Fugitive arrested after high-speed chase in Clallam, Jefferson counties set to appear in court today

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– A fugitive from Carlsborg led Clallam County sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase over 19.8 miles that stretched across Clallam and Jefferson counties and reached speeds in excess of 80 mph before an arrest was made Wednesday morning.

Drew Balch, 21, who had four outstanding warrants for his arrest and who had been sought since mid-February, is set to appear today in Clallam County Superior Court.

He faces charges of eluding police and hit-and-run for allegedly striking an unattended vehicle during the chase.

Clallam Sheriff’s Sgt. Lyman Moores said the 20-minute chase involved officers from the Clallam and Jefferson County sheriff’s offices, the Sequim Police Department, Jamestown S’Klallam tribal police and the State Patrol.

The chase began shortly after 8:15 a.m., Moores said.

Moores gave this report:

A deputy was parked in a patrol car at the intersection of Towne and Woodcock roads on a suspicious-vehicle report.

After seeing the deputy, Balch turned his 1988 Chevrolet S10 pickup truck north on Meyer Andrew Lane.

When the deputy followed, Balch drove his truck through a field, emerging on Aldrich Lane before turning east on Woodcock Road and eventually speeding toward Washington Harbor Road.

Sequim police laid a spike strip on Washington Harbor Road in an attempt to stop Balch, but he drove around it to West Sequim Bay Road and continued southeast toward U.S. Highway 101.

The chase on the highway reached speeds of more than 80 mph before Balch hit a spike strip that had been laid at Milepost 277 by State Patrol troopers.

The spikes flattened all four tires on Balch’s car, Moores said.

He drove on the flat tires for a short while before crossing the westbound lane in front of a log truck, ditching his truck on the north shoulder of the road and fleeing into the woods.

Deputy Andrew Wagner had driven off the highway onto Old Gardiner Road and caught Balch on foot, Moores said.

Balch had three outstanding felony warrants for failure to obey court orders and one misdemeanor warrant for third-degree theft.

Deputies attempted to arrest Balch on the warrants at his home in the 900 block of Heath Road in Carlsborg on Feb. 12, but he was not there.

The warrant sweep at his home did result in the arrest of Todd Michael Perszyk, 50, of Port Angeles and Holli Ann Bell, 34, of Sequim.

Perszyk, arrested on charges of obstructing a law enforcement officer, possession of heroin with intent to deliver and second-degree possession of stolen property, was scheduled for a status hearing in Superior Court this afternoon. He was not on the Clallam County jail roster Wednesday.

Bell was arrested on an outstanding state Department of Corrections warrant. She remained in jail as of Wednesday.

________

Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 05. 2014 6:47PM
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