Theft of Seattle patrol car ends in bizarre crash

Updated:

SEATTLE —

Police said a suspect in an assault stole a Seattle patrol car and led officers on a chase that ended in a bizarre crash.

Officers said the assault occurred near Aurora Avenue North and Denny Way.  At some point, the man got away in a police cruiser.

Officers took the man into custody near Eighth Avenue West and Olympic Place Thursday afternoon after he crashed the patrol car.

Video from Chopper 7 showed the Seattle police car high-centered on a railing on top of a retaining wall that separates upper and lower streets.

Officers closed traffic at Eighth Place/Eighth Avenue West and Olympic Place while they investigated.

Chopper video showed  part of the railing was separated from the wall in the crash, and a segment of it appeared to have pierced the front end of the car.

The suspect was removed from the car and placed on a backboard by medics. 

"This subject was fleeing at a high rate of speed and there was a great danger to the public,” said Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh.

David Brown, who witnessed the chase going up Elliot Avenue, saw the driver try to negotiate the turn to Mercer Street.

"It's a very sharp, pin turn going the wrong way and I thought, 'Man this is not normally how I see cops drive,'" Brown said.

Jackson Wilson heard the crash and walked to it from his nearby residence. 

"I heard like a bang, and you could smell it in the air. Probably fluids and stuff leaking out," Wilson said.