High-speed chase ends in arrest, felony charges

| November 21, 2020 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — A young Bonner County man was arrested following a brief high-speed chase early Friday morning.

Samuel Paul Bistline is charged with felony eluding, felony injury to a child and misdemeanor driving under the influence. He made an initial appearance in Bonner County Magistrate Court on Friday afternoon via videoconferencing with the Bonner County Jail. Judge Tera Harden set Bistline's bail at $25,000 and required him to submit to drug and alcohol testing if he posts bond, according to court documents.

A Sandpoint Police officer attempted to stop the Subaru Forester Bistline was driving for not having a license plate at Division Avenue and Pine Street shortly after midnight, the officer's probable cause affidavit said.

Bistline allegedly sped away from the traffic stop and fled northbound on Division. Speeds reached 70 mph in a 25 mph zone and Bistline disregarded a stop sign at Baldy Mountain Road, the affidavit said.

Bistline, 18, stopped in a yard in the 1400 block of Baldy and he was arrested without further incident, the affidavit said. Bistline had a 17-year-old passenger in the Subaru, which resulted in the child injury charge.

Bistline denied being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, although the officer noted in his report that he appeared to be impaired because the pupils of his eyes were constricted, in addition to a sluggish and confused demeanor.

A sample of Bistline's blood was drawn at Bonner General Health for analysis by an Idaho State Police lab, court records show.

A preliminary hearing in the case is set for Dec. 2 in magistrate court. Felony injury to a child and felony eluding are punishable by up 10 and five years, respectively, according to Idaho Code. Misdemeanor driving under the influence can result in a jail sentence of up to six months.