Arrest Made After Intense DPS Pursuit on Loop 101

A man was arrested on Tuesday after police said he caused multiple car crashes on Loop 101 in Scottsdale when he drove in the wrong direction in an attempt to evade Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers.

According to a statement from DPS, at around 4:20 p.m. on Tuesday, a DPS trooper was headed northbound in a fully marked patrol vehicle on Loop 101 near Chaparral Road. The trooper saw a vehicle without a license plate and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the driver, later identified as 52-year-old Adam Christopher Wanko, drove off, initiating a pursuit.

Officials said that the initial chase went on for nearly one mile on the highway, where at one point Wanko cut across the gore area and multiple lanes of traffic to try and lose the trooper, nearly causing a collision between the two.

Court documents state that Wanko was traveling around 90 mph when he swerved through the gore area and traffic lanes.

Man arrested following DPS pursuit on Loop 101
Man arrested following DPS pursuit on Loop 101

“In an effort to end the pursuit and the perceived risk to the motoring public, the trooper found the safest opportunity to conduct a precision intervention technique (PIT) maneuver on the suspect vehicle,” DPS said in a statement.

Though the maneuver seemed to be successful in bringing Wanko’s vehicle to a brief complete stop, officials stated that Wanko then “deliberately drove in circles, accelerated, and once again fled from the trooper.”

Wanko then intentionally drove the wrong way in an attempt to evade the trooper, traveling south in the northbound lanes. The trooper continued to pursue Wanko, who drove against oncoming traffic for another mile before crashing into five other vehicles.

DPS said Wanko and his passenger were injured, along with four people in the other vehicles who reported minor wounds. All were treated at local hospitals and released.

Wanko was booked into jail without bond on multiple charges including endangerment and unlawful flight. He had outstanding felony warrants, while his passenger was released without charges.

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