By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
GRANITE FALLS — As far as pursuits go, it wasn’t a particularly high-speed chase.
It was, however, plenty dangerous.
Police in Granite Falls are trying to track down a convicted car thief who allegedly rammed two patrol cars Monday night and sent an officer to the hospital.
The drama unfolded in the 17300 block of Crooked Mile Road around 8:30 p.m. when a patrol officer tried to pull over a Subaru that had been reported stolen out of Everett, Granite Falls Police Chief Dennis Taylor said.
The suspect ignored police emergency lights and drove west onto state Highway 92 before spinning out. That’s when the Granite Falls officer and a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy first tried to make an arrest.
The driver rammed into the front of the deputy’s patrol car and took off. Later, he again lost control of the Subaru, this time running into a guardrail in the 16400 block of Highway 92.
The deputy drove his vehicle in front of the Subaru. The Granite Falls patrol officer parked behind.
That’s when the driver put the Subaru in reverse, smashing into the front of the Granite Falls patrol car before ramming into the back of the deputy’s patrol car, according to police reports.
Once again, the driver took off, heading east on Highway 92 where he again lost control and crashed into a power pole around 84th Street.
He ran away, leaving behind a woman in her 20s in the passenger seat.
A police dog was unable to track down the suspect.
The Granite Falls officer, 42, was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett where he was treated for bumps and bruises before being released. His patrol car was destroyed.
He had a civilian passenger with him during the pursuit. That person was not injured, Taylor said.
The decision to engage in a car chase with a civilian in the patrol car will be investigated, the chief said.
“At this point, it doesn’t appear to be in compliance with our policies,” Taylor said. “It’s an internal thing we are going to look into.”
The deputy was not injured.
The suspect, 31, remained at large Tuesday morning.
“He is a known car thief,” Taylor said.
The pursuit never reached speeds of more than 60 mph, according to Taylor’s review of dispatcher records.
Officers from Arlington, Everett, Lake Stevens and Marysville assisted Granite Falls police and the sheriff’s office.
Detectives with the Snohomish County Collision Investigations Unit also were called in.
Taylor said prosecutors eventually could charge the man with several felonies, including possessing a stolen vehicle, eluding police, malicious mischief and two counts of assault on police officers. At the time of the pursuit, the suspect already was wanted on a warrant for possessing another stolen car. His driver’s license is suspended.
Granite Falls has just five officers. It operates on a shoe string budget.
The Granite Falls patrol car that was damaged had been purchased from the sheriff’s office two years ago for $7,800. It once had been Taylor’s patrol car when he worked for the sheriff’s office.
Taylor plans to turn over the keys to the patrol car he’s now using so his officers can hit the streets.
“We have had cars go down in the past,” Taylor said. “I just give them my car.”
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org.