LAKEWOOD, Wash. - A Washington State Patrol lieutenant’s patrol car was purposefully rammed twice by a driver who said he wanted to alert the officer to the people fighting in the back seat of his patrol car, according to investigators.
The officer was on northbound Interstate 5 in Lakewood Wednesday afternoon and was approaching Bridgeport Way when a car pulled up within feet of the back of his patrol car at about 90 mph, police said.
The officer said the driver made some gestures and then purposely struck the rear of the patrol car.
When the trooper moved over one lane to the right after being hit, the other driver pulled up next to the patrol car on the driver's side and made an obvious attempt to look into the patrol car to confirm that a police officer was behind the wheel, according to the WSP. The driver then hit the driver's side of the patrol car.
The trooper then stopped the other driver using a PIT maneuver and took the driver, a 30-year-old man from Federal Way, into custody.
According to the trooper, the driver said he knew the car he hit was a police vehicle and that an officer was driving, but he believed people were fighting in the trooper’s back seat and he wanted to alert the officer. The trooper was alone.
The driver was booked into the Pierce County Jail on charges of DUI, second-degree assault and driving on a suspended license.
The WSP lieutenant was transported to a local hospital for soreness. The other driver was not hurt.