Pierce County K9 Helps Nab Man Who Led Chase Heading Wrong Way on Interstate 5

A 21-year-old man was arrested and booked into the Thurston County Jail Monday after a chase on Interstate 5 during which he allegedly drove the wrong way on the freeway, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

He’ll face charges of attempting to elude police, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.

Below is an account of the chase by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office. Look for more in next week’s edition of Nisqually Valley News.

“At 1:05 a.m. on Monday December 2, 2019, K9 Zepp and his handler were dispatched to assist our friends at the Thurston County Sheriff's Office with a suspect track in the Nisqually area just south of the Pierce/Thurston County line. A known suspect had led the Thurston County Sheriff's deputies on a pursuit northbound on I-5, and the suspect had reportedly crossed over into the southbound lanes and was driving into oncoming traffic before crashing into a barrier along the freeway. The driver and a passenger had fled on foot from the vehicle into a densely forested area on the west side of I-5. When our K9 unit arrived on scene, our deputy learned that the driver had an active felony warrant and that a firearm was observed in the suspect's crashed vehicle. The deputies made several verbal announcements that the area was going to be searched by K9 Zepp; the passenger wisely chose to come out from hiding and was taken into custody. K9 Zepp started his track at the driver's door of the crashed vehicle, then quickly began tracking along the guardrail with our K9 handler and Thurston County deputies running along with him. K9 Zepp headed down a steep embankment and into the dark woods; he continued working through the thick vegetation and mud, climbing over rotting logs. After covering approximately 150 yards of the suspect’s escape path, the suspect yelled to the deputies that he was giving up and to not send the dog. The deputies continued for another 40 yards to the suspect's hiding spot and he was taken into custody without incident. The 21 year old male suspect was booked into the Thurston County Jail for Attempt to Elude a Pursuing Police Vehicle, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the 2nd degree, and Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance. Good boy Zepp!”

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