Man charged with attempting to elude a pursuing Kent Police vehicle

Spanaway man reportedly organized dozens of illegal street racing events in South King County

A 26-year-old Spanaway man faces a charge of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle after a Feb. 21 street racing incident in Kent.

Joseph M. Dillon allegedly sped away from an officer at speeds of 80 to 90 mph in a 35 mph zone eastbound on South 196th Street near 64th Avenue South, according to charging documents.

Dillon is scheduled to be arraigned June 21 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. Kent Police arrested Dillon June 3 after tracking him down by obtaining search warrants for an Instagram account. Dillon allegedly used that social media device to promote street racing at numerous locations in the Seattle and South King County area.

Dillon was held in the King County jail for one day before he posted bond June 4 on a $10,000 bail. County prosecutors asked a judge to set bail at $50,000 arguing that Dillon was a danger to the community because of the racing events he organizes and the potential for him to commit vehicular assault.

Prosecutors also said Dillon might not appear in court because he has 11 warrants issued since 2013, all of which were for failure to appear.

According to probable cause documents, a Kent officer saw Dillon in a black Dodge Charger reportedly doing multiple high-speed doughnuts (“drifting”) in a parking lot in the 19000 block of 64th Avenue South near other occupied vehicles. The officer drove to the parking lot of the closed business because it a known popular spot for illegal street racing.

The officer, in a fully marked Kent Police F-150 pickup, activated his emergency lights when he pulled up behind the Dodge Charger. The driver reportedly fled the parking lot and headed east on South 196th Street at a high rate of speed.

The officer pursued the Dodge for a short distance before discontinuing pursuit and losing sight of the car about 1.4 miles away from the location of the attempted traffic stop.

For about 14 years, the officer noted in his report he has investigated illegal street racing. He said he is part of an anti-illegal street racing task force and worked with a Washington State Patrol trooper on this incident.

During their investigation they obtained search warrants for an Instagram account since that social media device is used to promote street racing. That led them to reportedly tie Dillon to the Kent case. Postings by Dillon indicated that he owned the Dodge Charger and that he planned to show it off on Feb. 21.

“I was gonna bring it out last night and get down but I swung at one spot and got chased by the Kent truck,” Dillon said according to probable cause documents.

Police reported that the Kent truck reference was to the F-150 driven by the officer on Feb. 21. The department has only a few F-150 trucks and had records showing that the officer had one of the trucks the night he pursued the Dodge Charger.

The officer and trooper during their investigation were able to track down a home address for Dillon and registration for a 2006 black Dodge Charger.

Based on information from Dillon’s Instagram messages, Dillon organized at least two dozen illegal street racing gatherings last year in Des Moines, Renton, Federal Way, Auburn, Tukwila and Seattle.

Dillon told police during an interview that he has attended events where the involved subjects take over intersections to socialize and look at each other’s cars.

When confronted with a lengthy list of gatherings from Seattle to Auburn that Dillon had reportedly posted as “spots” to meet, Dillon declined to answer any further questions.

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