Deputies use spike strip, PIT maneuver to make fentanyl arrest after early-morning chase

A Bellingham man who was arrested for attempting to elude while driving under the influence is facing drug charges after authorities discovered fentanyl in the vehicle.

Deputies from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a driver passed out in a vehicle on around 5 a.m. March 8 at the Cascade Radio Group parking lot on Yew Street Road. The man, identified as Lance David Perrine, 45, reportedly was slumped over in the driver’s seat of the car with drug paraphernalia in his lap. During a search of the vehicle deputies discovered 32.7 grams of fentanyl, along with small plastic bags and an electronic scale.

Planning ahead, the deputies put a spike strip behind Perrine’s vehicle before waking him. When he did wake up and realized he was being contacted by law enforcement, he reversed his car over the spikes, which were not successful in stopping the vehicle.

The vehicle then took off from the scene. Deputies followed and were able to stop the vehicle by performing a Precision Immobilization Technique, or PIT maneuver. It’s tactic used by a pursuing vehicle to force another vehicle to turn sharply, causing the driver to stop.

In this case, Perrine’s vehicle was forced off the road into a ditch. Perrine was detained by deputies and was taken to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham as a precaution for any injuries.

Perrine was booked into Whatcom County Jail four days later, on March 12, for suspicion of eluding a police vehicle, DUI, driving without a valid operator license, possession (of a controlled substance) with intent to deliver and obstructing a law enforcement officer.