A man wrecked a stolen car Tuesday morning in Tacoma’s West End before fleeing the scene where his injured passenger remained, according to charging documents.
Tacoma police couldn’t find the man.
But after a burglary in Ruston where the suspect left his shoes in the home, police found the 35-year-old Tacoma man outside that afternoon, shivering violently, a pearl necklace dangling from his pocket.
The man was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Pierce County Superior Court on one count of felony hit and run, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle and residential burglary, as well as two counts of second-degree theft. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set his bail at $150,000.
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According to charging documents:
The man was driving the stolen car southbound in the 4000 block of North Vassault Street about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday when he sideswiped one car, then hit another head on.
His face bloodied, he fled the scene.
The drivers of the other vehicles were uninjured, but the man’s female passenger had to be taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Medical Center.
Tacoma police spent “quite a while” searching for the man, but were unsuccessful.
Just after 4:30 p.m., Ruston police were called by a woman whose house in the 5400 block of North 49th Street had been broken into.
She went through the house with an officer, finding much of her jewelry missing but an abandoned backpack and a pair of blue shoes that were not hers.
Police searched the area for a barefoot man.
They found a man on North 45th and Huson streets, hiding behind a fence, soaked through and shivering.
The man told the officer he needed help because he “thought that he had been hit by a car,” but said he couldn’t remember anything. He said he was lost and woke up on North 49th Street.
The officer saw the man’s pockets bulging, with a pearl necklace sticking out of one, and noticed the man’s head wound, still bleeding slightly.
The man said he didn’t know how the jewelry got into his pocket and that he didn’t know to whom it belonged.
The officer detained the man, then asked him again why there was jewelry in his pockets.
“I’m not sure,” the man replied. “Please return it to whoever it belongs to. I don’t want it now.”
The officer went through the items, noticing that they included checks and an ID with the address of the Ruston woman’s home. All told, the jewelry was valued at $1,000.
The man was then arrested.
The officer noticed the man’s wound was consistent with hitting his head on a windshield during a wreck and that the man matched the description of the person who fled the earlier crash.
One of the witnesses to the crash then identified the man as the driver.