Man Accused of Carjacking, High-Speed Chase, Assault in Pierce and Thurston County

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A man accused of carjacking, a high-speed chase and hitting a patrol car in the minutes after a police officer dropped him off at a South Sound casino earlier this year has been charged.

He pleaded not guilty at arraignment Tuesday in Pierce County Superior Court to second-degree assault and trying to elude police, and he previously pleaded not guilty to second-degree robbery and vehicle theft at arraignment in Thurston County.

Charging papers make these allegations about what happened:

Lakewood police arrested the 27-year-old and tried to book him into the Nisqually Jail Sept. 20. After the man was rejected due to COVID-19 pandemic protocols, the officer dropped him off at a Thurston County casino.

Soon after the officer heard about a carjacking in that area and based on the description of the person thought it was the same suspect.

The carjacking happened after a casino employee was walking to his vehicle following his shift. The 27-year-old grabbed his car keys and tried to get inside.

Security responded and tried to get the keys back, as the suspect kept running around the vehicle and trying to get in.

Another employee who drove by stopped when he saw what was happening. He left his own car running when he got out to help, and the suspect drove off in it.

Later he pulled next to a Des Moines police officer who was driving to work on Interstate 5 near the Steilacoom Road exit and appeared to intentionally hit the passenger side of the patrol car.

That sent the officer toward the jersey barrier, and he was one or two feet from it when he managed to get the patrol car under control.



The suspect sped off, reaching 100 mph, and at one point was driving north in the southbound lanes of I-5.

Other cars drove off the freeway to avoid a crash.

"Lakewood officers were convinced this was the same suspect who was dropped off at the location where the Thurston County robbery had occurred," the declaration for determination of probable cause said. "They were aware of where the defendant would likely return to in Lakewood, and went to that location."

The suspect arrived in the stolen car and was arrested.

"Only 17 minutes had elapsed from the notification from Thurston County that the robbery had occurred," the probable cause statement said.

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