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Foot pursuit, officers end up saving man from himself

Yesterday, just before 2:00 pm, an East Precinct officer stopped to speak to a man in the 600 block of East Thomas Street because he resembled a wanted person.  The officer asked the man to step over to his patrol car while he interviewed him.  The officer asked the man his name and the man gave a first name, and appeared to be very nervous.  While he was speaking to the officer the suspect kept looking over his shoulder.  The man stated that he did not have any identification on him, and gave the officer a vague home address.  The officer was suspicious that the man was lying and was in the process of calling for another officer to respond when the suspect took off running.  The officer gave chase, as the suspect fled westbound on East Thomas.  The suspect then ran in between the buildings as additional officers responded to the block and set up containment.

A few minutes later another officer spotted the suspect emerge from a side door of a building in the 150 Block of Melrose Avenue East.  The suspect had pulled off his outermost t-shirt to disguise himself, now wearing a grey t-shirt, but still carrying his red t-shirt in his hand.  The officer yelled at the suspect, “Stop!”, but the suspect continued to run.  The officer pursued, and the suspect continued to run  along Melrose Avenue East until he crossed the street and inexplicably, jumped over the railing that runs along I-5.  The suspect was able to somehow hook one of his arms briefly on the top of the railing in order to prevent him from falling an estimated 40-50 feet to the northbound lanes of I-5 below.  The pursuing officers arrived quickly and grabbed onto the suspect, pulling him back over the railing to safety.

The Seattle Fire Department responded to check the suspect’s condition.  He was transported to Harborview Medical Center for medical treatment.  While the suspect was being evaluted, officers were able to determine that the suspect had lied about his name and other officers recalled arresting the same individual on a prior contact where he lied about his name and ran from officers at that time.  The suspect’s true name was run and an outstanding warrant for assault was discovered. 

After the suspect was released from the hospital, the 32 year old man was booked into the King County Jail for Obstructing, the outstanding warrant, and false reporting.  The Seattle Times had an outstanding photo of the incident captured just as officers were arriving to the suspect hanging from the railing.