Rantz: Alleged hostage taker cites Dem law to warn Seattle cops not to chase him

Jun 13, 2022, 5:00 PM | Updated: Jun 14, 2022, 8:25 am

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A homeless man allegedly took his girlfriend hostage as he eluded police on a high-speed chase in Seattle. And he credited a Democrat-passed bill for his unwillingness to pull over.

In 911 audio obtained by the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, suspect Isaac Sissel repeatedly references Democrat-passed legislation prohibiting most vehicular pursuits, as he tells police they can’t legally chase him. Police say he admitted to using the new bill to justify past pursuits.

“It’s an illegal pursuit… they’re not supposed to be able to chase,” Sissel tells the 911 operator, according to the audio.

‘He’s a psychopath’

The victim met Sissel about a month prior to this incident and had been living with him in his car for about two weeks, according to the police incident report. Police say the relationship was abusive.

On May 9, a friend of the victim called 911 reporting an alarming series of messages she got over Snapchat. According to screenshots of the text exchanges, the victim assured her friend, “I’ll be ok.” But the friend was worried when the victim stopped responding.

“He’s not mad at you rn [right now]?” the friend said at 11:12 p.m. May 8.

At 1:03 a.m., the friend asked the victim if she was okay but did not get a response. It prompted the call to 911. She alleged Sissel “is holding a 19-year-old girl in his car and her cat hostage.”

“He has a knife, and a possible gun … he mentioned he had a gun last time I saw him, like a month ago, and I don’t know if he has it on him. I believe he does,” the friend told the dispatcher.

The friend was able to use Snapchat to find the victim’s location. She was at the Grand Army Cemetery in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The friend said he was in a stolen car and speculated as to why he’d allegedly held the victim hostage.

“I know he does not like her cat. That is the only reason he would do this. He is a psychopath, I know that and he’s a felon,” she alleged.

‘This is an illegal pursuit. Very illegal.’

Seattle police responded to the cemetery to make contact with Sissel and the victim.

The officer “attempted to stop on the vehicle using emergency lights and sirens,” but Sissel fled, according to an incident report. Nearby units responded to the call and began to pursue Sissel.

“The driver continued driving, refusing to stop, and taking evasive actions for several blocks and miles. The driver then entered I-5 southbound. Officers from SPD, King County Sheriff’s Office, and Washington State Patrol began to peruse the vehicle,” the incident report alleges.

While driving on I-5, the incident report says the victim called police, though it’s allegedly Sissel who was the primary voice on the call, instructing the operator that police are not allowed to pursue him.

“SPD is illegally chasing me over I don’t know what,” Sissel says on the 911 call.

“Sir, are you able to pull over and talk to officers?” the operator replied.

“No. It is an illegal pursuit and my license is suspended, and this is an illegal pursuit … They’re not supposed to be able to pursue,” Sissel says.

During the call, the victim is heard screaming that she doesn’t want the police to pursue, either.


Sissel appears to directly mention new law

Though it’s difficult to decipher due to the quality of the call, Sissel appears to reference bill “1074.” He’s close.

House Bill 1054, passed by Democrats, prohibits police from engaging in most vehicular pursuits unless there’s reasonable suspicion for a DUI, or probable cause that a violent crime or sex crime occurred. In this case, because police were called to a possible case of domestic violence, Washington law compels them to investigate. Additionally, suspicion of kidnapping and possession of a firearm could trigger approval for a chase.

But after speaking to multiple officers, there’s confusion as to whether or not the new law prevents them from pursuit, though all cops said they would have pursued based on the facts of the case. The SPD did not respond to requests to explain if officers were given approval to pursue, as required.

“Make sure they stop chasing us,” Sissel warned the operator.

‘Isaac threatens to kill her approximately 10 times a day’

SPD officers continued the pursuit, though it’s unclear how long it lasted.

WSP, assisting in the effort, successfully deployed spike strips on the freeway. After the car stopped, police made the arrest without incident and spoke with the victim.

“[The victim] stated she has been living in the vehicle with her friend Isaac for several weeks and that Isaac threatened to kill her and kill her pet cat, several times tonight and she recorded the statements on her phone and sent them to her friend [redacted],” an incident report reads. “Officers listened to a recording on [the victim’s] phone recorded on 5/8/22 where Isaac states the following: ‘I’ll stop threatening to kill you if-(recording cuts off)…Your life is not worth more than my car…I would have killed that cat if it were up to me…'”

The interview with the victim revealed longstanding, alleged emotional abuse, perhaps explaining why she sided with Sissel during the 911 call.

“[The victim] stated Isaac threatens to kill her approximately 10 times a day. [She] stated Isaac threatens to kill her by shooting her and running her over. [She] stated she was afraid for her life when Isaac made these statements,” the incident report alleges.

A history of running from police

This wasn’t the first time Sissel ran from police, according to the incident report. He allegedly bragged about using the Democrat-passed law barring pursuits.

“Isaac stated he regularly runs from the police because he knows the police can no longer pursue him due to the house bills,” the incident report states. “Isaac stated he has only been caught by Washington State Patrol when they wrecked his vehicle. Post Miranda, Isaac stated to [an officer], ‘I hit 105 around some parts of that stretch.’ He then said ‘this isn’t my first, and won’t be my last … You’ve seen my record.'”

In the charging docs, the King County Prosecutor’s Office says just two months ago he was sentenced on an attempt to elude police, plus and criminal mischief with a deadly weapon.

“He also has a Stalking-DV charge and violation of a court order out of Oakland, CA on May 7, 2021. A harassment-DV from New Jersey May 16, 2019. The defendant has a history of domestic violence and admitted history of fleeing the police,” the documents state.

An earlier alleged crime

Sissel was charged with Felony Harassment-Domestic Violence and Attempting To Elude A Pursuing Police Vehicle. He remains in King County jail, according to records, and is being held on $30,000 bail.

But according to the Olympia Police Department, Sissel was suspected of another crime before eluding police in Seattle. Police say Sissel threatened to “shoot up” a homeless shelter after he was denied services.

According to the incident report, a witness at the shelter “said he left in a burgundy-colored vehicle after breaking out several car windows in the parking lot.”

“He said ‘Hey [expletive], you see your windshield? Yea, that was me. I’m going to get a gun and going to come shoot you all,'” according to a witness in the incident report.

The Thurston County Prosecutor’s Officer confirms they received a referral for charges against Sissel.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  InstagramFacebook, and YouTube. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Alleged hostage taker cites Dem law to warn Seattle cops not to chase him