A 20-year-old California man and a 16-year-old girl, both of whom are thought to be transients, led authorities on a wild chase early Saturday in a pursuit that began in south Thurston County and ended near the same location about 35 minutes later.
The man was booked into Thurston County jail on suspicion of eluding police. The girl was booked into county juvenile jail, said Thurston County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Odegaard.
According to Odegaard:
About 1 a.m. Saturday, a Thurston County Sheriff’s deputy was in the Grand Mound area running checks on license plates when the deputy grew suspicious about a 1998 Ford Explorer parked at a convenience store. The deputy pulled alongside the vehicle, but as soon as the man saw the deputy, he drove away, hitting speeds of 90 to 95 miles per hour on northbound Interstate 5.
As the deputy pursued the SUV, the man and girl began to throw things out of the window, including tools, two tires and what was thought to be a rifle but turned out to be a pellet gun, Odegaard said.
Items thrown from of the vehicle caused about $3,000 in damage to the deputy’s vehicle.
Spike strips were deployed with mixed success. The driver avoided them at I-5 and 93rd Avenue, but two county vehicles could not avoid them. The driver dodged spike strips deployed by Olympia police and Tumwater police and a Tumwater police vehicle was damaged by the strips, Odegaard said.
The pursuit began in Grand Mound, went as far as downtown Olympia, and continued back through Tumwater and onto Old Highway 99 to Tenino. The vehicle wound up back in the Grand Mound area, where a Washington State Patrol trooper deployed spike strips and ensnared the SUV.
As the SUV veered to the side of the road, the girl jumped from the driver’s side door and the man jumped out of the passenger’s side door. Odegaard thinks the two switched seats during the pursuit.
A Tumwater K-9 was released and the two were taken into custody, he said.