MARYSVILLE — A Camano Island man stole a City of Stanwood work truck and led police on a brief pursuit that ended in a crash, a gas leak and the evacuation of about 50 residents from a townhome complex Monday, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
The truck was reported stolen around 4 p.m., according to a police report filed in court Tuesday. About 20 minutes later, a sheriff’s deputy reported spotting the white 2020 F-450 — with a city emblem on the door — on 172nd Street NE in the Smokey Point area.
The driver had a wide-eyed, alarmed look on his face, according to the report. At a traffic signal, another marked police vehicle approached with its emergency lights and sirens on. The suspect drove into oncoming traffic and ran a red light, the deputy wrote.
Deputies continued the chase as the Ford made its way through parking lots and neighborhoods. The suspect eventually reached a dead-end at a “very high rate of speed” on 25th Avenue NE, according to the police report.
Unable to control his speed near Peter’s Landing Lane, the suspect struck a minivan and a tree, less than 10 feet away from a child playing in her yard, the report said. The van was hit so hard it was pushed toward the child, and only stopped because it rammed a garage door, according to police.
The suspect again took off deeper into the neighborhood, driving off-road while children were out playing in the area, police said. Sheriff’s deputy Art Wallin wrote the suspect showed “a total and absolute disregard for life” as he attempted to evade arrest.
The Ford eventually crashed into a home at the Carroll’s Creek Landing Townhomes, shearing off several gas meters and getting the vehicle stuck between them.
The suspect, 20, fled from the truck, then refused orders to get on the ground, according to the deputy’s report. A police dog bit the suspected driver, who was “taken into custody after a short struggle,” Wallin wrote. The man’s injuries were minor, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies booked the man into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of attempting to elude, possession of a stolen vehicle, resisting arrest, three counts of hit and run of unattended property and two counts of reckless endangerment.
Meanwhile, the crash caused a gas leak. Four buildings and roughly 50 residents had to be evacuated, police said. Eventually the gas was turned off and people were able to return to their homes, sheriff’s spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe said.
The man refused to appear in court Tuesday. Everett District Court Judge Anthony Howard found probable cause for the allegations and set bail at $100,000, at the request of prosecutors.
Herald writer Jake Goldstein-Street contributed to this report.
Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @EDHJonTall
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