PORT HURON, Mich. - An off-duty Northwest Airlines pilot was suspected of driving under the influence of cocaine when he headed the wrong way on an interstate to avoid the U.S.-Canada border and led deputies on a chase, authorities said Sunday.
Investigators said Walter L. Dinalko, a veteran pilot of 20 years, had flown to Detroit Metropolitan Airport Saturday afternoon and then rented a Hummer that he drove about 70 miles to Port Huron.
Dinalko turned around three times on the Blue Water Bridge, apparently changing his mind about heading into Sarnia, Ontario, said St. Clair County sheriff's Lt. A.J. Foster.
He then drove on the wrong side of the bridge and Interstate 94, Foster said.
U.S. Customs agents alerted sheriff's deputies, who closed down the expressway and gave chase, Foster said.
Deputies laid down stop sticks, which flattened the Hummer's tires. Dinalko stopped but refused to surrender to deputies, Foster said.
"He started giving them a hard time, and a tussle ensued," Foster said. Deputies subdued him and found suspected cocaine on the floor of the vehicle and in Dinalko's pocket, the lieutenant said.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Pilot arrested on drug charges
Posted by Audrey Hudson at Monday, April 16, 2007