PT teen charged with vehicle theft, hit and run, eluding police

Posted 8/11/22

A 17-year-old Port Townsend teen was arrested after he allegedly stole an SUV, fled from police, and then abandoned the vehicle before trying to get away on foot at Fort Worden State Park.

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PT teen charged with vehicle theft, hit and run, eluding police

Posted

A 17-year-old Port Townsend teen was arrested after he allegedly stole an SUV, fled from police, and then abandoned the vehicle before trying to get away on foot at Fort Worden State Park.

The teenager was arrested by Port Townsend police officers around 5:45 a.m., June 11 in the park.

The juvenile was charged with two felonies for theft of a motor vehicle and attempting to elude a police vehicle, as well as a gross misdemeanor hit-and-run charge for running over and damaging a “No Parking” sign in Fort Worden.

The teen was discovered by an officer on patrol who saw the 1994 Chevrolet Suburban SUV at the Cherry and F streets intersection.

According to the officer’s report, he noticed the teen start to turn north at the intersection onto Cherry Street, then — halfway through the turn — the driver quickly changed directions to get back onto F Street after seeing the patrol vehicle.

The sudden maneuver seemed suspicious to the officer, and he followed the SUV onto F Street. The driver appeared to be struggling to keep on the roadway and veered over the shoulder line and center line multiple times. The officer continued to follow, suspecting the driver was under the influence. 

While on Fir Street, the patrol officer activated his emergency lights and tried to perform a traffic stop, but the teen kept going, despite braking erratically for a block or so.

The driver turned onto U Street and the officer followed. The teen then ran the stop sign at U Street and Cherry Street and sped toward Fort Worden State Park, going 50 mph in a 25 mph zone.

After the juvenile continued into Fort Worden, the officer attempted to follow, but fell behind and lost sight of the SUV.

Officers searched the park for the Chevy and its driver and found the vehicle parked between two buildings.

The patrol officer who had first tried to stop the SUV then found a teenager near the Fort Worden Way and Eisenhower Avenue intersection.

According to the officer’s report, the youth was acting suspiciously; rapidly looking around, sweating, and trying to round a nearby building as the officer approached.

When the officer contacted the teen and asked for his name, he noticed grass stains on his sweatpants as the boy searched for his ID.

The teen denied knowing anything about the Suburban and said he had been walking around all night and wanted to take a picture at the anchor near the front of the park. The boy was detained and placed in a patrol car while officers and deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigated.

Officers learned the Chevy had been reported stolen by its owner at a restaurant on Sims Way after it was left unlocked with the keys inside around 5:30 a.m.

The owner came out to Fort Worden and looked inside the vehicle as an officer stood by. Multiple items not belonging to the owner were inside, as well as a small, red BMX bike in the back seat.

The teen was taken to a juvenile center in Silverdale shortly after being arrested.

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