TALENT, Ore. — During a routine traffic stop near Talent, a suspect dragged a State trooper with his car before trying to dump a bag containing a large brick of cocaine, according to Oregon State Police.
A statement from State trooper Travis Peterson described a traffic stop that began under relatively normal conditions. On Tuesday, February 20, the trooper witnessed a white Nissan Altima, driven by 24 year-old Giovanni White of Lynnwood, Wash., going 73 mph in a 65 mph zone on Interstate 5. The trooper also said that White changed lanes abruptly, without signaling for the proper distance.
Peterson pulled White over and approached the Nissan. Peterson noticed the distinctive smell of marijuana wafting from inside White's vehicle, and began to suspect that White might be in possession of illegal quantities of the substance.
The trooper called for backup after asking that White sit on the hood of the patrol car. White would not consent to a search of his vehicle, and the trooper called for backup—including a drug-sniffing canine unit. White, says the trooper, was shaking with nervousness.
Before backup could arrive, according to Peterson, White ran and jumped into his car. The trooper pursued, and was able to reach in through White's driver-side window in an attempt to take the keys or put the vehicle into park. The two of them exchanged blows before White began to drive away, with Peterson still hanging out of the Nissan's window. Peterson was forced to jump from the window before White could accelerate.
Peterson said that he was able to run back to his patrol car and pursue the fleeing suspect. A bystander in another vehicle directed the trooper towards Exit 27, onto Barnett Road. After sighting evidence of a crash near the intersection with Ellendale Road, Peterson saw the white Nissan parked behind a AAA office, the trunk open.
The trooper parked and was again aided by a bystander, who said that the suspect was headed down towards a creek. After running after the suspect, Peterson saw White toss a black bag into the creek before the trooper was able to wrestle White to the ground and make an arrest.
Peterson said that a MADGE detective tested the substances recovered from the bag which had been thrown into the creek. One package tested positive for cocaine, and is believed to be about 2.2 pounds. There were other non-descript packages which could not be tested at that time without disturbing the evidence.