- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A Fairbanks-area man sought on a warrant used a can of pepper spray and tools thrown from the back of his pickup to temporarily elude Alaska State Troopers.

Logan Austin, 25, and Sandra Austin, 23, were taken into custody Monday night after traveling 72 miles north on the Parks Highway from where an officer first attempted to stop them for speeding in Willow.

The Austins were charged with felony eluding and two misdemeanor charges, reckless driving and giving false information. In addition, Logan Austin, who was sought on a $20,000 arrest warrant, was charged with felony and misdemeanor assault.

Online court documents did not list attorneys for them.

The arresting officer was not on duty Tuesday, and troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said by email she could not provide details of the pursuit or the relationship between the Austins.

The incident began with an attempted traffic stop for speeding at Mile 67 Parks Highway in Willow. The driver and passenger gave false names, troopers said in an online dispatch.

The officer had the driver step out of the truck to further investigate his identity, and the driver, later identified as Logan Austin, pulled out a can of pepper spray and attempted to spray the officer.

Austin got back in the truck and sped off. The trooper pursued.

At one point, Sandra Austin took over the wheel as Logan Austin crawled into the bed of the truck and heaved heavy tools and other objects at his pursuer. Logan Austin crawled back into the cab and took over driving again.

Near Mile 104.5, after 32 miles, troopers deployed spike strips, puncturing both of the pickup’s tires on the driver’s side. The truck, however, did not stop.

The truck continued another 35 miles on rims until it left the roadway and crashed into a ditch. Logan and Sandra Austin were arrested without additional resistance, troopers said.

They were jailed at Mat-Su Pretrial Facility in Palmer.


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