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Troopers pulled over a blue Ford Focus for an equipment violation early Sunday afternoon. When contacting the driver of the vehicle, the driver would give troopers a false name before speeding off in his car. A pursuit was initiated and troopers followed the fleeing vehicle that at times reached 110 miles per hour.
When the vehicle came to the Portage intersection, the driver turned on the Portage Highway and headed north on that road. Soon, the driver came to the Whittier Tunnel. The driver, now identified as 22-year-old Tyler Arndt, turned into the oncoming lane and went under the gate with his vehicle as the Department of Transportation was attempting to close the tunnel.
Arndt continued through the tunnel at high speed, passing several vehicles at turnouts inside the confined roadway. He continued through the tunnel, but when he attempted to pass a black Cadillac SUV, he collided with the vehicle. He didn’t let even that stop him and he continued through the tunnel for several hundred feet more before exiting his vehicle. Once he left his disabled vehicle, Arndt ran toward the Whittier end of the tunnel.
Troopers searched the tunnel for Arndt. He would be found hiding behind a portable toilet near the Whittier end of the tunnel.
After ascertaining Arndt’s identity, troopers checked his records to find that he had two outstanding felony arrest warrants for probation violation and eluding.
Arndt was arrested and charged with Failing to Stop at the Direction of a Peace Officer I, Making a False Report, Reckless Driving, Driving While License Revoked, Failure to Report an Accident, Driving in Violation of Limited License, Assault III (for placing the occupants of the SUV in fear of serious physical injury) and the outstanding warrants.
Arndt was transported to the Anchorage Jail and remanded there on charges. Arndt’s bail was set at $21,000.
No one was injured in the incident.