A man gets to be 29 years old, he should know better than to do certain things.
Take stealing a pickup. That’s just wrong. Ditto with dealing drugs out of said truck.
Running from the cops when they come to retrieve the pickup? Bad.
Driving over two patrol cars, bashing into a house and then smashing up a guard rail and wooden fence in the process? Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.
Alas, Justin Cole Ames apparently did not get the memo.
Pierce County prosecutors Friday charged Ames, 29, with all of the above and put him on notice that more charges are pending.
He pleaded not guilty in Superior Court to two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of first-degree malicious mischief and one count of attempting to elude police.
Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered Ames jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail. She also ordered him to drive the posted speed limit should he make bail.
The action took place in Milton.
Police received a report about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday that someone was dealing drugs out of a pickup. The sharp-eyed resident relayed the license plate number, which police dutifully punched into their computers.
Bing! A truck with that license number had been reported stolen out of Auburn earlier in the day.
“They proceeded to dispatch multiple units to recover the stolen truck,” deputy prosecutor Patrick Hammond wrote in charging documents.
Ames, it seems, had different ideas.
Instead of yielding to a phalanx of Milton police cars with lights and sirens going, he turned into a cul-de-sac at the end of 12 Avenue Court, court records show.
Two officers pulled their cruisers in behind him.
Ames allegedly whipped the stolen truck around the cul-de-sac like a spacecraft sling-shotting around the moon and headed right at the officers, one of whom later the described what happened next:
“The driver then punched the accelerator and veered more left toward me and struck the right front corner of my vehicle push bar with such force it broke a portion of the push bar off the brackets.
“… the driver then rammed Officer Johnson’s vehicle and drove over the right front corner of the vehicle, causing heavy damage to it.”
Neither officer was badly hurt. Johnson’s ride was out of commission, though, and later had to be towed.
Ames, allegedly, wasn’t done.
Hammond picks up the narrative from there.
“The defendant then accelerated directly into the house located at 510 12 Avenue Court,” causing about $25,000 in damage, the deputy prosecutor wrote. “The truck’s tires continued to squeal while it peeled out, partially stuck in the house.”
Ames managed to yank the truck free, cut through the backyard and then led remaining officers across Milton, running numerous stop signs and hitting upward of 100 mph (in a 35 mph zone) before encountering his Waterloo: 48th Street.
Hammond: “48th Street turns into Edgewood Drive, where the defendant encountered a long right-hand curve that he was unable to negotiate. The defendant left the road and crashed into a culvert, demolishing the steel guard rail and a wooden fence.”
A man who reaches 29 years of age should know when he’s beaten, and this would seem like such a spot.
Not Ames. He took off on foot, court records show.
He didn’t get far.
“A search incident to arrest turned up shaved keys and a small quantity of a substance suspected to be methamphetamine,” Hammond wrote.
One of the officers who arrested Ames asked him the operative question: Why run?
Again, Hammond: “The defendant said he ran because he did not want to go to jail for the stolen vehicle, his warrants and a lot of other stuff … .”
Seems like a fellow with warrants and a “lot of other stuff” should’ve known better.
Now he’s got a whole lot of new stuff on top of everything else.