It went from zero to 60 quickly.
Tacoma police responded to a traffic accident Tuesday, found the driver trying to flee and struggled with him for several minutes before he pulled a gun out of his waistband, records show.
No one was hurt, and the loaded gun was recovered.
On Wednesday, Pierce County prosecutors charged the driver, 31-year-old Gerald Cole Jr., with three counts of assault, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, attempted disarming of a law enforcement officer and second-degree driving on a suspended license. Bail was set at $2 million after he pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Cole was on community custody at the time of his arrest and has an unrelated assault case pending. He has prior convictions for assault and robbery, records show.
If convicted of the assault or weapons charges in Tuesday’s incident, prosecutors said it will be Cole’s third strike, and he would face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Police were called about 12:20 a.m. to South Alaska and South 92nd streets and found a car had been driven into a fence and nearly hit a house.
The driver, later identified as Cole, tried to drive the car away and then ran when the vehicle wouldn’t start, records show.
At least two officers chased him for about 15 feet before grabbing him. Cole allegedly swung his fists wildly and yelled during a tussle that lasted up to three minutes.
At one point, Cole and an officer fell to the ground, and Cole pulled a pistol out of his waistband, according to charging papers.
The officer was able to knock the loaded gun out of Cole’s hand and get him under control, police said.
The pistol was reported stolen in Kitsap County in August.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653