A Good Samaritan’s intervention and the quick thinking of Hoquiam Police Department officers brought a peaceful end to a chase on East Hoquiam Road Sunday morning.
Chief Jeff Myers said Officer Ryan Pearson responded to a home in the 800 block of Rayonier Avenue at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday for a report of malicious mischeif.
A 46-year-old woman who lives in an apartment in the home was suspected of scratching four cars at the home with keys, three of which are owned by her father. Pearson noted one vehicle had the woman’s name scratched into it.
The woman had been arrested April 16 for allegedly attacking her father with a knife, and has a history of mental illness.
“Officer Pearson attempted to talk to the woman about the allegations, but she refused to roll down the window, waved and backed out of the driveway,” Myers said.
Pearson caught up to the truck and tried to stop the woman on Broadway Avenue.
“Instead, she led Officer Pearson and Sgt. Jeff Salstrom on a low-speed pursuit north out of Hoquiam and up the East Hoquiam Road,” Myers said.
An East Hoquiam Road resident near milepost 7.5 got a call from a friend listening to the chase on a scanner, then used his pickup truck and car trailer to block both lanes of the road, forcing the woman to stop.
Pearson and Salstrom boxed in the truck, trying to coax the woman out.
“She refused to cooperate and started to back-up toward the patrol cars, forcing the officers to quickly jump out of the way to avoid being struck,” Myers said. “Sgt. Salstrom used his patrol knife to deflate three of the truck’s tires to stop the woman’s flight; Officer Pearson broke out the driver’s side window whereby the officers took the woman into custody.”
The woman was taken to Grays Harbor Community Hospital for a mental health evaluation. Her case will be forwarded to the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s Office for felony charges.
Pearson suffered minor cuts to his hand from the broken glass. He was treated at Community Hospital and released.
“This is yet another regular example of the failure of our mental health system in this state,” Myers said. “This woman is certainly a danger to herself and others, yet she does not face criminal charges because of her mental state but at the same time is not detained in a mental health facility. There is just no capacity in our mental health system and the result places everyone at risk.”