A Chehalis man is facing a litany of charges after allegedly leading law enforcement on a chase that at one point saw a deputy intentionally exit a moving vehicle while holding a young child.
Among the most serious charges alleged of Jason Mann, 35, are one count each of possession of a stolen vehicle, third-degree assault, reckless endangerment and unlawful imprisonment. Mann also faces charges of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, obstructing a law enforcement officer, failure to obey a law enforcement officer and driving with a suspended license.
Lewis County Superior Court Judge James Lawler agreed with the request of deputy prosecutor Will Halstead and set Mann’s bail at $250,000 pending an arraignment scheduled for Thursday. Halstead said during Monday’s preliminary hearing that prosecutors may still charge Mann with additional counts related to stolen vehicles.
According to court documents, on July 5, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 3000 block of Jackson Highway in Chehalis after receiving a report that Mann, who had an outstanding felony warrant, was at a residence. Deputies attempted to approach Mann as he sat in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, with a 6-or-7-year-old girl in the passenger seat. The documents do not state Mann’s relationship to the girl.
Deputy Emmet Woods attempted to stop Mann from driving away, but the vehicle left the property, with Woods inside, and hit a chain-link fence before entering Jackson Highway.
“From my understanding, at one point the suspect is trying to take off and (Woods) is trying to put the car in park,” said LCSO Chief Deputy Dusty Breen. “My understanding is that the gearshift actually was broken off as they were fighting over it. (Mann) starts pulling away, so (Woods) stayed with the car.”
According to documents, Woods instructed Mann to let him and the girl exit the vehicle, but Mann refused. At some point, Mann slowed to between 20 and 25 miles per hour. Woods rolled backwards out of the moving vehicle while holding the child above him as they hit the pavement. He suffered only mild abrasions, Breen said, while preventing the girl from suffering any injuries.
“As far as when (Woods) decides to exit the car, the driver was yelling at him and had slowed down, and he was afraid to stay in the vehicle if it got back up to a high rate of speed,” Breen said. “So, he held onto the child to protect her and went out onto the ground.”
Another LCSO deputy attempted to follow Mann’s vehicle, but ended the pursuit due to his erratic driving. Friday evening, deputies located and arrested Mann.
When questioned, Mann allegedly said “The voices in my head told me to take (the vehicle).”