Man Arrested Following 100 mph Police Chase From Winlock to Centralia

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A Pierce County man accused of robbing the Chehalis Home Depot in January was arrested early Saturday morning following a 100 mph police chase on northbound Interstate 5 between Winlock and Centralia.

The chase began after a Lewis County Sheriff's Office deputy approached a male driver “slumped behind the wheel” of a black passenger vehicle parked at the 76 gas station in the 100  block of Avery Road West in Winlock early Saturday morning to conduct a welfare check, according to court documents.

The deputy woke the driver, who was identified as Gareth Reed-Houser, 23, of Roy. The deputy ran Reed-Houser’s name and found a $50,000 active warrant for his arrest out of Lewis County Superior Court.

That warrant was first issued on Jan. 27 after investigators linked Reed-Houser to a vehicle that was involved in a robbery in Chehalis earlier that month. An unidentified male shoplifter had left the Home Depot on Jan. 2 and entered a vehicle, picked up an unidentified woman and child, then fled from pursuing officers. Due to the presence of a child in the vehicle and the driver’s “erratic driving,” officers terminated the pursuit.

After confirming the active warrant, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office deputy ordered Reed-Houser to hand over the keys to the vehicle, but Reed-Houser refused, then made “furtive movements in the vehicle,” prompting the deputy to draw his firearm and request backup, according to court documents.

Reed-Houser then allegedly started his vehicle and fled the scene.

The deputy pursued Reed-Houser onto northbound I-5 and observed Reed-Houser accelerate up to 108 mph, with his vehicle splitting lanes.

Washington State Patrol troopers deployed stop sticks from the east shoulder near Exit 77, which successfully punctured Reed-Houser’s tires — but he continued driving at approximately 50 mph until he fishtailed near milepost 82 and wrecked his vehicle. He then fled the vehicle on foot. Officers located Reed-Houser “hiding in the brush,” according to court documents. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail just before 6 a.m. on Sept. 11.

In addition to the second-degree robbery and attempting to elude a pursuing police officer charges from January, Reed-Houser has been charged with an additional count of attempting to elude a pursuing police officer and one count of driving under the influence of methamphetamine.

Commissioner Pro-Tem Paul Strophy set Reed-Houser’s bail at $50,000 for the January case and at $25,000 for the new charges. Both bail amounts will need to be posted separately in order for Reed-Houser to be released.

His next court appearance is an arraignment hearing scheduled for Sept. 16.

 

Comments

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Raymond

I thought pursuits were a thing of the past from the Sheriff's press release unless the person is an imminent threat?

Vehicular pursuits are allowed if there is probable cause to believe a person in the vehicle has committed a violent or sex offense, or if there is reasonable suspicion that someone in the vehicle is driving under the influence. The subject must also be deemed an “imminent threat” to the safety of others, and the safety risk of failing to apprehend or identify the subject must be greater than the safety risk posed by a vehicle pursuit.

“LCSO has always had a policy allowing for vehicular pursuits, but only under certain circumstances, and deputies had engaged in justified vehicle pursuits several times each year,” Snaza said. “Under the previous law, law enforcement could have pursued individuals suspected of committing any serious crime (for example stolen vehicles), even if probable cause had yet to be established. Under the new law, such pursuits will no longer be allowed.”

Wednesday, September 15
HypocrisyAtItsFinest

Raymond, that was just Snaza's fear-mongering BS. Obviously, these new laws do not stop them from doing their jobs, they're just meant to make them use their brains a little more. Which I know can be difficult, so if they can't handle it then maybe law enforcement isn't for them...

Thursday, September 16
Thetruthjr

Or, Raymond, you can look at the very text you pasted in relation to the story and see that pursuits are allowed under the new law with reasonable suspicion of DUI, and also that this guy was charged with a DUI.

Thursday, September 16
Raymond

You're right. I stand corrected. A DUI is permissible. My mistake.

Thursday, September 16
JibCut66

Maybe what precipitated the pursuit was the outstanding felony warrant that came up when his license was ran?

Thursday, September 16