A Centralia man arrested Tuesday afternoon after allegedly ramming two law enforcement vehicles, possessing drugs and running from police is being held on $250,000 bail for four felony charges.
Daniel C. Miller, 27, made his first appearance Wednesday in Lewis County Superior Court on charges of three counts of second-degree assault and one count of possession of heroin with intent to deliver.
Superior Court Judge Joely O’Rourke set Miller’s bail at $250,000 at the hearing Wednesday in accordance with a request from the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office, saying the allegations make Miller a “huge” threat to community safety and a risk for failing to appear at future hearings.
The incident began at about 1 p.m. Tuesday when federal Drug Enforcement Agency personnel and Lewis County’s Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team, made up of officers from the Centralia and Chehalis police departments and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, sought out Miller as part of an ongoing investigation into heroin sales, according to court documents.
Miller also had an outstanding state Department of Corrections arrest warrant.
Officers found Miller in a hotel parking lot in the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia, according to court documents.
Miller reportedly recognized one undercover officer as police, began loading items into a vehicle, a black 2005 Saturn, and fled in the direction of Belmont Avenue, according to a news release from the Centralia Police Department and court documents.
Miller’s vehicle reportedly “purposefully rammed” a DEA vehicle head on, according to court documents.
The agent and a JNET detective told Miller to stop, but he reportedly backed up his vehicle instead and fled through the parking lot.
Miller allegedly rammed a second DEA vehicle in the same manner and drove onto a sidewalk and over a grassy area, according to the Centralia Police Department.
He eventually lost the officers, abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.
A passenger in Miller’s vehicle told officers that Miller knew police were onto him and that he had given her heroin. She turned over seven “separately packaged bags of brown substance, 15 unopened packages of Suboxone and a digital scale containing brown substance consistent with heroin,” according to court documents.
The woman told police Miller threw the bag full of suspected heroin and Suboxone at her and told her to hold onto it for him before fleeing the vehicle.
Centralia police K9 Pax tracked Miller to the 2000 block of Van Wormer Street where he surrendered and was arrested, according to the police department.
Miller reportedly told police he rammed the vehicles because he was “overwhelmed and panicked,” according to court documents.
The Chehalis Police Department and the Washington State Patrol also assisted with the investigation.
Centralia High School, Centralia Middle School, Fords Prairie Elementary School, Futurus High School and the school district office were placed in a “lockout” just before 2 p.m.
“We know this is a time of justifiably heightened sensitivity about security in our schools,” Centralia Superintendent Mark Davalos wrote in an email to parents Tuesday evening in which he explained the district’s protocol on security.
A lockout is used when there is a “threat or hazard” outside a school and includes the locking of exterior doors. No one is permitted to enter to leave.
In contrast, a lockdown is used when there is a threat inside a building, and involves locking all doors, both interior and exterior.
“We will always do our very best to communicate with you in these situations,” Davalos wrote. “Understand, sometimes there is no time to make a phone call to every parent.”