GIG HARBOR, Wash. - A wild police chase unfolded from Gig Harbor to Tacoma after a man tried to run down a deputy who then opened fire.
The Pierce County deputy fired at a white Infinity near Gig Harbor at 56th and Cromwell Friday morning when the driver came toward him. The deputy was not hurt.
The driver fled and called a friend for help, abandoning the Infinity for a black pickup truck. Deputies were led to the truck by a tip. The suspect, identified as Cameron crews then led police on a chase from Gig Harbor, across the Tacoma Narrows bridge into Tacoma, speeding through crowded streets there and in University Place and Fircrest.
Police lost track of the driver for a time near 27th and Morrison, but he was spotted again winding through city streets at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour, running stoplights and passing cars.
"A truck flew past me doing like 129 miles per hour", said eyewitness Tony Costello. "I didn't know what was going on so I pulled to the side and about 90 police officers were chasing this guy in the truck."
Chopper 7 was overhead during the pursuit and as the suspect, identified as Cameron Crews, stopped his truck, ran through yards and jumped over a fence before police pulled him from some bushes took him into custody at 54th and Sheridan in Tacoma. "Thanks to the KIRO News helicopter we were able to get here, get him secured in the backyard and once we got here he gave up", said Pierce County sheriff's Detective Ed Troyer.
Crews allegedly tried to run down a Pierce County deputy responding to a call of suspicious activity at a home near Wollochet Bay. Investigators said the deputy fired at Crews five times, striking the car with at least three rounds. Detectives said Crews then called the friend and took the pickup truck. The pursuit began a short time later.
After Crews was taken into custody investigators found he had been grazed across his back by a bullet that was lodged in his sweatshirt. Detectives said the glass of the windshield probably slowed the bullet down, sparing Crews' life. "He's very lucky he's not hurt or dead," said Troyer.
Investigators said they discovered a marijuana growing operation at the home where Crews was first spotted. At least four people were taken into custody after several hours. Sources close to the investigation told KIRO 7 the home was vacant because the owner is out of the country. Crews and the other suspects are believed to have broken into the house and set up the growing operation. That investigation is continuing.
We did a background check on Cameron Crews, he’s been chased by police before.
On September 5th 2010 the State Patrol tried to stop him. They say he reached speeds over 100 miles per hour in a stolen BMW as they pursued him across the 520 bridge and South on I-5. Crews exited at Mercer Street then headed Northbound on I-5 where he crashed into another car on the Ship Canal Bridge. The chase was captured on the Department of Transportation cameras. Crews was convicted of felony eluding.
Crews is also connected to one of Tacoma’s biggest scandals. His mother, Catherine Woodard, was interim Tacoma Police Chief after Tacoma Chief David Brame killed his estranged wife and himself, April 26, 2003. Woodard served as interim chief for a week, then she was put on paid administrative leave. She was friends with David Brame and at one point Brame’s wife, Crystal, called 911 claiming Woodard and Brame were threatening her.
After a long investigation it was determined Woodard broke city policy by not disclosing information she knew about domestic violence, death threats, and harassment involving Chief David Brame.