Fleeing suspects run into police dog training exercise

Fleeing suspects run into police dog training exercise
FIFE, Wash. - Two men were busted Thursday night after they ran from a car loaded with cocaine - straight into a monthly police dog training exercise at a local junior high school.

Fife police say the drama began when officers were working an anti-prostitution detail in the 3400 block of Pacific Highway East.

The officers noticed a car partly blocking a lane of 34th Avenue East just behind a local truck stop, with one man behind the wheel.

As police watched from a distance, another man emerged from some nearby bushes behind a semi-trailer and placed a large duffle bag in the trunk of the car.

The man then went back into the bushes, picked up two more large duffle bags and also placed them in the trunk.

When officers approached the vehicle, it fled the scene at high speed and careened recklessly through the streets of Fife with both men inside, police said.

Officers pursued the car until the driver suddenly turned down a dead-end road. When the car reached the dead end, the suspects jumped out and started running.

Not the smartest idea - because a large group of police officers were there, training their K-9 dogs on the school grounds at the end of the road.

"They were there doing their monthly training, so then when these two guys decided to jump out of their car to run, there were actually about 15 officers and their K-9 partners standing right there," said Lt. Tom Thompson. "So these guys gave up pretty quickly."

Drug-sniffing dogs at the training exercise indicated the possible presence of narcotics at the vehicle, so a search warrant was obtained and nearly 95 pounds of suspected cocaine was found in the duffle bags.

Thompson said the cocaine has an estimated street value of about $1.2 million.

Both suspects were booked into Pierce County Jail.

"Bad day for them. Good day for us," Thompson said.