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; Twitter: @snorthnews.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee speaks with special ed Pre-K teacher Michelle Ling in her classroom at Phantom Lake Elementary School in Bellevue, Wash. Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times via AP, Pool)
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

A view of the courtyard leading to the main entrance of the new Stanwood High building on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020 in Stanwood, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Law gives Washington high school seniors leeway to graduate

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that can waive some requirements for students who were on track before the pandemic.

A Marysville Pilchuck football player sports a spear on his helmet as the Tomahawks took on Snohomish in the Wesco 3A Championship Friday evening at Quil Ceda Stadium on November 1, 2019. School district leaders may soon need to consider dropping Marysville Pilchuck High School’s mascot, the Tomahawks. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Should Marysville Pilchuck High drop the name ‘Tomahawks’?

A state bill would ban Native American mascots and symbols from schools — unless there is tribal permission.

About a dozen metal dinosaurs sit in the front yard of a home owned by Burt Mason and Mary Saltwick on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 in Freeland, Washington. The couple are used to finding strangers in their yard and taking photos. Every year on their trip to Tucson, Burt and Mary bring home another figure  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Dinos on Whidbey? This Freeland yard is a Jurassic Park

These creatures from long ago won’t chomp or chase you, and you’re welcome to visit.

Maryville Getchell High School students Madison Dawson, left, Kaden Vongsa and Jenasis Lee, who made a presentation to their school board discussing mental health, lack of resources and personal stories of their peers mental health struggles. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Students plead for better mental health support from schools

Three Marysville Getchell seniors want more counselors and improved training for staff.

Parked tractor-trailers line the side of 40th Avenue NE on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Worker wonders why dead end Marysville road is rough and rutty

A stretch of 40th Avenue NE is mostly used for heavy trucking and isn’t in line for repairs soon.

Camano Island shooting leaves father dead; son arrested

Dominic Wagstaff, 21, was taken into custody late Sunday for investigation of the murder of Dean Wagstaff, 41.

Rendering of Islamic Center of Mukilteo
Groundbreaking for the Mukilteo’s first mosque is Saturday

The proposed Islamic Center of Mukilteo was the target of an anti-mosque mailer campaign in 2016.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Inslee: The president made me speed up teacher vaccinations

Here’s what’s happening on Day 54 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

Most Read