Competency evaluation ordered for suspect in high-speed chase through Thurston, Pierce counties

A 27-year-old Tacoma man accused of leading police on an Interstate 5 chase from Olympia to Tacoma last month will undergo a competency evaluation at Western State Hospital.

During a Tuesday morning hearing, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch issued the order for an evaluation. The defendant, Jamez E. Brown, is being held in the Thurston County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.

The order came at the request of Brown’s court-appointed attorney, John Hansen of the Office of Assigned Counsel. A competency review hearing was scheduled for March 30.

Brown is facing five felony charges: second-degree assault with a firearm, felony harassment, attempting to elude a police vehicle, third-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, Brown is accused of taking three pairs of jeans from Macy’s at Capital Mall on Feb. 24. A store security guard reported seeing Brown run from the store carrying an armful of jeans.

The security guard said he told Brown to return the jeans, but Brown pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot the guard, according to court documents. Brown then climbed into a red Camaro and fled. The security guard called police.

Olympia police spotted a red Camaro heading south on Plum Street in downtown Olympia several minutes later, according to court documents. A state trooper, Olympia police and Lacey police followed Brown as he headed north on Interstate 5, reaching speeds over 100 mph.

Brown exited I-5 in Tacoma, where Tacoma police joined the chase. He drove through several red lights and stop signs, eventually coming to a stop on the 5600 block of South Puget Sound Avenue, according to court documents.

Brown was found in an alley.

An Olympia officer transported him to the Thurston County Jail, and Brown repeatedly kicked the patrol car and threatened the officer during the trip, according to court documents. When they reached the jail, Brown spit in the officer’s face.

Tacoma police searched Brown’s car and found a black gun and a pile of jeans, which still had tags on them.

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