By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
MONROE — A man suspected of drunken driving and eluding police was arrested Monday night after allegedly hitting a Monroe police car and driving off.
The patrol officer had made an unrelated traffic stop around 9:30 p.m. on W. Main Street.
His emergency lights were on when a brown 1988 Ford Taurus raced by, striking the driver’s side door before the officer could close it. The patrol car door wouldn’t close and was pressed against the fender.
The officer followed the Taurus, which reached estimated speeds of 55 mph in a 25 mph zone.
The Taurus made an abrupt left turn onto 177th Ave. SE, forcing vehicles that were traveling eastbound on W. Main to swerve to avoid a collision, according to a Washington State Patrol report.
The Taurus then pulled into the driveway in the 16000 block of 177th Ave. and came to a stop. The location was the driver’s home.
The Monroe man, 38, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of eluding, hit and run and drunken driving.
When police asked the man why he fled, he allegedly said “because I hit a cop.” A breath test reportedly showed a blood alcohol level of .16, twice the legal limit in Washington state.
When he was being driven to jail, the suspect allegedly said he “freaked out,” according to court records.
The incident is a reminder that routine traffic stops can be dangerous for patrol officers, Monroe police spokeswoman Debbie Willis said.
“Somehow the emergency lights can be a magnet for drunk drivers,” Willis said. “It’s a real officer safety issue.”
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org