Vehicle pursuit culminates with suspect arrested up a tree
Capt. Ben Stamper/360-385-3831 ext.765/Dec. 17, 2011
On December 15, 2011 at 11:48 AM, a Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy on routine patrol observed a vehicle at the pass on Mount Walker, US Hwy. 101 mile marker 301. A check of the vehicle's license revealed that the registered owner had a suspended driver's license and several warrants for his arrest. Deputy Shane Stevenson turned to catch up to the vehicle, and again observed the Blue 1998 Ford Explorer partially concealed by a tractor trailer beside the roadway. As the Deputy approached, the vehicle sped away southbound on 101. Deputy Stevenson pursued the vehicle with lights and siren about 2 miles onto Bee Mill Road where the suspect reached speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour in a posted 30 mile MPH zone. The Deputy noted what appeared to be a female passenger in the vehicle and backed off of his speed through the residential neighborhood, loosing visual contact with the vehicle.
Sheriff Tony Hernandez and several Deputies responded to the area. The suspect's vehicle was located abandoned on an old logging road up a steep hill near the Camp Parson's Boy Scout Camp. Deputy Scott Boyd and his K-9 partner Rico responded as other Deputies and a Washington State Patrol Trooper established a security perimeter in the area. The female passenger, a 21 year old Sequim woman, walked out of the brush and turned herself in to the K-9 team. It was determined that she had been terrified during the attempted elude and had attempted to talk the suspect into stopping. She said that at one point she had been knocked unconscious after her head struck the interior of the vehicle while the driver made an abrupt turn. The woman is considered a victim and was released at the scene.
After nearly 2 1/2 hours of searching, the K-9 team located the driver concealed by branches about 50 to 60 feet up a Cedar tree. The suspect initially refused to climb down but eventually complied with the Deputies orders. The suspect was identified as 26 year old Jason W. Tuff of Port Angeles. Tuff was booked into the Jefferson County Jail on charges of attempting to elude a police vehicle, driving while license suspended/revoked first degree, obstructing a law enforcement officer and reckless endangerment.