Man steals bong, crashes into Pierce County home after police chase

A 31-year-old man accused of stealing a bong, crashed into a Pierce County home Tuesday after nearly hitting a construction crew flagger during a high speed chase with police.

The man was a suspect in a robbery that occurred at Up In Smoke, 10707 Pacific Ave. S. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court to charges of second-degree robbery, eluding, obstructing an officer and reckless driving.

Charging papers give this account:

Up In Smoke employees reported a robbery May 6.

They said a man was looking at bongs at 11:23 a.m. and stole one valued at $249 before running from the store. He punched one of the employees who tried to chase him, causing the thief to drop and damage the bong. He grabbed a piece of the bong before leaving with a woman in a black Nissan Rogue.

A deputy identified the man based on photos from the store, previous contacts and the car’s license plate number, which was noted by an Up In Smoke employee. Two deputies attempted to make contact with the man Tuesday in an undercover vehicle.

After unsuccessfully attempting to stop the man’s car, a deputy jumped out and yelled at the man to stop his vehicle, but he drove away at a high speed. Deputies followed.

The man sped down down 152nd Street East, where it turns into Military Road South, and over Pacific Avenue. A construction flagger had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit, according to charging papers.

Deputies received a call over the radio that the man had crashed his car into a home before running off. He was found hiding in a truck after being tracked by a K-9.

According to the charging papers, he initially refused to be handcuffed and was hit several times in the abdomen. He was evaluated at the scene and later taken to a hospital to be checked out.

The man said he made some “stupid decisions” after being told the robbery charge was in connection to Up In Smoke, according to charging papers.

Bail is set at $50,000.

This story was originally published on The News Tribune.