US man teaching dog how to drive arrested after high-speed chase

After giving chase, Washington state police were shocked to see a pit bull (similar to the one pictured) in the driver's seat and a man steering and pushing the gas pedal from the passenger side (AFP Photo/Adem ALTAN)

Los Angeles (AFP) - A resident of the western US state of Washington was arrested following a high-speed chase that left officers dumbfounded after they found the man's pit bull behind the wheel.

The incident unfolded Sunday afternoon after police received calls about a driver hitting two vehicles in an area south of Seattle and then speeding away, state trooper Heather Axtman told AFP.

She said the emergency services subsequently got multiple calls about a car traveling erratically at more than 100 miles per hours (160 kilometers per hour).

Axtman said that as officers gave chase, they got close to the vehicle -- a 1996 Buick -- and were shocked to see a pit bull in the driver's seat and a man steering and pushing the gas pedal from the passenger side.

The pursuit ended after police deployed spike strips and arrested 51-year-old Alberto Tito Alejandro, who was booked on multiple felonies including driving under the influence of drugs.

"When we took him into custody... he admitted to our troopers that he was trying to teach his dog to drive," Axtman said.

"I've been a trooper for almost 10 years and I've had a lot of excuses when I've arrested people or pulled people over, but I've never had an excuse that the dog was driving," she added, laughing.

Axtman said the female pit bull, which was not aggressive toward the arresting officers, had been placed in an animal shelter.

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