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Arizona Department of Public Safety arrests Phoenix motorcyclist who endangered both pedestrians and drivers during morning rush

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 -

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On Tuesday, December 29, 2009, at approximately 7:59 a.m., an Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer (DPS) observed a motorcyclist on Interstate 17 southbound near Bell Road speeding in excess of 80 miles per hour in the HOV lane. The motorcyclist was later identified as Ian Jonathan Erekson, 22, of Phoenix. The DPS officer attempted to stop the motorcyclist who then fled. At approximately 8:11 a.m., another DPS officer encountered Erekson on 35th Avenue and Clarendon. Erekson fled from that patrol unit in excess of 80 to 90 miles per hour northbound on 27th avenue to Camelback road where he turned east on Camelback. At that point a Phoenix Police Helicopter monitors the motorcycle from the air. At Camelback Avenue and I-17, Erekson gets on back on the freeway traveling southbound. Erekson then took the ramp from the southbound I-17 to the westbound I-10 exiting at Buckeye and enters Sky Harbor Airport approaching terminal two. He then makes a U-turn driving in the opposite lane on the eastside of terminal two traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes. Erekson continues through the airport at one point heading eastbound in the westbound lanes. *During the course of these events, DPS officers attempted to stop Erekson a total of four times.

As Erekson leaves Sky Harbor heading westbound, a Phoenix Police helicopter which had received clearance to fly over the airport continues to monitor the motorcycle from the air. Eventually the motorcyclist gets back on the freeway at 16th Street and continues to head northbound on I-17 at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

At the Rocks Springs exit Erekson apparently runs out of fuel. At that point two motorists, Scott Gilbert and Robert Thoop, a retired DPS officer from Black Canyon City, came up to Erekson and encouraged him to surrender. A few minutes later a DPS officer arrived on scene and placed Erekson under arrest.

Charges: Four Counts of Felony Flight, One Count of Endangerment, One Count of Reckless Driving and One Count of Criminal Speed.

Erekson has one felony warrant listing three separate charges out of Maricopa County Superior Court: Burglary in the 3rd degree, attempted theft of means of transportation and criminal trespassing in the 1st degree.


The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.