Crime

He used his minivan to try to hit an officer conducting a traffic stop, police say

A Lakewood police officer had pulled a man over early Tuesday along Tacoma Mall Boulevard when a 65-year-old Tacoma man ran across the street toward the officer, waving his hands and screaming at the officer before stopping in the middle of the road.

The officer told the man that he needed to get out of the street, then returned to the first man’s car to continue with his traffic stop.

Moments later, the 65-year-old got into his minivan, gunned the engine and attempted to run down the officer before leading him on a chase through two cities, Pierce County prosecutors say.

The 65-year-old was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Pierce County Superior Court on charges of attempted first-degree assault and eluding police. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set the man’s bail at $500,000 and ordered him to resolve pending warrants in Grays Harbor County, Tacoma and Bonney Lake before being released.

The man had pleaded guilty to harassment in Pierce County Superior Court in September 2017 and received a suspended 364-day jail sentence. He has been arraigned three times since then for failing to comply with the terms of the suspended sentence, which was revoked March 16.

According to charging documents:

The incident occurred on Tacoma Mall Boulevard near 84th Street Southwest when the man approached the officer and called him by a last name that wasn't his. After the officer said he wasn't the officer with that name and told the man to get out of the road, the man went to the gas station where he’d been parked and drove his minivan across the center line, coming within inches of the officer .

He then kept going on Tacoma Mall Boulevard before turning onto 84th Street.

The officer gave the man he’d pulled over back his license and told him to drive safely, then hopped into his car and took off after the minivan.

The chase went at speeds of up to 70 mph from Lakewood to East 25th Street and Puyallup Avenue in Tacoma, where the minivan pulled over.

Once he was handcuffed, read his Miranda rights and placed in the back of the patrol car, the man started yelling that he hated the police officer for ruining his life two weeks before the incident, but he kept using the wrong officer’s name. He started praying that the officer would drop dead in the car.

The officer had never seen the man before.

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