Soldier knocks out girlfriend, leaves baby on side of road, flees police, officers say

Soldier knocks out girlfriend, leaves baby on side of road, flees police, officers say

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier punched out his girlfriend, left her 6-month-old son on the side of the road and led police on a chase Tuesday night throughout Pierce County, according to Lakewood police.

After an extensive K-9 track, the 24-year-old man was arrested near his wrecked car near Gig Harbor early Wednesday afternoon, Lakewood police spokesman Chris Lawler said. He was booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of unlawful imprisonment, felony eluding police, fourth-degree assault, second-degree criminal mistreatment and felony harassment.

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According to Lawler:

A distraught woman came up to a Lakewood police sergeant on duty at the park-and-ride lot off state Route 512 about 11 p.m. She said she had just escaped from her boyfriend’s car, but that he had taken her baby.

The sergeant contacted dispatchers, and another Lakewood officer was able to catch up to the vehicle. The officer attempted to pull the man over, but he instead sped off through Lakewood and onto northbound Interstate 5.

The fleeing man took the exit for state Route 16 and drove all the way to the far side of Gig Harbor before crashing off the highway near the Burnham Drive exit after hitting spike strips. The man got out of his car and ran into the woods, and an initial K-9 search was unsuccessful. The car seat was vacant.

The woman told officers she was riding with her boyfriend and her baby in the back of the car when he started punching her on 112th Street Southwest near the McChord Field runway. She eventually blacked out.

When she came to, her baby was gone.

They were parked along the side of South Tacoma Way, and her boyfriend was getting back into the driver’s seat. He drove off.

She tried to get out of the car, but he wouldn’t let her go. She eventually broke free of his grasp and jumped out of the moving vehicle, running to the police sergeant.

When the sergeant took off on the chase, the woman was able to flag down a ride from another person, who took her back to where her boyfriend had parked. There, she found her baby son, safe and sound save for some minor cuts.
Bashimi Briscoe was in the nearby Wendy’s parking lot when he saw the frantic woman approach the police officer’s vehicle. After the officer left to find the suspect, the woman ran toward his car and asked him to help find her baby. 
“I thought she was crazy, to be honest with you,” Briscoe says, “but then I looked into her eyes and I could see the terror in the eyes and then I said no, this is real.”
Briscoe believed the woman may be experiencing a mental crisis and drove her around to calm her down. He thought she was lying about the baby until the two proceeded about a half-mile away to 112th Street.
“When I saw the baby lying on the ground, I’ve never experienced that feeling in my life,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like that. Who puts a baby in the street?”
The woman was barefoot, she was bleeding and it appeared chunks of her hair were ripped out. 
“It was just pitch black (and) dark outside. If a car would have come, it would have been too late because the baby would have been run over,” Briscoe said.
Just before 10 a.m., Gig Harbor police and Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a suspicious person call near Gig Harbor High School, and the person fit the description of the suspect.
Nearly three hours later, the man was tracked down by K-9 units and arrested without incident near 54th Avenue Northwest and Rosedale Street Northwest.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker