The driver who prompted a chase and a brief closure on Interstate 84 in Meridian during rush hour Wednesday was jailed on several misdemeanor charges and later released, according to Idaho State Police and jail records.
Jonathan Edward Popelar, 23, of Lovepark, Ill., faces charges of eluding officers, DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Idaho State Police released details of the pursuit and arrest Thursday, saying they received a traffic complaint at 4:44 p.m. Wednesday that a white Ford Ranger was driving recklessly on eastbound I-84 near milepost 22 in Canyon County. The driver, later identified as Popelar, was initially westbound, then illegally turned around in the center median, almost striking several vehicles, and passed vehicles on the right where there was not a lane, the caller told ISP.
A trooper located Popelar on eastbound I-84 near milepost 33 and attempted to make a traffic stop, but the pickup truck continued at approximately 70 mph, ISP reports. As the vehicle headed toward Meridian, other troopers positioned their patrol cars to slow traffic behind the pursuit for the safety of other drivers. At milepost 43, a trooper deployed a spike strip, but Popelar slowed and drove around the spikes onto the shoulder. The trooper following Popelar then initiated a PIT maneuver, causing the pickup truck to spin around, hit the concrete barrier in the middle of I-84 and come to a stop. Popelar was taken into custody without resistance, ISP reports.