UPDATE: About the police response on West Seattle Bridge

6:01 PM: Thanks to SDOT for the image: A Seattle Police/State Patrol response has two lanes blocked on the westbound West Seattle Bridge. According to what we heard via scanner, a state trooper had someone at gunpoint, and called for backup. SPD responded (you might have seen multiple cars headed full code through West Seattle). We don’t know the circumstances of the arrest or what preceded it, but everything is reported to be under control now.

6:35 PM: The scene has cleared to the shoulder, so no lanes blocked any more, per SDOT. Meantime, WSP Trooper Rick Johnson just called us after we asked what this was all about. He said a trooper “on his way to work at the ferry terminal” tried to pull over the driver, a woman, for reasons as yet unknown, and she refused to stop – so he saw what Johnson called a “perfect opportunity” for a PIT maneuver – Pursuit Intervention Technique, which causes the pursued vehicle to lose control and spin to a stop. He subsequently took the driver into custody; an ambulance was called to check her out because at the very least, Johnson explains, that gives the driver a jolt. She’ll eventually be booked into jail.

30 Replies to "UPDATE: About the police response on West Seattle Bridge"

  • Christina May 18, 2018 (6:08 pm)

    I witnessed much of this. It started on North Bound I-5. The Trooper pulled over the Acura before the WS Bridge exit, paused for a moment, then merged back into traffic. The Trooper followed as the Acura weaved in and out of traffic, taking the WS Bridge exit. As they merged on to the bridge, the Trooper performed a pit-manuever and then what you see above.

    • WSB May 18, 2018 (6:17 pm)

      Thanks – I have an inquiry out to WSP for anything they can add.

    • Morgan May 18, 2018 (8:17 pm)

      I witnessed all this in my rear view mirror too, I was two cars in front of the Acura when the officer did the PIT manuver. I had never seen this done before so was pretty thrown off!

  • Conan May 18, 2018 (6:18 pm)

    I just drove past the scene.  The suspect’s car was blue so I immediately thought of the hatchet attack this week.  Those suspects’ car was a blue sedan.

    • Christina May 18, 2018 (7:06 pm)

      The person driving the vehicle was a woman. 

  • kaat May 18, 2018 (6:48 pm)

    I drove by at about 10 to 6:00. There were at least 7 responders there. Three more came down from Southbound I5, followed by another 2.  A couple left.   So at least 12 responders.  And that was before the ambulance got there. 

  • West Seattle Hipster May 18, 2018 (7:55 pm)

    Score one for the good guys!

  • Jason May 18, 2018 (8:05 pm)

    Coming from a family in the police force and having time under my belt working with the federal police. I can’t understand for 1 minute why it takes that many officers to take control of 1 vehicle. I get an officer asking for help. But I had 10 officers race past me like someone just shot up a school. Complete over kill fellas. Really shows the lack of judgment, professionalism, tact and safety. It’s no different than when you have a small car chase, 15 cop cars follow and you have all 15 cops jump on the person and immediately start beating them while they are on the ground hands spread. All you ever here is stop resisting. C’mon guys…..seriously stop with the overkill.

    • WSB May 18, 2018 (8:11 pm)

      The call was for “help the officer.” I heard it. That usually means the officer might be facing a grave threat. Trooper Johnson told me that’s not what they intended to ask for – they had asked for backup. But the officers who rushed to get there had no way of knowing that – there was a “help the officer” call and that means drop everything and go.

      • kaat May 18, 2018 (9:08 pm)

        There were 7 responders there when another 5 showed up, lights flashing. They all pulled into the area of the scene, and got out of their cars and wandered over to the car that had been stopped. Those last 5 could have been told to stand down. I agree, seems like overkill.

    • DEN May 23, 2018 (10:20 pm)

      Coming from a “family in the police force” I guess you would know ALL about tactics, professionalism, judgement and safety. I guessed I missed the reporting of this driver being beaten by ALL 15 cops. Just do your part Jason  by pulling  to the right and staying out of the way; that’s how YOU can be real.

  • Chemist May 18, 2018 (8:08 pm)

    Generally the PIT maneuver is for lower speeds and with few vehicles around.  I’m surprised that rush hour of the West Seattle Bridge meets that.

    https://www.seattle.gov/police-manual/title-13—vehicle-operations/13031—vehicle-eluding/pursuits

    13. Intentional Vehicle-to-Vehicle Contacts Are Prohibited as Pursuit-Ending Tactics Except as Justified Under the Use of Force Policy

    Intentional vehicle-to-vehicle contacts such as the Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT), ramming, or the use of a patrol car as a roadblock are uses of force that officers may use only when consistent with Manual Section 8.300 and must be reported under 8.400.

    Only personnel who have been trained in the PIT may engage in this technique.

    • Chemist May 18, 2018 (8:17 pm)

      Oh, this was a State Trooper doing the PIT.  No idea what their policy is.

      • WSB May 18, 2018 (8:19 pm)

        Yes, it was a trooper, as reported above.

    • Helpful May 20, 2018 (10:22 am)

      Right- you’re thinking of the Precision Immobilization Technique? No, this was a Pursuit Intervention Technique. So, yeah.  

  • Jason May 18, 2018 (8:33 pm)

    All bridges unless privately owned are state owned. Only the state patrol has the authority to do maneuvers on state property.

  • Question Authority May 18, 2018 (8:45 pm)

    There is so much conjecture is these comments it borders on ridiculousness.  Shouldn’t PIT, why?  What if the suspect just killed a bunch of school children, do you think the WS Viaduct is off limits to stopping them?  Over response, why not?  You think time just stops while more information comes in and your safety or tax dollars are more important as the potentially life endangering situation escalates?  Armchair quarterbacks always know better or so it seems in this case.

  • Anne May 18, 2018 (10:01 pm)

    Unbelievable- these “ overkill” comments- Jason- I come from a family in LE as well- & wouldn’t presume to know more than those officers involved in this situation.

  • Overkill Indeed May 18, 2018 (10:39 pm)

    I was on my way to dinner with my daughter at this time and witnessed responders in excess of 60mph flying down California straight though the Alaska junction on a sunny Friday evening during the wine walk. Tons of families, young ones cannot react to those speeds in our junction. As much as it’s starting to look like downtown Seattle it’s still not. PD are lucky they didn’t take an innocent life. Sure catch the bad ones but maybe better judgment, perhaps a different route? Overkill is an understatement. 

  • MJ May 18, 2018 (10:59 pm)

    I believe that the ramps to and from the WSB and SR5 are State owned.  The PIT appears to have occurred at the end of the State offramp onto the WSB.

    Good no one got hurt. 

    Any determination as to why the driver failed to heed the troopers pullover attempt prior to foisting a PIT?

  • John Smith May 19, 2018 (12:48 am)

    @Overkill Indeed, do you think you might be overestimating speed of the responders?  I don’t think even a Formula 1 car could turn from California onto Alaska “in excess of 60mph” … maybe if the entire roadway were used.  Or did the responders drive “straight through” as you wrote?  That seems like a roundabout way to get to the bridge. 

  • momosmom May 19, 2018 (4:36 am)

    The Police are damned if they do and they’re damned if they don’t some of you people are never happy, always have something to complain about.

    As for the “wine walk”, are the police supposed to see what the social butterfly people have scheduled before doing their job?!    

  • Overkill Indeed May 19, 2018 (10:33 am)

    @ momosmom

    Uh yeah duh, I do expect the local police to know what major local social events are taking place in the local community that they are policing. 

    @ john smith

    Ok maybe 60 plus is an exaggeration probably more like 60 or less but still wreckless. Putting so many lives at risk for one lone traffic infraction that multiple responders were already on top of is poor judgement. Yes they go straight though a couple blocks North of the junction then East to 35th snd down. Only thing I can figure is to avoid Alaska Fauntleroy cluster f.

    @ question authority 

    Like what if the suspect had just killed a bunch of school children isn’t major conjecture. 

  • momosmom May 19, 2018 (11:43 am)

    I believe QA was pointing that out (school kids) and maybe that is why the over response and speed but you know the great and wonderful Overkill indeed has spoken! Off to the Emerald City we go.

  • Franci May 19, 2018 (12:37 pm)

    Where is our common sense, in the last week I’ve witnessed 2 incidents where people did not yield to an ambulance/medic vehicles with lights and sirens activated.  The first was a kid on a bike:  at the Fauntleroy & Alaska intersection,  an ambulance was heading north on Fauntleroy, this kid on a bike, teen/pre-teen age, hears and sees the ambulance and decides to ride across his path anyway.  If you are old enough to be out on city streets on your bike – you should be old enough to understand that you don’t ride in front of an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens blaring.  The other incident was not in WS, but rather Denny and Boren – a driver decided to turn across the path of an oncoming emergency vehicle.  Both could have resulted in accident scenes if not for the careful alert attention of the emergency vehicle drivers.

  • Reality1 May 19, 2018 (3:46 pm)

    overkill indeed.  Counting on you to start an initiative drive that requires the police to follow all traffic laws at all times. That will make things safer for everyone-unless of course it’s YOUR emergency then you’ll rip the police for not speeding to your rescue.

  • waikikigirl May 19, 2018 (4:07 pm)

    OOH Snap!!!! LOL!

    And you know what this pertains too. :)

  • Sixbuck May 19, 2018 (5:28 pm)

    The average Seattleite has no clue what being in law enforcement entails.  So many of these comments make me SMFH.  Wouldn’t last one shift on the street.

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