Getting followup information on criminal cases often takes a while. This is one example. But now we know a lot more about the suspect arrested on Beach Drive last Wednesday, including where the case stands and how the incident began.
38-year-old Joshua C. Utecht is the man police arrested on Wednesday afternoon, found hiding under a deck/porch, allegedly after crashing a stolen Honda CR-V (described in court documents as having “stolen, swapped plates”) on Atlas Drive and bolting downslope to where he was found with the help of a K-9 team.
Utecht has since been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and reckless driving. He also is being held on a warrant for escaping state Department of Corrections supervision. Court documents say he has been under DOC supervision for eight years, during which time he was found guilty of two robberies and a burglary. He had been under supervision since getting out of prison less than two years ago. And he is a fugitive from Louisiana.
The probable-cause document and police report say this all started with a call to police when a man and woman were seen acting suspiciously earlier Wednesday afternoon in the 6700 block of SW Holly and near 48th and Eddy. An officer arriving in the area spotted a suspicious vehicle in an alley between 47th and 48th, Juneau and Raymond. The officer checked its license-plate number and discovered the plate had been reported stolen. He spotted the woman who had gotten out of the car and yelled at her to get back into it; she just kept walking. Meantime, the car took off, headed northbound “at a high rate of speed” and went down Juneau to where it turns into Atlas, crashing into a garage, car, and pole in the 5900 block. Passengers pointed police to where they said a man had fled the car and headed downslope toward Beach Drive, dropping a folding knife – locked in the open position – as he ran.
Meantime, police discovered the stolen plate – missing since early March – didn’t match the car, whose ID number revealed it to have been stolen in January. After Utecht was found hiding on Beach Drive, he told a sergeant that the car was “borrowed.” He also said the woman who he had left behind in Seaview wasn’t involved in anything bad, while describing himself with an unflattering expletive. His last known address, as listed on the police report, was in the Alki area. He’s being held without bail on the escape charge, while bail for the new charges was set at $30,000. (We also looked up the case related to the escape charge. The “escape” – which, when related to supervision, is more like “not reporting in” – isn’t described, but the case itself traced back to November 2009, with Utecht found in White Center in a car stolen from Beacon Hill, then eluding a King County Sheriff’s Deputy in a high-speed chase, which ended with the car abandoned in Seola Beach and Utecht found by the Guardian One helicopter after running through a ravine and hiding in a shed.)