When police first saw the man,Friday he was walking down railroad tracks in Lakewood.
They hollered at him to move away from the tracks. Officers were concerned because he “looked unsteady,” records show.
The 22-year-old man ignored them at first, then grabbed his cell phone and threatened to call police before sprinting down the tracks.
The officers followed.
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As the man reached the Thorne Lake off-ramp, police said, he darted onto Interstate 5 and caused multiple wrecks.
He also threw his cell phone at a pursuing officer, hitting him in the mouth and cracking several teeth.
The man eventually stopped running and allowed police to take him into custody.
What the officers didn’t know at the time was that Roy police had picked the man up earlier that day. They took him to the mental ward of a hospital as a voluntary commitment after he exhibited mental health issues and admitted to using methamphetamine.
“He decided to walk away from the hospital and was trying to make it to Roy on foot,” according to charging papers.
On Monday, Pierce County prosecutors charged the man with second-degree assault, second-degree criminal trespass and pedestrian interference with traffic.