A Pacific Beach teen faces felony eluding charges after police chased a vehicle through Hoquiam Friday evening. Sgt. Jeff Salstrom said in a press release that it was reported just after 5 p.m. an officer driving a fully marked patrol vehicle observed a red 2004 Hyundai Elantra being driven recklessly at 23rd and Cherry Streets.
The driver ran through a stop sign at a high rate of speed in front of the officer. As the officer attempted to catch up to the vehicle, the driver continued to drive in an erratic manner and continued to accelerate.
The officer activated his emergency lights and siren in an attempt to stop the vehicle. Instead of stopping, the driver ran a second stop sign at 24th Street and Sumner Avenue before turning onto Sumner.
The vehicle then ran the red light at 23rd Street and Sumner Avenue, nearly causing a collision.
The driver accelerated to Riverside Avenue, reaching speeds of 50-55 miles per hour in the 30 mile per hour zone.
The driver swerved across several lanes of traffic on Riverside Avenue, again almost causing several collisions. When the vehicle reached the Riverside Bridge, the driver came into the corner on the bridge too fast and struck the tall curb with the right front tire.
The impact damaged the wheel and axle, but the driver was still able to turn the wrong way onto Levee Street before coming to a stop.
The driver was ordered out of the vehicle using felony stop procedures where he was taken into custody without further incident. There was no damage to the bridge.
It turned out the driver was a 17-year old juvenile from Pacific Beach. He told officers he did not stop because he does not have a driver’s license and was afraid he would get a ticket. The suspect had borrowed the car from a friend and admitted he had been driving fast and ran the stop sign because he was in a hurry to get to a friend’s house to play video games.
Since the juvenile did not have significant previous criminal history, he did not meet the criteria of the Grays Harbor Juvenile Detention Center to be booked. The juvenile was instead released to the custody of his mother and will be submitted to the county prosecutor for the felony crime of Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle.
The juvenile will turn 18 in January and could be charged as an adult for this incident.
The vehicle was impounded at the scene.