Seattle man arrested after skipping court dates

Posted 7/14/21

A Seattle man who failed to return to court multiple times in March on charges of fleeing from a 2019 police stop was arrested last week and booked into Jefferson County Jail.

Chas Anthony Martin, …

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Seattle man arrested after skipping court dates

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A Seattle man who failed to return to court multiple times in March on charges of fleeing from a 2019 police stop was arrested last week and booked into Jefferson County Jail.

Chas Anthony Martin, 34, was arrested Friday. He is being held on $75,000 bail for four felony charges and three misdemeanor charges.

Martin faced additional charges of two counts of second-degree identity theft, unlawful possession of payment instruments, and hit-and-run property damage that came after his initial arrest in Jefferson County for attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, second-degree malicious mischief, making false statements to a public servant, and third-degree driving with a suspended license.

A bench warrant for his arrest was issued by Superior Court Judge Keith Harper in June after Martin repeatedly failed to appear in court on felony charges after he made bail following his initial arrest.

Martin’s repeated absences from court were noted when he failed to show up for a pretrial hearing June 11.

Harper agreed to issue an arrest warrant, with a bail amount that was set then at $25,000.

“We’ll see what happens; if he turns himself in or gets picked up,” Harper said at the hearing.

Martin’s legal troubles date back to August 2019, when he was arrested for trying to escape police after leading deputies from Jefferson and Kitsap counties on a two-county chase that began in Chimacum, stretched over the Hood Canal Bridge, and ended near Kingston when Martin crashed his car.

Martin allegedly fled from police following a traffic stop near the Chimacum Chevron.

A Jefferson County deputy had been monitoring traffic at the Highway 19 and Chimacum Road intersection, and checked the license plates on a Ford Mustang and a Kia Sorento that had pulled up to the gas pumps after the deputy noticed the Kia had a right taillight that wasn’t working.

The deputy ran a check on the Ford and found it had an expired registration, according to court documents.

When both cars left the gas station, the officer pulled over the Ford and the Kia driver stopped as well.

During the deputy’s talk with a woman driving the Kia, the deputy discovered she was driving with a suspended license and no insurance. 

While awaiting a confirmation on the woman’s suspension, the deputy said he went to tell the Kia driver about his broken right taillight.  

The driver said he didn’t have his license with him because it had been stolen. But when deputy called dispatchers with the man’s name, he was told there were no records for someone with that name, and the officer went back and asked the driver for his real name.

When told to shut off the car’s engine, however, the driver started to back up, then slammed the vehicle into gear and sped off.

The Kia sped away south on Highway 19, and another deputy chased the car in a high-speed pursuit across Hood Canal Bridge at speeds over 90 mph, according to a statement of probable cause in the case.

A Jefferson County deputy chased the fleeing driver into Kitsap County toward Port Gamble, where the Kia ran over a traffic sign but kept going.

The deputy cut off his pursuit after the Kia driver fled toward Kingston, and the deputy noted more cars on the winding road.

Kitsap County deputies later found the Kia at Savage Plants in Kingston, where the driver had crashed through a gate and then ran over several landscaping trees in the nursery.

A K-9 unit was brought in, and the dog found Martin hiding in trees at the back of the nursery.

When asked if he was hurt, he said he wasn’t but said he had swallowed drugs he had been holding; about 2 grams each of heroin and methamphetamine.

Martin was then taken to the hospital in Bremerton.

The toppled trees were valued at more than $1,000; and earlier estimate of the damaged gate was $1,500.

In the crashed Kia, police found a driver’s license from a woman in California, a driver’s license for a Washington man; a credit card and checks with other people’s names on them; and Social Security cards for three other women as well as two men. 

Authorities also noted finding photocopies of $100 bills, three computer printers, and a computer scanner that had 30 washed $1 bills wrapped in a photocopy of a $100 bill under the top lid.

A backpack taken from Martin at the time of his arrest also contained two glass smoking pipes, two computer laptops, a Tacoma man’s checkbook, and numerous photocopies of $50 and $100 bills.

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