Northwest Pilot Nabbed With Suspected Cocaine After Border Chase

A Northwest Airlines pilot made a U-turn at a U.S.-Canada border crossing, then led deputies on a chase in his Hummer before being subdued and found to be holding cocaine, a sheriff's officer said Sunday.

The 50-year-old pilot posted $10,000 bond Sunday but was being held until his blood alcohol level fell to a level considered sober, said St. Clair County sheriff's Lt. A.J. Foster.

Walter L. Dinalko of St. Paul, Minn., apparently had a change of heart after driving onto the Blue Water Bridge toward Sarnia, Ontario, Saturday night, Foster said.

Dinalko turned around three times, then drove the wrong way off the bridge and headed west onto the eastbound lanes of Interstate 94, Foster said.

U.S. Customs agents followed the pilot and alerted sheriff's deputies, who closed down the expressway and gave chase, Foster said.

Deputies laid down stop sticks, which flattened the Hummer's tires. Dinalko stopped but refused to surrender to deputies, Foster said.

"He started giving them a hard time, and a tussle ensued," Foster said. Deputies subdued him and found suspected cocaine on the floor of the vehicle and in Dinalko's pocket, the lieutenant said.

The pilot was taken to a hospital to test for drug poisoning and then to jail, where he was held overnight. He was arraigned Sunday on multiple felony charges, including cocaine possession, eluding police and assaulting officers, Foster said.

It was not immediately known when Dinalko flew into Detroit or when he had been scheduled to fly out. A message seeking comment was left Sunday for Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest.