(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
FIRST REPORT, 8:56 AM: Thanks for all the tips! We are working on info right now- it apparently started in Alki and ended by the bridge. No injuries reported but witnesses say it was quite a sight.
(Police with suspect’s vehicle at north end of Delridge)
9:14 AM UPDATE: The chase ended on the north end of Delridge by the west end of the low bridge, where there’s still a sizable police presence, as there is on 56th in Alki. Police by the low bridge say it started with an attempted stop for aggressive driving. Via e-mail, Jennifer tells us what she saw where it ended:
At approximately 8:20ish this morning, my husband and I witnessed an attempted police barricade at the intersection of Harbor and Spokane. At least 6 police cars attempted to block the intersection with their cars and portable “tire shredders” (I don’t know what they’re really called.) Shotguns drawn, the officers watched as a bluish-gray SUV came tearing up to the intersection and upon seeing the barricade tore through the dirt parking lot on the NW corner. After fishtailing several times in the dirt, he turned and fled down the left-hand lane of WSB on-ramp at what appeared to be a sedate 35-40 mph with a long line of officers in tow (strongly reminiscent of the OJ chase). We lost our visual at this time.
9:31 AM UPDATE: The Traffic Collision Investigation Squad – which investigates major crashes – is going to handle both cases, which means traffic implications at both scenes; 56th SW is blocked off south of Alki, which is where we are right now. Officers at the Alki scene say they believe at least 5 cars were hit by the suspect.
10:24 AM UPDATE: At the other scene, we have gone back to confirm, the main traffic impact is that you can’t turn onto southbound Delridge from eastbound Spokane St. under the bridge. Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen was there and gave us the newest information: It all started at Don Armeni – where the driver, he says, was behaving aggressively toward patrol cars in the area and driving erratically. At first they followed him west along Harbor/Alki to try to stop him – he rammed officers’ cars in the 56th/Alki vicinity mentioned earlier, and then the pursuit headed back east on Alki, to Harbor, under the bridge, and finally ended when they boxed him in at the north end of Delridge (photo above). Capt. Paulsen confirms no one was hurt and says the suspect is being held for investigation of vehicular assault.
2:34 PM UPDATE: Lots of new details in a lengthy update just published on SPD Blotter. Police say the suspect is a 37-year-old West Seattle resident who was “arrested and booked for hit and run” recently; their account doesn’t offer additional details but we’re doing research now to seek more information on that. The SPD report also says 4 police cars were hit – the one we photographed (top of story) was a lieutenant’s car, they say, and the other three were hit just before police stopped him on Delridge south of Spokane.
7:11 PM UPDATE: The suspect was booked into jail this afternoon. Jail records show he was arrested the morning of July 5th – last Thursday – for hit and run and reckless driving, and was released on Friday afternoon. Those charges are in Seattle Municipal Court, where he also has a history of charges including, in the past three years, domestic-violence assault, violation of a domestic-violence court order, speeding in a school-crosswalk zone.