Motorcyclist in custody after leading troopers on high-speed chase across five counties

SEQUIM, Wash. — A 38-year-old motorcyclist is in custody after eluding state troopers across five counties Saturday.

Officials said the man, from Newport, Oregon, was seen driving a 2008 Kawasaki motorcycle 76 mph in a 55 mph zone on U.S. 101, about 6 miles west of Sequim.

A deputy attempted to pull the motorcyclist over but he failed to yield, officials said.

The trooper terminated the pursuit four minutes later after the motorcyclist used the oncoming lane and right shoulder to pass other vehicles, according to the Washington State Patrol.

An aviation trooper with the Washington State Patrol, who was flying a Cessna 206 equipped with a forward-looking infrared camera, was in the area working a traffic emphasis and was able to observe the rider and give updates to officials on the ground.

“Troopers followed in the direction of the rider but did not re-engage the pursuit, staying out of sight of the rider with no lights or sirens activated,” a spokesperson for the State Patrol wrote in a news release.

Officials said the aviation trooper tracked the rider through Clallam, Jefferson, Mason, Thurston and Pierce counties.

The rider then abandoned the motorcycle in Steilacoom, according to officials.

The State Patrol said the rider fled on foot but was later found by Steilacoom Public Safety Department officers.

The man was booked into the Clallam County Jail for investigation of felony eluding, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license out of Oregon, officials said.

“The WSP takes vehicle pursuits very serious, and weigh the safety of suspect apprehension with the safety of the motoring public,” said WSP District 8 Capt. James Mjor. “In this case, we are pleased with the decisions of the troopers involved, the tools utilized such as aviation, and our partnerships with allied agencies that (led) to one more dangerous person being removed from the roadways.”

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