A rogue tractor trailer driver is being held in an Arizona jail on multiple felony charges, including three counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and felony flight and resisting arrest, in addition to a misdemeanor drug charge.
Raul De La Rosa Giron, 36, of Texas, led police on a 100-mile, high-speed chase March 15 through west central Arizona, forcing the closure on Interstate 40 in both directions.
The pursuit began at 8:30 in the morning in Kingman, Ariz., after several callers reported a truck driving recklessly on I-40 near the California line. Mr. Giron drove the tractor trailer into California, exited the interstate and re-entered it heading east, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.
State patrol troopers and other law enforcement authorities started pursuing Mr. Giron in Kingman as he raced toward Flagstaff at speeds reaching 90 mph, using the highway shoulder to pass other vehicles.
“For close to 100 miles troopers and deputies from Yavapai and Mohave counties tried to stop the commercial vehicle with stop sticks,” said DPS in a statement. Stop sticks are laid across the road and puncture the tires of any vehicle driving over them.
The DPS said Mr. Giron’s truck was successfully spiked and stopped near Ash Fork. Mr. Giron then leapt from the vehicle and ran. The DPS said that Mr. Giron paused at one point and “engaged troopers with an item he simulated as a weapon.” The item was later reported to be his cell phone.
One trooper fired several rounds at Mr. Giron but failed to hit him. Troopers then released a K9 which grabbed a hold of him and brought him down.
Mr. Giron was taken to a Flagstaff hospital and treated for dog bite injuries before being booked into the Coconino County jail. The incident remains under investigation, but DPS officials reported that drug intoxication and suicide by cop were two of the possibilities detectives are looking into.
Authorities have not said whether Mr. Giron owned the tractor trailer or drove it for another company.