Crime

5 requests for restraining orders against man accused of fleeing police

Five women had requested protection orders against a man accused of recently leading police on a high-speed chase after a domestic violence report in Pierce County.

Michael Andrew Hart, 41, pleaded not guilty to charges of fourth-degree assault, resisting arrest and attempting to elude police in connection with the chase Dec. 14. He’s in jail in lieu of $80,000 bail as he awaits trial.

A lawyer for Hart listed in court records declined to comment on his behalf Monday.

Charging papers state the high-speed pursuit started as Hart drove past the Tillicum home of the woman he was dating. Police were there investigating her allegations that he beat her up the night before.

The officers told him to pull over, but he instead fled down Interstate 5, prosecutors said, and was stopped in Lewis County.

The Tillicum woman is one of the five Hart has dated and who have filed for protection orders against him in Pierce County since 2000. She was one of three to have their orders granted, court records show.

All five said Hart threatened to kill them and harm their families.

Two women were granted temporary orders, but they were unable to serve them on Hart. The orders were not formalized after the women stopped coming to court.

Hart has not been charged with crimes in connection with the women’s allegations except for a 2008 felony harassment conviction.

In that case, the Pierce County woman Hart dated told police he had threatened to kill her, her friends and her family. She also gave officers a news report she found about him stalking a girlfriend and her family in London.

Hart sent the local woman 166 texts and 40 voice messages in five days. According to charging papers, one text said: “You’re dead. Leave your work now and go somewhere safe where I can’t find you.”

When officers tried to serve Hart with a restraining order, he resisted and they used a stungun on him, court records state.

A woman who shares a child with Hart wrote in a 2013 request for protection that he had abused her and threatened to kill her and burn down her parents’ house while they were inside.

He sent lewd photos and videos to her family and her work, she told the court.

Hart wrote the court that the woman was “trying to manipulate the system,” and called the protection order her way of trying to keep him from his child.

The court granted the protection order, and Hart completed a domestic violence treatment program in April.

About eight months later, during the December chase, he allegedly had a police scanner in his car that might have helped him dodge spike strips. The car’s rear license plate frame carried a profane insult to police.

The woman whose report prompted the chase filed for a protection order the next day and was granted one.

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