Motorcyclist exceeded 120 mph during I-5 chase, patrol says

The rider of a stolen bike fled Bellingham police and the State Patrol before surrendering in Everett.

By David Rasbach / Bellingham Herald

BELLINGHAM — A motorcyclist allegedly averaged more than 98 mph and reached speeds in excess of 120 mph on southbound I-5 through three counties while leading the Washington State Patrol on a chase from Bellingham to Everett Friday night.

“He was cooking,” said Trooper Heather Axtman. “They covered some serious ground.”

After a long, much-slower ride back north, the State Patrol booked a 27-year-old Sultan man into the Whatcom County Jail early Saturday on suspicion of attempting to elude police vehicles, DUI, reckless endangerment, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle, second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission and third-degree driving with a suspended license.

The State Patrol was first notified at 11:24 p.m. Friday by Bellingham police that they were pursuing a motorcycle without a license plate at high speed near downtown Bellingham, Axtman said.

At 11:26 p.m., the State Patrol learned that Bellingham officers had terminated the pursuit, with the motorcycle heading southbound on I-5 at high speed.

A State Patrol trooper cadet with a field training officer soon spotted the motorcycle near exit 250 traveling at approximately 90 mph, Axtman said.

The motorcyclist kicked the speed up to more than 120 mph, Axtman said, and with no traffic on the freeway at the time, troopers kept up the chase, passing the Nulle Road exit at 11:37 p.m. at 120 mph, racing across Skagit County at speeds between 95 mph and 120 mph and passing the Starbird Road exit just 14 minutes later.

The chase continued into Snohomish County until the motorcycle exited the freeway at Highway 530 just south of the Stillaguamish River, Axtman said. The motorcyclist reportedly ran a stop sign, and troopers terminated the pursuit at 11:54 p.m. with the motorcycle paralleling I-5 at high speed along Smokey Point Boulevard.

Approximately seven minutes later, another trooper spotted a motorcycle traveling at approximately 100 mph south on I-5 in Marysville, according to Axtman. Troopers reportedly confirmed it was the same motorcycle, as the motorcyclist’s clothing matched the rider’s in the earlier pursuit and there was no license plate on the bike.

The chase continued south until the motorcycle pulled to right shoulder at 12:06 a.m. near Dagmar’s Marina, Axtman said, and after covering more than 54 miles in approximately 33 minutes, the rider was taken into custody without incident.

The motorcycle had been stolen from an impound lot at K&R Towing in Sultan, Axtman said.

This isn’t the first police chase the rider has led. Court records show he’s awaiting a Sept. 25 jury trial in Snohomish County on charges he twice attempted to elude police on Aug. 26, 2019, and Feb. 26, 2019.

In addition to that, the man has previous convictions for possession of a controlled substance, taking a vehicle without permission, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle, and trafficking stolen property in Snohomish and Okanogan counties.

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