JANUARY 6, 1997

 The Edwards Agency

Local News

Citizens tackle hit-and-run driver

crashed car

The crash of this 1994 Chevrolet pick-up and the telephone booth on 175th Street was just the beginning of the chase.
Photo by Darren Running.

hit-and-run driver by Jeff Switzer
A 23-year-old Woodinville man was taken into custody Dec. 24 after he drove his Chevy pickup into a car and the GTE phone booth across from City Hall, then attempted to flee on foot.
   The suspect rear-ended a Toyota Celica traveling on NE 175th Street as he exited the Woodgate shopping center. As the other driver exited the car to get information, the suspect fled the scene, driving his truck eastbound on the sidewalk.
   The car chase ended about 50 yards later when the suspect's truck ran squarely into the GTE phone booth and telephone pole behind it. The man left the truck and fled north on 132nd Avenue.
   Thomas Busch, a North Kirkland resident, and Seung Chung of Bothell, the driver of the Celica, pursued the man on foot, tackling him and holding him until the police arrived some 15 minutes later.
   Officers determined that the suspect was driving while intoxicated and took him to the North Precinct for a breathalyzer test and processing. While at the precinct, the man began banging his head against the wall of the holding cell. When officers opened the cell door, he assaulted them, biting at least two officers.
   He was thought to be injured, so police shipped him to Harborview tied down to a gurney. At Harborview, he assaulted two security guards and the aid car driver. He was then taken to the King County Jail, where he was booked, held, and released later in the week.
   Charges sent to the prosecutor's office included DWI, hit and run, third-degree felony assault of a police officer, three counts of fourth-degree assault for the security guards and the EMT driver, and obstructing police.