PORT TOWNSEND — A Neah Bay man who allegedly led law enforcement on a high speed chase through Port Townsend has had his bail set at $200,000.
Alexander Warrick Wise, 23, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after reportedly speeding through the city, ramming a sheriff deputy’s vehicle and signs in Port Townsend and eventually being discovered to have a blood alcohol content of .216, according to a probable cause report by Deputy Ryan Menday of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Wise was charged Thursday with attempting to elude pursuing police vehicle-endangerment, driving under the influence and hit-and-run property damage. Charges were filed by the Jefferson County prosecuting attorney’s office in the county Superior Court.
Wise will be arraigned Friday at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Menday gave this account in his report:
Menday observed a large maroon Chevrolet truck stopped on the foot path that runs parallel to Sims Way in Kai Tai Nature Lagoon Park at about noon Wednesday. Several people left the vehicle and ran across Sims Way.
The truck pulled onto Sims Way, perpendicular to traffic, and stopped, blocking eastbound traffic. At this point, Menday turned on his emergency lights and pulled behind the truck. He saw two male occupants in the vehicle.
The truck then turned into the westbound lane of Sims Way, turned left down Kearney Street and headed at a high speed toward a skilled nursing center’s parking lot.
Menday stepped out of his vehicle with his gun drawn and called for the driver — later identified as Wise — to stop, but the driver backed into the front of his patrol car, and pulled out of the parking lot, hitting a pipe barricade surrounding a large propane tank and backing into a cedar fence as he turned the truck around to turn back onto Kearney street.
Port Townsend Police Department units joined the pursuit, following Wise up 19th Street at speeds exceeding 80 miles per hour, Menday said.
Soon after, law enforcement stopped the pursuit because of concern for public safety, law enforcement officers said.
Dispatchers received multiple calls during the next 10 minutes about a truck speeding through town and striking objects. Deputies again located the truck and re-engaged in the pursuit, Menday said.
Menday blocked traffic on Sims Way at Sheridan Street, and said he saw Wise fail to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Sheridan Street and Sims Way, drive into an adjacent yard and strike a power pole, breaking it.
Wise then turned back onto Sims Way and headed southbound out of Port Townsend at high speeds, passing vehicles and forcing oncoming traffic onto the shoulder, before driving over spike strips deployed by deputies near state Highway 20 and Mill Road, Menday said.
The spikes punctured both front tires and Wise soon attempted to turn right onto Airport Road, when Sgt. Shane Stevenson used a pursuit intervention technique and Menday pinned the front of the truck with his patrol car, ending the pursuit at about 12:30 p.m., Menday said.
Wise reportedly smelled of “intoxicating beverages” and had slow slurred speech and bloodshot eyes, prompting State Patrol personnel to do a preliminary breath test, where he blew a .216, almost three times the legal limit of .08, Menday said.
“Wise admitted to driving recklessly multiple times throughout the rest of our contact including his time at the hospital getting medically cleared for incarceration,” Menday said. “He showed no remorse and seemed amused about how many objects he struck during the pursuit.
“He told me he couldn’t believe the state gave him a license and that the person who did was stupid for doing it.”
According to the Washington Crime Investigation Center, Wise has a previous felony conviction of bail jumping, Menday said.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]