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At approximately 3:59 a.m. Thursday, June 22, the West Fargo Police Department attempted to stop a vehicle for an equipment violation.
As the officer initiated the traffic stop, the suspect vehicle fled southbound on Sheyenne Street to the I-94 interchange, headed east with officers in pursuit. A pursuit intervention technique (PIT) was executed on the I-94 eastbound onramp. The suspect vehicle continued the pursuit on I-94 where a passenger fled the vehicle on foot and was not apprehended by officers.
The driver of the suspect vehicle continued fleeing, turning around and traveling westbound towards Sheyenne Street on I-94. The suspect vehicle proceeded north to 7th Avenue W. when the driver jumped from the moving vehicle. The vehicle came to a stop in the 200 block of 7th Avenue W. where a third individual was removed from the vehicle, initially detained, and later released without charges.
After a short foot pursuit, Samantha Hutchinson, a 31-year-old female from Thief River Falls, Minnesota, was arrested on charges of fleeing in a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under suspension, and fleeing on foot.
A PIT is a controlled maneuver that is an effective way to end pursuits when the suspect vehicle is fleeing law enforcement. West Fargo Police Department officers conduct PIT maneuver training as another tool to safely end pursuits in order to protect the greater community.
The West Fargo Fire Department assisted out of an abundance of caution as the vehicle had begun smoking following the PIT. Crews quickly knocked down and controlled the smoking vehicle.