‘High out of his mind,’ man in stolen pickup hits Lynnwood cop

A police chase ended in a crash, after which, the suspect allegedly said, he smoked more meth.

LYNNWOOD — A Seattle man told a detective he was “high out of his mind” on a methamphetamine binge Wednesday when he crashed a stolen pickup into a Lynnwood police officer, then led other officers on a high-speed pursuit that ended in a rollover crash, police said.

The officer suffered a dislocated shoulder, according to one of three police reports filed in court Friday.

A blue Toyota Tundra was reported as stolen around 6 p.m. Wednesday from a pastor at a church in Shoreline. Security footage showed the truck — with a lawnmower and weed whacker in the bed — parked at 10:38 p.m. Wednesday at a 76 gas station on Alderwood Mall Parkway.

A “hefty” bald man in a blue jacket got out, tampered with a blue clothing donation box beside the truck and went inside to speak with the clerk, who got a “weird feeling” from the man, according to the employee’s report to police.

Meanwhile, a Lynnwood police officer pulled up to the Tundra. He noticed the pickup didn’t have any license plates. The officer had just confirmed the truck was stolen when the bald man came outside, jumped behind the wheel and sped off with the door ajar, police wrote. The officer was “violently thrown to the ground from the moving vehicle,” and a rear tire missed running over his outstretched arm “possibly by inches,” according to a police report.

Security footage suggested the officer was dragged to a spot about 30 feet from where the truck had been parked, police wrote. It also appeared the officer narrowly escaped being smashed between the truck and the clerk’s parked Honda car, police wrote. The car had damage to its right bumper.

The officer got up with a limp. Other city officers and Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies gave chase.

A Mountlake Terrace officer spotted the pickup a mile away, still with lawn care gear in the back, barreling through a four-way stop without slowing down at Larch and Locust ways. The truck kept going west at about 70 mph, swerving into oncoming lanes, blowing past a series of intersections and striking spike strips on 212th Street SW. In the last two blocks of the chase, the truck rapidly slowed to less than 10 mph, hit a fence and flipped onto the driver’s side.

As police tried to detain the suspect, they could see him through the windshield of the overturned truck, smoking from a glass pipe, an officer wrote. The man later admitted he smoked “three point five grams of meth” after the crash, police wrote.

The Seattle man, 48, was arrested for investigation of vehicular assault, felony assault on a police officer, attempting to elude law enforcement and possession of a stolen vehicle. Police noted he had warrants for driving with a suspended license in the third degree, operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock device and third-degree theft.

At Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, the suspect reportedly told police he didn’t know why he fled, but he thought it was because he was “high out of his mind.” He reported to a detective he’d been awake for days from smoking meth.

The man claimed a pastor at the church loaned him the truck a month earlier. He recalled that, at the gas station, he came back to the truck and saw the officer next to it but didn’t recall anyone trying to stop him from driving away, according to police.

“I was trying to get home,” he reported, police wrote. “I messed up, huh?”

Judge Thomas Wynne set bail in Everett District Court at $10,000 on Friday, the amount requested by a prosecutor. The defendant did not appear in court because he was in “medical isolation.”

Almost two decades ago, the same man was arrested in another case in which he was accused of driving a stolen vehicle while under the influence in Snohomish County, according to court records.

At the jail in May 2003, he gave a similar story to police: He borrowed the allegedly stolen car from a man he had met in Seattle the night before. He said the man’s name was Steve.

“He said that Steve bought him a beer and winked at him,” a prosecutor wrote in 2003. “He said that Steve gave him the car and told him to return it soon.”

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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