Caller helps police collar DUI suspect in south Anchorage
An alert driver who called 911 and tailed a suspected drunk driver for about 15 minutes late Tuesday is credited by Anchorage Police with helping officers take her off the streets.
Stephanie M. Flores, 27, was held on charges of DUI and resisting arrest, police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said Wednesday. A caller told police at about 11:20 p.m. Tuesday that a Honda Civic, which Oistad said was driven by Flores, “was swerving all over the Seward Highway” headed north near the scales south of Potter Marsh.
The caller remained in touch with dispatchers until officers tried to pull over the Civic near 36th Avenue at about 11:35 p.m.
“The Honda's driver ignored the patrol car’s lights and sirens and continued driving down the Seward,” Oistad wrote in a statement. “After other officers arrived on scene, they were able to box the Honda in and get the vehicle stopped just prior to Benson Boulevard.”
Flores was argumentative when she was pulled over, Oistad wrote, and “became combative when officers began placing her in handcuffs.”
No injuries were reported in the chase, Oistad said, and no apparent damage was sustained by police vehicles.
“This arrest may not have happened without the citizen’s help,” Oistad wrote.
So far this year, Oistad said Anchorage 911 dispatchers have received 830 Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately or REDDI calls, an average of roughly 100 a month. Some of those have involved apparent vigilantism, however, such as an Aug. 31 case in which police said a driver was cited for reckless driving after chasing a stolen vehicle at high speeds and into wrong-way traffic on Brayton Drive.
“The big thing is following dispatchers’ instructions and doing so from a safe distance -- there were no high speeds involved,” Oistad said. “In this case, the citizen was able to follow at a safe distance, at safe speeds, and so we’ve very grateful for their extreme cooperation.”
Flores’ Civic never caused a collision during the incident, Oistad said.
“No reports of any crashes or her actually hitting anyone -- just several near-misses, both with other vehicles and the guardrails,” Oistad said.