Chase suspect’s truck computer to be looked at

CLEARVIEW — A Federal Way man who was shot earlier this month by a Washington State Patrol trooper claims he can’t remember much about what led up to the gunfire. Police are looking for answers in data recovered from the onboard computers in his pickup, court papers show.

Detectives with the Snohomish Multiple Agency Response Team got a judge’s permission to download data from the airbag control module in the 2003 Ford the man was driving, according to a search warrant filed this week in Everett District Court. The devices can provide investigators with information about how fast the vehicle was going, how hard the driver was punching the gas and whether the brake was applied before an impact caused the bags to deploy.

Joseph R. “Rafe” Young, 50, was shot in the shoulder Dec. 16 after he allegedly tried to run over troopers who had cornered his truck in a Clearview parking lot.

The gunfire came after a 44-mile chase that passed through Everett, Smokey Point and Arlington before heading south past Snohomish and into Clearview. The truck hit speeds of up to 105 mph. It continued even after police flattened tires with spike strips. Sparks were seen shooting off the wheel rims before the truck was finally cornered.

Trooper James Glaze fired two shots at Young, striking the man in the shoulder, when the suspect attempted to ram his truck into police, according to court papers. Glaze has worked with troopers assigned to the patrol’s Marysville-based district since he was commissioned in May 2011.

Young told detectives he had only fleeting memories of what led up to the gunfire, according to an affidavit prepared by Brad Pince, a major crimes detective with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. He’s part of the multi-agency team that investigates officer-involved use-of-force cases.

Young told investigators that he was off medicine he takes to control bipolar disorder. He also said he’s smoked marijuana every day since he was in high school, according to court papers.

When police searched his truck, they not only downloaded the onboard computer data, but also seized two drug pipes, a digital voice recorder, a man’s wallet and a cellular telephone.

They also received a judge’s permission to conduct a detailed mechanical inspection of the truck, similar to what is done in a major accident investigation.

Young was jailed after being treated at the hospital and later released on bail. He has no felony history and no charges have been filed.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@heraldnet.com.

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