A State Patrol lieutenant headed to a memorial ceremony was intentionally hit by another driver Wednesday, who told investigators he wanted to alert the officer that he thought people were fighting in the backseat, troopers said.
The 30-year-old Federal Way man was driving north about 12:30 p.m. on I-5 at Bridgeport Way Southwest in Lakewood about 90 mph, troopers said, when he pulled a few feet behind the patrol car.
He then made "some gestures," and hit the back of the lieutenant's car, spokesman Guy Gill said.
The lieutenant switched lanes, and the 30-year-old allegedly pulled up next to him, tried to look at the officer, and then hit the driver's side of the patrol vehicle.
The State Patrol official then used a maneuver to stop the suspect vehicle, and took the driver into custody without incident.
The trooper was taken to the hospital for soreness, Gill said.
The driver told troopers he knew it was a police car and that an officer was driving, and that he "believed people were fighting in the backseat," and wanted to alert the officer, Gill said.
The officer was the only occupant of the vehicle.
Investigators believe the Federal Way man was under the influence of drugs, Gill said, and were conducting a blood test.
The man would be booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of second-degree assault and driving with a suspended license, Gill said.
The lieutenant had been heading to Tacoma for a law enforcement memorial ceremony, to preform as part of the State Patrol Honor Guard.