Crime-spree suspect escapes police after high-speed chase

Teen could face vehicle theft, assault charges

Posted: Sunday, October 03, 2004

A 19-year-old male felony suspect remains at large after an alleged crime spree Friday night in which he allegedly stole an SUV from the DIPAC parking lot, engaged a law officer in a high-speed chase and struck a police car.

The Juneau suspect, whose name has not been released, could face charges including vehicle theft in the first degree and assault in the third degree, said Juneau Police Officer Tom Bates.

"He's still on foot out there somewhere," Bates said Saturday afternoon.

Bates said Juneau police received an 8:28 p.m. Friday report that a blue Ford Explorer, left running in the DIPAC parking lot, had been stolen. At 9:47, U.S. Forest Service Officer Mike Mills located the vehicle, being driven without headlights, on Glacier Highway inbound near Eagle Beach.

Mills attempted to stop the vehicle but it sped away at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, according to Bates. Due to safety concerns, Mills ended the pursuit, Bates said.

The Explorer was located at 10:05 p.m., this time by Juneau Police officers, parked at the far end of the Alaska Marine Highway ferry terminal parking lot. But when Sgt. Steve Hernandez and Officer Steve Christensen approached the Explorer, it accelerated quickly at Christensen's vehicle, striking it head on.

Bates said the Explorer "literally got hung on the patrol car after striking it" and the two vehicles "danced" around the parking lot before the Explorer disengaged and sped away.

"The damage (to the patrol car) was pretty heavy," Bates said, estimating it at $4,500.

According to a press release, the Explorer was later found unoccupied at the entrance to Stabler's Point gravel pit.

A search of the area failed to locate the driver, but police have obtained a warrant for his arrest on felony charges, Bates said.

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