Lander Police Chief Jim Carey. File Photo.
(Lander, Wyo.) – Two men were arrested early Sunday morning in Lander following an incident that Lander Police Chief Jim Carey said could have resulted in someone’s death.
At about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, a Lander officer heard a report from a Fremont County Sheriff’s Office Deputy that a white car was heading into Lander on Highway 287 from the direction of Fort Washakie at a high rate of speed. Carey said an officer was westbound on the 300 block of Main Street when he observed a vehicle without its headlights coming at him in the opposite direction. Carey said the vehicle was traveling eastbound in the farthest north westbound lane of traffic against the sidewalk.
The officer was able to avoid a collision and turned around to follow the vehicle with his overhead lights on. Carey said the officer clocked the suspect vehicle at 85 mph in the 30 mph zone.
The vehicle eventually stopped more than three blocks later in the Holiday Lodge parking lot on MacFarlane Drive, and the officer observed the driver flee into a motel room.
Carey said a Pursley Bigknife answered the door to the room and told officers the person they were looking for had fled through the back window of the room. After police verified no tracks in the snow by the back room, officers went inside and found the driver hiding under a bed.
The driver was identified as Aaron Bigknife Jr., 20, of Fort Washakie. Carey said Aaron Bigknife was compliant with officers’ commands, and he was arrested.
Aaron Bigknife has been charged with Driving Under the Influence, three counts of Interference, Open Container, Eluding, Minor Under the Influence, two county warrants and one Hot Springs County warrant. Additional charges might be filed. Pursley Bigknife, 45, of Fort Washakie, was arrested for an outstanding county warrant and Interference.
Aaron Bigknife’s blood alcohol content is to be determined from a blood draw.
“We’re fortunate no one was killed on our streets that day,” Carey said. “This was extremely reckless behavior.”