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PIT stop snares alleged Garden City bank robber


Rush hour on Chinden. Boise and Garden City cops patrolling near Garrett Street spot a white Olds Alero. It matches the description of the getaway car from a bank robbery called in only minutes before.

At 4:59 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, the Mountain West Bank on State Street at Glenwood had been relieved of some of its depositors' hard-earned cash. Witnesses gave police a good description of the perp and his ride.

At 5:07 p.m., the squad cars light up. Instead of pulling over, the Olds takes off westbound on Chinden. Despite the rush-hour traffic, the Boise Police Department's watch commander OKs a pursuit, which reaches speeds of up to 80 mph. Ada County Sheriff's Office units join the chase.

The racing swarm approaches Eagle Road. The Olds swerves. Hits two patrol cars, neither of which are disabled and both of which continue the pursuit as it heads south down Eagle Road.

At 5:09 p.m., officers make a PIT stop just south of McMillan. That's PIT as in "pursuit intervention technique." Officers use their patrol cars in what they like to euphemistically call a "controlled collision" to halt chases. Don't kid yourselves. At 80 mph, they're nothing if not dangerous liaisons.

The escape attempt through rush-hour traffic was over two minutes after it began. Without casualties, unless you count the three patrol cars--one from each of the three cop shops involved--that were damaged.

Garden City Police took Joshua David Johnson, 33, of Boise, into custody. He was booked into the Barrister Home for Wayward Motorists. His pending charges include robbery, eluding police officers and two counts of battery on police officers. Felonies all.