Suspect finally arrested: Maple Falls man, 34

  WHATCOM ­— A man in a stolen U-Haul truck and then on foot led pursuers on an hours-long fugitive hunt into the hills Wednesday, Nov. 18, the county Sheriff’s Department reported.

  The suspect ultimately arrested was Edward Sturgeon, 34, of Maple Falls, who was first brought to a hospital to be treated for hypothermia before being booked into jail on multiple charges.

  The fugitive twice put the truck into reverse to slam into officer cars, each of which was significantly damaged, and two officers also went to the hospital to be examined.

  The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Department put out this account:

  “This morning at about 7:30, a Nooksack Tribal Police officer spotted a freshly stolen 20-foot U-Haul truck near the 4600 block of Mount Baker Highway. WCSO deputies responded and attempted a high-risk vehicle stop in the 5800 block of the highway. The stolen vehicle stopped initially, then suddenly reversed at a high rate of speed and intentionally crashed into one of the WCSO patrol vehicles. The patrol vehicle was struck so hard that it collided with the Nooksack Tribal Police vehicle that was stopped approximately 30 yards behind. Both airbags deployed on the patrol vehicle.

  “The suspect then fled in the vehicle and the remaining WCSO deputy pursued the truck up a logging road near Market Road north of Deming. Approximately one mile up the logging road, the truck again stopped and accelerated in reverse, forcefully striking the second deputy’s patrol vehicle. Both airbags were deployed as a result of the collision. 

  “The suspect was able to drive the U-Haul up the mountain before abandoning it and fleeing on foot. A manhunt ensued that involved several WCSO deputies, agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sumas Police, Ferndale Police Department, the air unit from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and a K-9 team from both Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and Marysville Police Department.

  “A 4½-hour track through the mountainous terrain ensued. The track was impressive as it was conducted in steep terrain and heavy underbrush in pouring rain. 

  “A nearby citizen alerted deputies that the suspect was seen jumping a fence to a pasture at the base of Sumas Mountain. One of the K-9 teams responded to that area and located the suspect, taking him into custody for three counts of first-degree assaul, two counts of first-degree malicious mischief, felony eluding, theft of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle. 

  “The suspect is 34-year-old Edward Sturgeon of Maple Falls. Both deputies were taken to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center for treatment and released.

  “Mr. Sturgeon was transported to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center for hypothermia. 

  “Both patrol vehicles were significantly damaged and taken out of service.”