Motorcyclist arrested after fleeing from police at more than 100 mph
June 7, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
Police descended on the Issaquah Highlands June 3 after a man driving a motorcycle at more than 100 mph led state troopers to a condominium near Grand Ridge Elementary School, prompting administrators to take precautions as the school day ended.
The afternoon incident started after the crew in a Washington State Patrol airplane observed a motorcycle rider driving more than 100 mph on westbound Interstate 90 near Preston. The crew in the Cessna 206 had been monitoring King County traffic.
After receiving notification from the aircraft crew, a trooper in a patrol car pulled behind the motorcycle and turned on its flashing lights to try to stop the vehicle, but the driver continued undeterred.
“Because of the extreme speeds and the maneuvering that he was doing, the trooper did not pursue,” Trooper Julie Startup said.
Meanwhile, the crew aboard the Cessna continued to monitor the motorcycle and relayed the location to troopers on the ground. Troopers then followed the motorcycle to the highlands.
The aircraft crew observed the driver pull into a garage at the highlands condominium complex and close the garage door moments before patrol cars arrived at the scene. The motorcycle driver, later identified as a 62-year-old Issaquah resident, lives at the complex.
Startup said the man initially refused to step outside to meet troopers. The state patrol and the Issaquah Police Department cordoned off the area.
“We have to make sure that we take precautions,” Startup said. “Obviously, you never know what’s going to be happening inside of that home.”
Later, the man and another man emerged from the residence. Police arrested the motorcycle driver for reckless driving and eluding officers, and detained the other man for questioning.
Under state law, reckless driving is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine. For eluding police, a felony, the state can revoke a violator’s driver’s license.
Officers then obtained a warrant to search the home, and troopers entered the residence late in the afternoon.
“He rode his motorcycle right up into the residence, so there’s the potential that he may have hidden something or had weapons,” Startup said. “There’s no limit to what he could have done in that period of time.”
The police response attracted attention from highlands residents as the hours passed. The activity prompted Grand Ridge Elementary School administrators to require all children to be accompanied by adults as school ended for the day. The school did not enter lock down.
“We always make sure that we take precautions so that everyone in the area will be safe in case we do encounter something like that,” Startup said.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.