law enforcement partnerships,” Arizona Department of Public Safety Colonel Frank Milstead said in the release.
Authorities closed on-ramps to westbound I-10 ahead of the white Jeep to keep the freeway clear of motorists during the chase that started before noon and ended around 12:30 p.m.
The highway remained closed at Verrado Way in the wake of the arrest, but it was reopened by 1 p.m.
Eastbound traffic wasn’t restricted, but drivers slowed down at the sight of the flock of police vehicles with their lights on in the other direction.
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