David Lambert Bertholf, 48, was off-duty Sunday when he allegedly hit a vehicle and fled as traffic slowed on eastbound state Route 16 near Union Avenue, State Patrol spokesman Capt. Rob Huss said.
Bertholf has been with the State Patrol for 20 years, and is currently a K-9 handler assigned to the Homeland Security division out of the Bainbridge area, Huss said.
Witnesses reported the accident about 2:40 p.m. Sunday.
Court records show the victim said Bertholf hit the left rear of her vehicle as he swerved into the shoulder, approaching from behind at a speed of about 40 mph.
The woman driving the struck vehicle was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, Huss said.
Bertholf, who was driving his personal SUV, continued to northbound I-5 and was followed by a witness who was on the phone to the State Patrol, Huss said.
According to court records:
An on-duty trooper found Bertholf on I-5 and followed him to Portland Avenue, where he tried to conduct a traffic stop.
Bertholf then switched lanes and sped away at up to about 50 mph.
He began weaving through traffic, swerving and crossing over the center lane divider and almost hitting the raised center median multiple times, the trooper said in the documents.
Bertholf stopped near East 34th Street and threw the keys out of the vehicle, at which point the pursuing trooper approached the car and recognized him as someone he used to work with.
Bertholf recognized the pursuing trooper too and began swearing at him.
He was arrested and later booked into the Pierce County Jail.
The pursuing trooper reported that Bertholf had an odor of intoxicants on his breath and that he was uneasy on his feet. Bertholf did not give an honest effort during a breath test, which was recorded as a refusal, the records show.
Blood test results to determine if Bertholf was intoxicated at the time were pending.
The court set bail at $35,000.