‘Prolific car thief’ behind bars after patrol car carnage

  • Thu Feb 4th, 2010 10:31pm
  • News

By Scott North Herald Writer

EVERETT — This much can be said about Andrew Wayne Holden: He appears to be consistent.

Described by police as a “prolific car thief,” Holden, 32, was behind bars Thursday at the Snohomish County Jail. He’s accused of leading police on a high-speed chase early Wednesday while at the wheel of a stolen Honda Accord. The chase ended with injuries to law officers and four patrol cars damaged in downtown Everett.

Similar allegations landed Holden behind bars in 2007, when he hit speeds of up to 80 mph at the wheel of a stolen compact car. He was trying to get away from Everett police. He wound up being charged in connection with eight car thefts, most of them Honda models. In 2008, King County prosecutors charged him with more felonies after he was found asleep behind the wheel of a stolen car.

The Seattle man appeared briefly in Everett District Court on Thursday where his bail was set at $50,000. He’s now being held for investigation of attempting to elude police, resisting arrest and multiple counts of possession of stolen vehicles.

The chase began after a sheriff’s sergeant saw a Honda being driven erratically near Mill Creek and attempted a traffic stop. Instead, the driver sped away, blasting through stop signs and reaching speeds of close to 80 mph, according to a deputy’s report, filed with the court Thursday.

Deputies chased the fleeing Honda into downtown Everett. Police tossed a spike strip in its path near the intersection of Everett Avenue and Lombard Street, flattening its tires.

The driver lost control at the intersection of Broadway and Hewitt Avenue. He bailed out of the car and tried to run away.

A deputy chased him down, zapped him with a stun gun, and placed him in handcuffs.

Meanwhile, four patrol cars converging on the scene wound up in crashes. The worst damage was caused when a sheriff’s deputy, rushing southbound on Broadway, slammed into two patrol cars that had been parked in the roadway, just north of the intersection with Hewitt Avenue.

Three officers were injured, including two deputies and an Everett police officer. He was struck by a parked patrol car that was sent spinning when it was hit by a sheriff’s deputy’s vehicle. The Everett officer broke both wrists and a knee.

Another Everett officer, also rushing to the scene, ran his patrol car off the road and into a concrete planter to avoid becoming entangled in the other accident. He suffered broken fingers.

The deputies received minor injures. The sheriff’s office already has two administrative investigations underway. One review will examine whether the car chase followed sheriff’s office pursuit policy. Another will focus on adherence to procedures regarding the use of emergency vehicles, sheriff’s spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said.

Contrary to early reports, police were not setting up a roadblock when they parked their patrol cars on Broadway just before the crash, Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said.

The Everett officer who was hurt and one of the sheriff’s deputies had jumped out of their patrol cars intending to run after Holden, who had just crashed nearby. Their patrol cars were just below the crest of the hill on Broadway where it crosses the railroad tracks.

Holden also is being held on a state Department of Corrections warrant. He allegedly failed to check in as required with his parole officer and drug treatment counselor in January, officials said.

Herald Writer Jackson Holtz contributed to this report.

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