An 18-year-old Longview man reportedly ran away from a stolen vehicle on the side of Interstate 5 near Chehalis, only to be surrounded by police when he ran into a pond in an attempt to elude law enforcement on Monday.
Hesikiah K. Smith was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and obstructing a law enforcement officer on Tuesday at his preliminary appearance in Lewis County Superior Court.
The state patrol’s incident report gives the following account of the pursuit:
At 4:23 p.m. on Monday, a state patrol trooper was driving on Interstate 5 near Chehalis and noticed a black Jeep Cherokee with the hood up and hazard lights flashing on the shoulder of the freeway just before the exit 76 offramp.
When the trooper pulled over to check on the vehicle, he observed a man, later identified as Smith, quickly gathering things and exiting the car by climbing to the backseat and getting out from the right passenger door.
The trooper reportedly asked Smith if everything was okay and Smith said the car broke down and help was on the way. Smith then reportedly started to walk away from the scene.
Moments later, the trooper was notified that the vehicle Smith was in had been reported stolen from Kelso earlier in the day.
The trooper reportedly turned to find where Smith went and found him running up the off ramp.
After calling in backup, the trooper followed Smith in his patrol car, repeatedly asking him to stop running over the patrol car’s PA speaker, but Smith kept running.
Smith reportedly ran up the southbound exit 76 off ramp, crossed the overpass heading toward Chehalis, but was cut off by another trooper from the other side of the overpass.
Smith reportedly turned down the northbound exit 76 off ramp where he hopped the guardrail and began running through the tall grass along the freeway.
A trooper got out of his car from Southwest Interstate Avenue and began pursuing Smith on foot. Smith, who was heading in the direction of Southwest Interstate Avenue, changed directions, and ran into a nearby pond.
After Smith ran into the pond, a containment was set up around him and a K-9 unit was brought in to detain him.
In Superior Court on Tuesday, Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead requested that Smith be held on a $5,000 bail, while the defendant’s attorney for the day, Rachael Tiller, asked for an unsecured bail amount to be considered.
Superior Court Judge James Lawler sided with the state and set Smith’s bail at $5,000.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17.