Deputies arrested a 29-year-old Chehalis-area man they say stole a Jeep and led officials on a high-speed chase Wednesday night deep into Lewis County after he beat up the car owner.
A 67-year-old man called deputies at 6:18 p.m. to report that someone had attacked him and stolen his yellow Jeep at his home south of Tumwater, in the 11300 block of Littlerock Road, said Sgt. Dave Odegaard with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office.
A man knocked on the door of the residence, beat up the owner, took the keys and drove off in the vehicle, the 67-year-old told deputies.
Shortly thereafter, a deputy spotted the Jeep in Rochester and tried to pull over the driver, Odegaard said.
The driver didn't comply, and a chase started that led to southbound Interstate 5, reaching speeds of about 95 mph, Odegaard said.
Washington State Patrol troopers set spike strips and used a maneuver to try to stop the car near exit 72.
When slowed, the suspect rammed the deputy pursing him several times, at which point other law enforcement drivers corralled the Jeep against the jersey barrier, Odegaard said.
Deputies arrested the man on suspicion of robbery and assault.
The deputy whose car was rammed suffered minor injuries, Odegaard said, and the victim might have a broken nose and cracked ribs.