Driver of stolen ‘bait’ car leads police on chase

BELLEVUE – A man who drove off in a police “bait car” set out to catch car thieves led officers on a brief chase Wednesday on I-405 and suffered minor injuries in a later confrontation with police, a police spokesman said.

Police fired at the car after the driver exited the freeway onto a side street, then turned around and drove back toward two motorcycle officers who had been pursuing him, Bellevue police spokesman Greg Grannis said. One officer was forced to jump off his bike while the other opened fire on the driver, Grannis said.

The driver then headed back onto an I-405 onramp before the bait car was disabled by a tracking company and the car came to a stop on the onramp’s shoulder.

The driver was treated at the scene for minor injuries, then taken to a hospital to be checked out. Grannis said the 27-year-old Kent man either suffered a grazing gunshot wound or was cut by flying glass. His head was bandaged as he was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Neither officer was injured.

Fort Lewis: Bluebirds being moved from fort

Conservation groups are hoping to help the Western bluebird, which used to be a sign of spring for the people of Western Washington, to recapture some of its old territory by transferring many of the birds from this Army base to a former range on the San Juan Islands.

The American Bird Conservatory, a nonprofit group, is working with others to move about 100 bluebirds, most of the bluebird population at Fort Lewis. San Juan Islands was chosen as a first stop in the conservation effort because of the abundance of undeveloped land and places to nest.

Fort Lewis has become an accidental sanctuary for the western bluebird because it is filled with prairie and grassland habitat and off-limits to developers.

The National Park Service has named Palmer “Chip” Jenkins Jr., as the new superintendent of North Cascades National Park, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area and Ross Lake National Recreation Area.

Jenkins, who is to start his new job on April 15, replaces William Paleck, who retired in January.

Jenkins will move to the Sedro-Woolley area from the Astoria, Ore., area where he is superintendent of Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.

Police have arrested three teens in connection with a vandalism rampage at Port Angeles High School that included fires, broken windows and smashed computers.

A 14-year-old boy was arrested Tuesday and placed in Clallam County juvenile detention. Because of his age, police would not comment on his connection with the school.

Two others, both 18 and with criminal records, were arrested Monday for investigation of burglary, arson, malicious mischief and theft, and made their first appearance Tuesday in Clallam County Superior Court.

Superior Court Judge George Wood set $100,000 bail for each of them.

A man charged last summer with killing a woman at her home in this Eastern Washington town has been arrested in Mexico City and may wind up going on trial there, authorities say.

Martin Vaal Lopez, 30, was arrested Friday, but it would take a year or more to determine whether he will be returned to stand trial for the shooting of Beatris Pulido-Padilla, 39, a mother of three, Franklin County Prosecutor Steve Lowe said Tuesday.

Lowe would not give details on the arrest, saying he didn’t want to aid others who might go south of the border to avoid prosecution.

Associated Press

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