Custer man steals car, leads police on chase

A Custer man who appeared to be high on drugs led Whatcom County sheriff’s deputies on a chase on Guide Meridian.

According to the sheriff’s department, Darren Andrew Nixon, 28, of Custer, broke into a tan Mercury Cougar in a church parking lot on Guide Meridian at around noon on October 26. Witnesses reported Nixon had been wandering around the parking lot for about an hour, and they believed he was high on drugs.

When two sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene, they were told Nixon had left in the stolen vehicle, heading north on Guide Meridian. The deputies caught up to the vehicle and attempted to pull it over but Nixon fled, reaching speeds of more than 80 mph and cutting through parking lots to evade police.

When the chase became too dangerous to bystanders, the deputies called off the pursuit. However, the Cougar was seen a short time later, driving the speed limit on Smith Road near Northwest Road. Deputies began the chase once again, and were able to stop the vehicle by performing a pursuit intervention technique in which deputies bumped the vehicle with their squad car, causing it to spin out. The car came to a stop in the 1100 block of Smith Road around 12:40 p.m. and officers took Nixon into custody.

Undersheriff Jeff Parks said Nixon appeared to be high on methamphetamines. He was charged with vehicle theft, attempting to elude law enforcement and driving with a suspended license.

Nixon has a history of drug abuse problems and was arrested earlier this month for breaking into a vehicle on Lakeway Drive in Bellingham. At that time police arrested Nixon with Ziploc bags full of black tar heroin and syringes. In a plea deal, Nixon pleaded guilty to possession in exchange for dropping the vehicle prowling charge. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail and released October 21.

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