Pursuit damages Elma Police car

An Elma Police officer’s patrol car was damaged by a fleeing suspect last week, and there’s still no word on whether it’s too badly damaged to be repaired.

Officers responded to a report of a suspicious person near Les Schwab on North 3rd Street at about 10:30 p.m. last Thursday, Chief Jeff Troumbley said. The caller reported a man was walking around storage areas at the business, which was closed at the time.

Officers spotted a Chevy pickup truck in the parking lot, but no one was inside. After waiting a short time, a man later identified as Elma resident Shawn Shapansky, 31, approached the truck and got inside.

After repeatedly asking Shapansky to show his hands, Shapansky allegedly cursed at the officer and said, “I’m not going back,” and sped out of the parking lot.

He drove south on 3rd Street, blew through the stop sign at Young Street and the red light on Main Street, at speeds estimated around 50-60 mph, police said.

Outside of town, officers estimated Shapansky’s speed went up to 80 mph. He went off the roadway as Wakefield Road curves to become South Bank Road, down an embankment, into a ditch, where he sideswiped a power pole

As he came back up out of the ditch, he swerved onto the road and sideswiped a police car, eventually crossing into the officer’s path.

“Everything stopped at that point,” Troumbley said.

Shapansky was arrested for driving with a suspended license, third-degree malicious mischief and eluding police. A judge agreed to release him on his personal recognizance for all charges but attempting to elude. A judge set bail for that charge Monday at $25, and Shapansky was still in the Grays Harbor County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.

Troumbley said department is still working with its insurance company on what to do with the patrol vehicle.

“It’s disabled right now, it’s not usable,” he said.

No one was injured in the pursuit.