ELOY — A Tucson man is facing charges after allegedly directing another person to take the wheel while fleeing from state troopers.

According to Pinal County Superior Court records, Kristoffer B. Cope, 35, is charged with unlawful flight from law enforcement.

At around 11 a.m. on Oct. 29, an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper attempted to stop a vehicle going west on Interstate 10 that was following a semi truck too closely. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Cope, pulled over near milepost 233 when the trooper turned on his overhead lights.

As the trooper approached the vehicle, Cope allegedly sped off. The trooper caught up with Cope’s vehicle near milepost 228 when Cope exited the highway onto a frontage road. Cope briefly came to a stop near Park Link Drive and a woman jumped out of the vehicle. Cope then sped off again down the frontage road at around 105 mph.

Law enforcement officers were able to spike three of the tires on Cope’s vehicle around milepost 221 on the frontage road. Cope then re-entered the highway and came to a stop on the left shoulder around milepost 210.

Four people were removed from the vehicle, including Cope, who was allegedly sitting in the back seat. The three other people in the vehicle and the woman who jumped from the vehicle all claimed that shortly after the vehicle’s tires were spiked, Cope had allegedly jumped into the back seat of the vehicle while the vehicle was moving and told a backseat passenger to take the wheel. Cope was taken into custody.

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Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at sadams@pinalcentral.com.

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