A 26-year-old Juneau man was arrested Tuesday after a mid-morning police chase through the Mendenhall Valley that ended with the suspect crashing his truck into a tree.
Juneau Police say Devin Moorhouse was driving a Chevy pickup that cut off a marked patrol vehicle near the McNugget intersection shortly before 11 a.m. When the officer put on his lights to pull the truck over, Moorhouse allegedly took off and ran a red light at Egan Drive and Mendenhall Loop Road, then turned onto Riverside Drive and blew another red light at Mall Road.
Lieutenant David Campbell says the officer stopped giving chase after Moorhouse accelerated to a high rate of speed.
“The officers base whether they’re going to follow someone on their discretion and they take into consideration things like how heavy is the traffic, are there pedestrians in the area, things on that line,” Campbell says.
In this case, he says the officer decided it was too risky to purse Moorhouse with Thunder Mountain High School and Riverbend Elementary School nearby.
Another officer later spotted the truck run another red light crossing Mendenhall Loop Road, from Mendenhall Blvd onto Valley Blvd. Campbell says the vehicle again failed to stop for officers, hitting a patrol car in the process, which caused minor damage.
The truck then crossed back onto Mendenhall Blvd and turned onto Aspen Avenue, before hitting a tree at the corner of Aspen and Portage Blvd. Campbell says Moorhouse was drunk and complaining of pain from the accident. He was booked at Lemon Creek Correctional Center after being evaluated at Bartlett Regional Hospital.
A 33-year-old female passenger in Moorhouse’s truck was evaluated by EMTs at the scene. Campbell says neither Moorhouse nor his passenger appeared seriously hurt.
Moorhouse was charged with with driving while intoxicated, two counts of failure to stop at the direction of a police officer, 3rd degree assault, 4th degree criminal mischief, and driving while license revoked.
The investigation into the incident continues and Campbell says more charges may be forthcoming.