A 34-year-old Idaho man required treatment at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after being tracked by a Thurston County K9 at the end of a police chase that began in Yelm at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6
Ian James Freir, of Sandpoint, had a felony warrant for drug charges out of Idaho when a Yelm police officer saw him driving a black 1999 Mercedes SUV westbound of Coates Road Southeast. The officer, noticing that the vehicle’s registration hadn’t been updated, attempted a traffic stop on 92nd Avenue Southeast.
When the officer opened his door after the vehicle pulled over, the Mercedes took off and the pursuit began.
According to police reports, the driver, Freir, blew past stop signs, drove on the sidewalk to get around traffic, traveled into oncoming lanes and reached speeds of up to 80 miles per hour as the pursuit continued on State Route 510.
The chase continued passed the Nisqually Red Wind Casino as Freir continued to disregard traffic controls and drive recklessly, according to police. When the vehicle approached the Yelm Highway roundabout, Freir drove over the concrete median, entered the eastbound lanes and collided with the driver’s side of another vehicle. The passengers were shaken up but not injured, according to police.
Freir, who had a female passenger, turned right on Reservation Road. At that point, the vehicle slowed and the female passenger jumped out. The woman, who was detained by a Nisqually Tribe officer, suffered road rash.
The vehicle came to a stop a short time later and Freir ran into the woods.
The Yelm police officer waited for a Thurston County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit to arrive before beginning a track through the thick brush, which was filled with blackberry bushes.
The track, which began at about 4:30 p.m., included the officers moving slowly and meticulously through the forest, at times crawling on all fours through the blackberry bushes.
The K9 found Freir after about 30 minutes.
“(The K9) located the suspect prior to us being able to see him,” an officer wrote. “He could be heard yelling and (the officer) was yelling at him too, as we could not see him yet. (The officer) was telling the suspect not to fight with the dog and to just calm down. The only way we were able to get to the suspect in a timely fashion was by physically laying on top of blackberry bushes and rolling over top of them.”
Freir, who was treated by medics after the officers brought him back to the road, was initially taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia but was later moved due to the nature of injuries to his upper left arm from the K9.
“The doctor made the medical decision to have Ian transported by ambulance to Harborview Medical Center for surgery due to the extent of his injuries,” an officer wrote.
In addition to the felony warrant in Idaho, Freir will also face charges of eluding a police vehicle and hit and run.