A local man was arrested on felony eluding charges after a high-speed chase ended peacefully July 21.
Deputies arrested the man after radar showed him traveling over 100 mph as he approached St. Maries. The driver, Micah Dacostas, claimed he did not know he was speeding, and said he hadn’t seen or heard the officers signaling him to stop.
Deputy Daniel McHenry, a patrol deputy and outreach officer with the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office, was traveling southbound on State 3 near Beaver Creek at approximately 9 p.m. As he was driving, he noticed a vehicle headed northbound.
Front-facing radar confirmed this to be the case; Deputy McHenry measured the vehicle going approximately 79 mph as he passed. He turned his own vehicle around and, turning on his vehicle’s lights, began to pursue.
“The vehicle appeared to accelerate in an attempt to escape being stopped,” his report said.
Deputies Mike Peterson and Brandon Vannatter radioed they were in the area, and would attempt to intercept the vehicle. At this time, the vehicle had accelerated to more than 100 mph as it passed mile post 81 near Canyon Creek.
Two miles outside of St. Maries, the vehicle slowed to approximately 45 mph, but did not stop. Deputies Peterson and Vannatter had set up a roadblock in the area to force the driver to the side; however, the vehicle drove toward the ditch to go around them.
“I got as close as I safely could to the rear of the vehicle so I could ram the vehicle into the ditch if it attempted to flee again, but the vehicle came to a stop just in front of Deputy Peterson’s vehicle,” Deputy McHenry wrote. “Deputy Peterson, Deputy Vannatter and I proceeded to get the driver out of the vehicle as a high-risk vehicle stop.”
The driver initially did not respond to officers orders to turn off the vehicle and step out; however, he did comply after several shouted commands and was placed in handcuffs.
The driver, Dacosta, claimed he had not stopped because he had not seen or heard the deputy behind him. When asked why he was speeding, he claimed he was “just trying to get home,” and said he didn’t believe he was driving over the speed limit.
“I told Dacosta I radared him at 92 mph and 102 mph at different stages in the pursuit,” the deputy said. “Dacosta told me there was no way I could have radared him going that fast because his car (2017 KIA hatchback) couldn’t go that fast.”
Performance reviews of 2017 Kia hatchback cars from various sources cite their theoretical top speed as between 107 mph and 122 mph, depending on the model.
Dacosta was subjected to field sobriety tests, and showed no signs of alcohol intoxication. However, Deputy McHenry, who had interacted with Dacosta in the past, said his behavior was not normal for him.
Dacosta was placed under arrest and charged with felony eluding. If convicted, he will lose driving privileges for between one and three years, and may face local jail time. No bail has been set in his case.