Port Angeles man charged in high-speed vehicle chase

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man has been charged in Clallam County Superior Court after allegedly leading a county sheriff’s deputy on a car chase that ended with the man drinking a beer at his home before he was arrested.

Erick Evan Miller, 46, was charged Monday with one count each of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and first-degree driving with a suspended or revoked license.

He led Deputy Shaun Minks on a roughly three-minute high-speed chase through Port Angeles on Sunday night, authorities said.

Miller remained Tuesday in the Clallam County jail on $50,000 bail, according to documents filed in Superior Court.

He is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Deputy’s account

Minks’ report gave this account of the chase and arrest:

Minks was in the 2000 block of East First Street at about 11:20 p.m. Sunday when he saw a green Honda Accord traveling west on Front Street, passing cars in the right lane and appearing to drive faster than the 35 mph speed limit.

The Honda turned south onto Liberty Street from Front Street and rolled through a stop signal at First Street, after which Minks turned on his patrol car’s lights and sirens, and attempted to stop the Honda.

The Honda turned west from Liberty Street to East Second Street, reportedly reaching speeds of 80 mph in a 25 mph zone, then turned south onto South Race Street, straddling the centerline for a few blocks and driving into the northbound lane as it approached Lauridsen Boulevard.

The Honda swerved into the northbound lane of Race Street to turn west on to Lauridsen Boulevard, almost losing control as it slid around the corner into the Lauridsen bridge and continuing west, reaching speeds between 80 and 90 mph, as Lauridsen Boulevard turns into U.S. Highway 101.

The Honda then turned south onto Doyle Road and slid to a stop in the driveway of a house there.

A man, later identified as Miller, ran from the Honda into the home and slammed the front door behind him.

Minks tried unsuccessfully to force entry into the home and yelled at Miller to open the door as he saw Miller talking with a crying woman inside the home.

‘Opened a bottle of beer’

“Miller opened a bottle of beer and told me that he had to use the restroom first,” Minks wrote.

“[Miller] quickly drank the beer as he walked out of my sight into the east side of the residence.”

After Port Angeles police officers arrived to assist, Miller, whom police on scene saw drinking another beer in the home, was talked into coming out of the house and placed into custody.

In a later interview, Miller said he knew he was going to jail and wanted to see his girlfriend at the Doyle Road house before he was arrested.

Minks was checked into Olympic Medical Center as a precaution after hurting his leg trying to enter Miller’s home, Chief Criminal Deputy Ron Cameron said, but was not seriously injured and has not missed any work.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

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