A man accused of driving away from officers in his girlfriend’s car as they attempted to make a traffic stop because of a cracked windshield later was arrested at a home on Tuesday, police said.
Aiden K. Whitlock-Lopez, 20, was taken into custody on suspicion of aggressive driving, criminal speed, endangerment, unlawful flight, failing to comply with a police officer and driving on a suspended license, the probable-cause statement said.
At about 11 a.m., a Maricopa Police officer tried to make the traffic stop on a Chevrolet Malibu near Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and Maricopa Groves Parkway. The car was found to be driven by Whitlock-Lopez.
The officer activated the patrol car’s emergency lights and Whitlock-Lopez reportedly then began “driving aggressively” and took off at a high rate of speed.
Police reported that Whitlock-Lopez made unsafe lane changes and drove on the right edge of the roadway, endangering other drivers. It is estimated by police that Whitlock-Lopez was traveling about 80 mph in a 45-mph zone.
Maricopa police entered the Chevrolet’s license plate into Flock camera systems, which are license plate reading cameras that send real-time alerts to law enforcement of a wanted vehicle’s location.
At about 5:30 p.m., a Flock camera located the Chevrolet and officers found the car at a home in Desert Passage. The homeowner told officers the car belonged to her daughter’s friend, later identified as Whitlock-Lopez’ girlfriend, the probable-cause statement said.
Whitlock-Lopez’ girlfriend told officers that Whitlock-Lopez was using her vehicle earlier in the day. She reported that he told her he was “in a police chase” and did not stop for officers.
The woman told officers she was at work at the time of the incident and was not in the vehicle with him, police said.
According to the probable-cause statement, Whitlock-Lopez was inside the home and admitted he drove away from police because he had a suspended license.
Whitlock-Lopez was booked into Pinal County Jail.
A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 10 in Pinal County Superior Court, according to online jail records.