Crime

Man arraigned, faces at least six counts in Tacoma-Auburn chase

A man who prosecutors allege led Tacoma police on a high-speed chase through Pierce County before being arrested in Auburn was arraigned Wednesday on six charges, and more may be coming.

Brent Alan Soderstrom, 40, of Tacoma, was charged in Pierce County Superior Court with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, two counts of hit-and-run, felony eluding and driving while suspended.

Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set his bail at $500,000.

Pierce County prosecutors are working with their counterparts in King County to determine where charges will be filed against Soderstrom in an alleged carjacking attempt at knifepoint shortly before his arrest, charging documents state.

According to the court documents:

A Washington State Patrol detective saw Soderstrom driving 90 mph on Interstate 5.

A trooper stopped to turn on his patrol car’s radar, but traffic was too thick for it to work. The trooper saw Soderstrom’s car and tried to catch up, driving up to 140 mph in pursuit. Fearing a crash, the trooper ended the pursuit.

That’s where the eluding charges came in.

The first-degree assault charge came when Soderstrom allegedly tried to run over a Tacoma police sergeant who followed him to a Center Street apartment complex.

Soderstrom drove at the sergeant and hit a post supporting a parking structure. The car was going so fast it snapped the 4-inch-diameter metal pole. Soderstrom put his car in reverse and tried to hit the sergeant again, but hit another post.

One count of hit-and-run happened when Soderstrom fled the apartment complex and hit an occupied vehicle. The second count happened after Soderstrom’s car hit another vehicle as he fled northbound on I-5 out of Tacoma.

One officer wrote, “It should be noted that the driver had zero regard for the thousands of vehicles he passed, cut off, tailgated and/or almost ran off the road.”

The second-degree assault charge came from forcing a pursuing Tacoma police vehicle off the road on I-5.

Shortly before his arrest, Soderstrom hit a semi on an offramp of state Route 18 in Auburn. He got out of his car and tried to take the truck at knifepoint, running away when he failed. The truck driver gave police the knife.

Soderstrom was arrested nearby. When officers checked with the Department of Licensing, they found Soderstrom’s driver’s license was suspended.

He told police after his arrest that he had gone to prison before for a similar incident. He said officers beat him, making him anxious around police. He “admitted to being stupid and out of control,” according to charging papers.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

  Comments