A 29-year-old man who struck a Thurston County deputy’s patrol car during a May pursuit was sentenced to eight months in custody Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to assault and eluding charges.
Derrick T. Sumrall had been in Washington about two weeks prior to his May 23 arrest, according to prosecutors. He has spent the past four months in the Thurston County jail.
Sumrall appeared before Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to charges of third-degree assault and attempting to elude a police vehicle. He had initially faced an additional charge of resisting arrest, but the charge was dropped as part of a plea deal. He was also initially charged with second-degree assault, but the charge was downgraded.
The defendant entered Alford pleas, meaning Sumrall maintained that he was innocent, but he believed there was a good chance that a jury would find him guilty.
Court documents give the following account:
A Lacey police officer attempted to stop a domestic violence suspect, later identified as Sumrall, early on May 23 after the suspect drove off. The driver’s speed reached 85 mph as he fled police along South Bay and Lilly roads.
The driver was traveling about 70 mph westbound on State Avenue toward East Bay Drive when he drove over spikes set up by Olympia police.
A Thurston County sheriff’s deputy commanded Sumrall to stop, but he accelerated toward the deputy and struck the patrol vehicle, which had a K-9 inside.