A 32-year-old Seattle man faces several potential charges after he reportedly sped away from a Washington State Patrol trooper traffic stop along Interstate 5 in Kent and a short time later hit and injured a pedestrian in SeaTac.
Troopers arrested the man on Monday, Oct. 26 for investigation of vehicular assault, attempting to elude, unlawful possession of a firearm and felony hit and run, according to probable cause documents filed Tuesday in King County Superior Court.
Paramedics transported the pedestrian, a 74-year-old man, to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a fractured hip, fractured knee and a brain bleed, according to court documents.
King County prosecutors asked a judge to hold the driver in the county jail for probable cause on the charges with bail set at $400,000, which the judge agreed to do, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Formal charges are expected to be filed later this week by prosecutors after getting more documents in the case from the State Patrol. As of Tuesday, the man remained in the county jail in Seattle. The man was booked and received a conditional release in August for investigation of burglary and vehicle theft, according to jail records.
The incident started about 12:30 p.m. Monday when a trooper pulled over a vehicle for a traffic stop along I-5 northbound near State Route 516 in Kent, according to probable cause documents. The name the driver provided to the trooper and the Department of Licensing picture didn’t match the driver of the car, according to a computer check. The trooper returned to the car and asked the man again for his name. The driver then put the vehicle in drive and fled the scene.
The trooper followed with the vehicle emergency lights and siren activated. The fleeing car exited the freeway at South 200th Street and proceeded southbound on Military Road South. The trooper pursued with speeds reaching 85 mph in a 35 mph zone. When the pursuit neared the stop light at the intersection of Military Road and South 216th Street, the trooper terminated the pursuit and slowed down because he believed the driver would not stop for the red light. He then lost sight of the car.
The trooper continued south on Military Road and when he reached South 220th Street, he saw the same vehicle crashed into a medium-sized tree on the corner. The trooper got out and checked the car, which was empty.
Witnesses told the trooper the driver had fled to the west. They also told him a man was hit by the car and was under the vehicle. The trooper rendered aid to the pedestrian. Other officers arrived and found the driver of the car hiding nearby in the bushes and took him into custody. Troopers recovered a handgun from a backpack that the driver took with him when he fled the car.