Brandon Lee Carpenter was handcuffed and strapped to a gurney after Monroe police caught him. He reportedly jumped over an embankment after allegedly crashing a stolen car. (Monroe Police Department)

Brandon Lee Carpenter was handcuffed and strapped to a gurney after Monroe police caught him. He reportedly jumped over an embankment after allegedly crashing a stolen car. (Monroe Police Department)

It’s apparently a habit: Steal car, flee police, crash — repeat

A Gold Bar man is charged yet again, this time involving a crash that closed U.S. 2 in March.

MONROE — Brandon Lee Carpenter likes to run from the cops.

This time, that trait appears to not only have landed him at the wrong end of a 40-foot tumble down an embankment but also into a heap of trouble in Snohomish County Superior Court.

The Gold Bar man, 26, was charged late last week with three felonies connected to a car crash that shut down U.S. 2 in Monroe for more than an hour March 31.

Carpenter reportedly was at the wheel of a stolen Mazda Miata in Monroe. He sped away on U.S. 2 when a Monroe officer and a sheriff’s deputy tried to pull him over, deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow said in court papers.

The Miata crossed over the median, forcing oncoming vehicles to brake and dart to the shoulder. The police quickly terminated the chase, determining it was too risky.

The Miata did not stop. Instead, it slammed into the rear of a Ford Excursion. Smoke was pouring off the Miata’s tires and it left a skid mark nearly 100 feet long prior to the crash, Darrow wrote.

Carpenter ran, not only abandoning the wrecked Miata but also a woman in the passenger seat. She’d split her scalp open and was bleeding heavily after being launched into the windshield, court papers say.

The scene of the crash of a stolen Mazda Miata after a chase by Monroe police and a crash March 31 on U.S. 2. (Monroe Police Department)

The scene of the crash of a stolen Mazda Miata after a chase by Monroe police and a crash March 31 on U.S. 2. (Monroe Police Department)

A Monroe officer chased Carpenter on foot. They neared an overpass. That’s where the defendant reportedly launched himself down an embankment.

Carpenter’s injuries were sufficient to stop his flight. Aid crews hoisted him to safety on a stretcher after the police fitted him with handcuffs. He allegedly told officers that he’d smoked heroin earlier in the day.

Carpenter has since been charged with attempting to elude police while placing others at threat of injury, fleeing the scene of a hit and run injury accident, and possession of a stolen vehicle. All are felonies.

Prior to the March 31 incident, Monroe police were investigating Carpenter in connection with two other eluding cases there, police spokeswoman Debbie Willis said.

The new charges come only months after Carpenter finished serving time for a December 2016 attempt to outrun police while at the wheel of a stolen Subaru. Carpenter’s flight in that case began in north Everett. He drove through red lights and up onto sidewalks to get around cop cars that had converged on his location, court papers say.

Carpenter headed south and got onto I-5 at 41st Street, but only after ramming into the rear of an unmarked police car, its emergency lights flashing. The detective at the wheel sustained neck injuries, records show. Police supervisors told officers not to chase.

The stolen Subaru was found ablaze later in south Everett. Somebody had poured gasoline inside and lit it on fire.

Everett detectives linked Carpenter to the car and its torching through surveillance video. He ultimately pleaded guilty to second-degree arson, possessing a stolen vehicle and third-degree assault for injuring the Everett officer.

After his arrest, he admitted stealing the car and setting it afire. He denied intentionally ramming into the back of the police car, however.

Carpenter claimed he crashed because he was distracted. He’d dropped his phone.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snorthnews.

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