Suspect arrested after strangling Bellevue officer, stealing police car

BELLEVUE, Wash. — A Bellevue Police officer is at home recovering after being strangled by a burglary suspect.

Police say it all started when a 22-year-old man broke into a dealership and led police on not one, but two pursuits.

Around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, Bellevue police said they heard reports of alarms going off at the Auto Nation dealership.

When officers arrived, they caught the man inside trying to drill out the safe.

“He ran out of the building by breaking one of the windows. He fled to a vehicle, officers tried to stop him from entering the vehicle,” said Bellevue Police Patrol Major Alycia McKinney.

Investigators say that’s when the suspect strangled an officer.

“For him to fight back is pretty bold,” said Divya Polson, a Bellevue resident.

Detectives say the suspect took off in a stolen car but didn’t get far. He crashed into someone off of North East 8th Street and 124th Avenue North East.

“Officers arrived fairly quickly on scene trying to apprehend him,” said McKinney.

Detectives say the 22-year-old hopped in a patrol car and took off Southbound on 405.

“I can’t believe he got in the cruiser and he drove it, that’s something that I do in GTA5, so that’s wild,” stated Bellevue resident Jacob Burke.

At that point, Bellevue PD says they notified Washington State Patrol and other jurisdictions. The suspect was spotted in Kent traveling on South 228th Street.

“Tukwila was able to deploy spike strips to slow the vehicle, and they ended up conducting a pit maneuver,” said McKinney.

Police say the suspect took off running but was quickly arrested.

Residents say this wild story just kept surprising them.

“I don’t what happened they didn’t have handcuffs on him, so that seems kind of crazy as well that he was able to get away after that initial chase,” said Polson.

Police say the 22-year-old suspect is facing several charges: Burglary, assault, motor vehicle theft, eluding, hit and run, obstruction, DWLS, and DUI.

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