In just minutes, a man allegedly threatened to kill two Lakewood police officers, damaged two patrol cars and crashed his car into a tree after a high-speed chase.
Pierce County prosecutors have charged the 49-year-old man with second-degree assault, felony harassment and attempting to elude an officer.
He pleaded not guilty Monday at arraignment in Superior Court, and Commissioner Meagan Foley set bail at $80,000.
Charging papers gave this account:
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The trouble started Thursday morning, when the man cussed out a passing officer and other drivers at 96th Street South and South Tacoma.
When the officer radioed that in, dispatchers responded that a man matching that description had used his hand to simulate a gun and fake shoot at a bus of schoolchildren that morning.
The officer pulled up to speak with the man. He was yelling, but the officer couldn’t make out what he was saying.
Suddenly, the man charged at the officer, who took out his Taser. The man stopped, returned to his car and began threatening police.
“He said he was going to shoot the officer and he better leave him alone,” according to the charging papers.
Police didn’t see a gun but the officer did spot a knife taped to the front of the man’s belt.
As two officers called for the man to get out of his car, he abruptly hit the gas and ran a red light, setting off a pursuit that reached 80 miles per hour.
During the chase, the man allegedly brake-checked officers, swerved across all lanes, drove at patrol cars and tore off an open patrol car door when his car hit it at 40 mph.
The chase ended just inside the gate of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where the man’s car crashed into a tree.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653