Deputies pursue man in stolen U-Haul in Clallam County

A pursuit of a stolen U-Haul led to a tackle and an arrest in blackberry bushes in Clallam County Friday, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

At about 9:55 p.m. Friday, deputies received a tip a 28-year-old Port Angeles man was at a home in the Gales Addition neighborhood in Port Angeles.

The man, identified as Andrew P. Benson, had an outstanding warrant as well as probable cause for theft of a motor vehicle and eluding.

According to the 911 caller, Benson was driving a U-Haul truck. Deputies arrived at the location, but were unable to find him.

At 11:25 p.m., deputies returned to the area to try and find Benson and the U-Haul again, where they found the truck with a man and woman inside.

When Benson was quickly identified as the driver, a deputy pulled his car in front of the truck.

The deputy then ordered both people to get out of the truck. The woman got out of the truck and walked away.

According to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, when Benson refused, he erratically drove the U-Haul towards the patrol car, crossing the centerline of the roadway.

Deputies believed Benson may have been under the influence, so a pursuit was initiated.

Benson forced other cars off the road, drove the wrong way on a one-way road and nearly collided with several vehicles.

When Benson drove the U-Haul into a yard, he stopped at the north end of North Baker Street.

According to deputies, Benson jumped out of truck and ran away, where he jumped over the edge of an embankment.

A deputy grabbed Benson, as they both tumbled down the embankment together, crashing about 10 feet down into blackberry bushes and stinging nettles.

After a brief struggle, Benson was taken into custody.

Benson was booked in the Clallam County Jail on charges of eluding a police vehicle, driving under the influence, resisting arrest, obstructing a law enforcement officer, reckless endangerment, and driving while license was suspended.