PORT ANGELES — A Hoquiam man remained in custody Saturday after leading police on a car chase that hit 100 mph in a 44-mile pursuit on U.S. Highway 101 from the West End to Port Angeles.
Lawrence Pearson, 47 — who has been convicted of two felonies and 11 misdemeanors — was arrested at the intersection of Lincoln Street and Lauridsen Boulevard on Friday.
No one was hurt during the chase involving Clallam County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Olympic National Park rangers, National Forest enforcement officers, U.S. Border Patrol agents, a State Patrol trooper and Port Angeles police.
Pearson was booked into the Clallam County jail on investigation of two felony counts of eluding a police vehicle. He is being held without bail, said Port Angeles Police Sgt. Glen Roggenbuck.
Pearson’s convictions were in Mason and Grays Harbor counties, Roggenbuck said, adding that the felony convictions were for burglary and possession of a controlled substance.
Clallam County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian King started the chase in Sappho when Pearson buzzed by at the junction of state Highway 113 near Milepost 204 of U.S. 101.
Pearson was driving erratically in a red Subaru station wagon, veering into oncoming traffic “numerous” times, King said.
“With me, he was doing 100 [mph] plus,” King said.
“He was swerving at oncoming cars. It was crazy.
“You train for those type of scenarios. You train for different motivations.”
Is he intentionally trying to hurt somebody, or is he attempting to elude me?”
Sensing the danger to oncoming traffic, King discontinued his pursuit near Milepost 215 at Sol Duc Hot Springs Road and lost sight of the car near Milepost 218.
Park rangers told dispatchers that Pearson was driving erratically at speeds of 60 mph around Crescent Lake.
He was reportedly traveling more than 90 mph in Indian Valley.
Pearson evaded a set of spike strips set out by deputies in Indian Valley but hit a second set of spike strips, thrown out by the Port Angeles police, near the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society shelter in west Port Angeles.
Port Angeles Deputy Chief of Police Brian Smith said the chase ended when two patrol units and two Forest Service units pinned the vehicle Pearson was driving at the busy Port Angeles intersection.
By then, at least two tires were flat, with one stripped of most of the rubber. Pearson was driving on the rim.
Once stopped, Pearson complied with officers’ commands, Smith said.
He turned and smiled at a photographer out the back of the patrol car.
There was no indication of his motive.
“There’s no associated crime that we’re aware of,” Roggenbuck said.
“We did not make a determination that he was under the influence of anything,” he added.
King also had said that there was no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved.
Pearson does not own the vehicle he was driving, police said.
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