Teen accused of joyride could face felony charges

BOTHELL — For a 15-year-old Bothell boy there was no hiding an early morning joyride in his mom’s car.

The driver’s side mirror broke off when he reportedly clipped a federal security officer outside a government building. The car ended up with a bullet hole and a dent from another round as the guards fired at least six times at the fleeing teenager.

The Chrysler was banged up even more when the teen reportedly backed into a parked car and struck a second car in his apparent flight from authorities in February.

The teen also likely left blood in the car, too. One of the rounds hit his foot.

In the end, the teen told police his potentially deadly driving was motivated by panic. He took his mom’s car without her permission. He didn’t have a driver’s license. Police also found a small amount of marijuana in his pocket, court papers said.

The high school freshman now is facing potential felony charges, including assault.

No one was seriously injured in the Feb. 8 incident.

The case remains under investigation by the Snohomish County Multi Agency Response Team. No charges have been filed.

A search warrant obtained by detectives late last month provides more details about what happened outside the Food and Drug Administration’s regional office in Bothell.

Security officers told investigators that an employee reported seeing a suspicious person in the parking lot around 7:15 a.m. One officer went outside to investigate while another stayed inside to monitor via security cameras.

The officer found a young man sitting in a parked Chrysler 300 outside the building. The person immediately jumped from the car and ran off, court papers said. The officer chased the boy for a short distance, but gave up and returned to the vehicle.

Security personnel called Bothell police officers to investigate. The security guard eventually walked away from the car and toward where he last saw the teen.

A few minutes later he spotted the boy walking back to the car. The teen was getting in the driver’s seat just as the officer reached the Chrysler. The guard pulled his gun and ordered the teen out of the car.

A second security guard joined him, also leveling his gun at the driver. The suspect ignored their commands, put the car in reverse and swung the front end around, detectives wrote in the search warrant. One officer was struck by a mirror and front fender. That’s when the two security officers fired multiple rounds at the car.

The driver kept speeding backward until he hit a parked car. He then sped forward toward the officer who already had been clipped by the mirror and fender. The guard jumped out of the way and fired more rounds at the car as it raced out of the parking lot, court papers said.

The suspect reportedly struck another vehicle full of people, including children, a short distance away. The driver sped away from that crash scene, too.

Bothell police soon tracked the car’s registered owner to a home nearby. Officers found the Chrysler in the driveway. Another car was backing out. The teen’s grandmother was driving, headed to a hospital. The suspect was in the backseat, screaming and holding a towel to his foot, court papers said.

Police found bloody footprints, a fired bullet fragment and a tennis shoe with an apparent bullet hole inside the house.

The teen allegedly told officers he had panicked when the security officer asked to see his identification. He admitted he was the one driving, court papers said

The teen was treated at a local hospital and then booked into the Denney Juvenile Justice Center in Everett. He was released a couple of days later, pending the outcome of the investigation.

At the time of the confrontation, the teen was a freshman at the Northshore School District’s Secondary Academy for Success, an alternative school. The school is a couple of blocks away from the FDA office.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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