The man who prosecutors say hit a school bus and dumped a handgun in a pond while fleeing Pierce County deputies Thursday now faces a pair of felony charges.
The 18-year-old Federal Way man was arraigned Friday afternoon in Pierce County Superior Court on charges of unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, obstructing police and reckless driving. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set his bail at $200,000 and ordered him to not transport any minors, were he to be released from Pierce County Jail.
According to charging documents:
A Pierce County sheriff’s deputy was driving north on Meridian East near 152nd Street East in South Hill about 3 p.m. Thursday when he saw a purple Honda pull onto the road.
He ran the license plate, which came back stolen, so he sat in the median and waited for the car to pass.
Once the deputy re-entered traffic, the car’s driver saw him and turned across two lanes of traffic and drove into oncoming traffic.
He tried to turn onto 144th Street, but instead struck a semitrailer and a Puyallup School District bus full of elementary students. (All were unhurt.)
The stolen car came to rest against a tree, and all four of its occupants took off running in different directions.
The deputy pursued the driver through a grocery store parking lot and over a fence to a retention pond. The man dumped his gun there and kept running.
The deputy got caught on a fence on the other side of the pond and lost sight of the man, but he gave a detailed description of the man to dispatchers.
Other deputies found the man and arrested him at an apartment complex. Two of the other occupants were also detained, though neither were charged with crimes.
Pierce County sheriff’s deputies later found a handgun in the retention pond.
After the chase, the deputy went back to the stolen car and found it still running without a key in the ignition.