Watch Suspect Use Kayak to Try to Escape Wash. Police During Chase

June 14, 2024
When a man in a stolen car ran into a dead end while fleeing Centralia police, the suspect ditched the vehicle, grabbed a kayak and unsuccessfully tried to paddle away along the Chehalis River.

By Martín Bilbao

Source The Olympian (Olympia, Wash.)

A Steilacoom man driving a stolen car used a kayak to flee from law enforcement on the Chehalis River last week, the Centralia police report.

Centralia police arrested the 39-year-old man on June 6 with help from multiple agencies, according to a Thursday news release.

The man was booked into the Lewis County jail on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle and second-degree theft, according to the news release.

The incident began at about 8 a.m. when Centralia police received a Flock Safety alert for a stolen vehicle in the area. Multiple local agencies, including the Olympia Police Department, have recently begun to use flock cameras to automatically capture vehicle information, such as license plate numbers, on local streets.

Centralia detectives followed up on the alert and located a 2006 Scion hatchback. The driver of the hatchback pulled over but officers reported he failed to comply with commands to get out of the vehicle, according to the release.

Police say the driver fled from Cooks Hill Road onto Summerside Drive, which has no outlet. From there, they say he abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot into a "steep wooded area."

A Centralia K9 dog tracked the man towards the Chehalis River and a drone pilot spotted the man running while carrying a blue kayak.

Police allege the man stole the kayak from a nearby residence on River Heights Road and used it to paddle into the middle of the river, according to the release.

Police say the man refused to comply with multiple commands to stop. At one point, the release says a Centralia police sergeant fired several pepper ball rounds into the water around the suspect under the Galvin Road Bridge.

While this happened, Washington State Patrol aircraft "Smokey" followed the man while he continued down the river. Police deployed kayaks with Riverside Fire Authority personnel to try to intercept the man.

The man eventually exited the east side of the river about a mile north of Galvin Road where he was met by a second K9 team that arrested him, the release says.

In addition to his new charges, the release says the man had multiple warrants for his arrest from neighboring counties.


(c)2024 The Olympian (Olympia, Wash.)

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