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Motorcyclist leads police on reckless chase though 5 Washington counties

(File, Associated Press)

On Saturday, a motorcycle rider led Washington State Patrol on a lengthy chase through five counties, eventually ending in Steilacoom where he was arrested.

The chase began when a 38-year-old Newport, Oregon man was seen by authorities driving a green 2008 Kawasaki motorcycle eastbound U.S. 101 at 76 miles per hour in a posted 55 mph zone, and failed to pull over when flagged by a Washington State Patrol trooper. The trooper pursued the suspect for a few minutes but broke off the chase when the motorcyclist continued speeding at the same high rate and used the oncoming lane and shoulder to pass other vehicles.

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“There was a lot of traffic up here for the Lavender Festival, so he was using the oncoming lane and right shoulder, and due to the heavy traffic we determined it wasn’t safe to keep pursuing,” Trooper Chelsea Hodgson told KIRO Radio.

State troopers and an aviation trooper in a Cessna 206 followed the dangerous biker through Clallam, Jefferson, Mason, Thurston and Pierce counties, occasionally staying out of sight of the rider with no lights or sirens activated until they could safely apprehend him.

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In Steilacoom, the rider abandoned his motorcycle and fled on foot, and was soon found by Steilacoom Public Safety Department officers. He was later booked for felony eluding, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.

“The WSP takes vehicle pursuits very serious, and weigh the safety of suspect apprehension with the safety of the motoring public,” said WSP District 8 Captain James Mjor. “In this case, we are pleased with the decisions of the troopers involved, the tools utilized such as aviation, and our partnerships with allied agencies that lead to one more dangerous person being removed from the roadways.”

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