LAKE STEVENS, Wash. — A man rammed his car into a Lake Stevens police vehicle then led officers on a high-speed chase before crashing down a ravine.
Lake Stevens police say it started in a Safeway parking lot at the Frontier Village shopping center.
“A gold colored Astro van was driving recklessly in the parking lot. They described it as doing donuts, going real fast around the parking lot, yelling at people, making some threats,” said Police Chief John Dyer of the Lake Stevens Police Department.
At one point the driver entered Les Schwab’s parking lot across the street, as well as the Safeway parking lot, continuing to exhibit dangerous behavior. Dyer said people had to jump out of the way of the suspect’s vehicle.
Dyer said when police approached the suspect, he at one point ran into one of the police vehicles and sped away.
Two officers chased him and tried again to block him in a neighborhood about 2 miles away, near S. Davies Road and Chapel Hill Road.
Jeremy Fulton caught part of what happened there on camera.
“Guys this is happening in front of my house. He's trying to outrun the cops,” you hear him say in the video.
The gold van then plows into the Lake Stevens police vehicle and you can see the suspect’s vehicle smoking as he tries to accelerate.
“He’s ramming the cops, they're going to shoot his a--, oh my God!” Fulton said in the video.
“I was very concerned, I actually ducked down taking the video. I was like I don't want to get shot,” Fulton said.
Officers never opened fire, but the 60-year-old man driving the gold car sped off and took police on a chase.
“Sixty to 70 miles per hour in a 30 mile zone,” Dyer said.
Less than a mile from the neighborhood, the suspect lost control, went over the side of the road and plunged down a ravine.
Incredibly, the 60-year-old man driving was not seriously hurt.
The Lake Stevens police chief says it's up to officer discretion on when to give chase.
“We have to make sure when we pursue vehicles, that the risk inherent in the pursuit itself is less than the risk of letting that person go. In this case, looking at the initial reports, the officers used some pretty good judgement,” Dyer said.
The suspect was taken to a local hospital.
Police say he was reported as missing by his family around the same time as the calls about the reckless driving started coming in, and that the man has mental health issues.
It's not clear yet what charges he might face.
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