Blackberry Bushes Snag Man Running From Pierce County Deputies After High-Speed Pursuit


Traditional spike strips weren't quite enough to stop a domestic violence suspect fleeing Pierce County deputies on Tuesday. It was nature's spike strip, Washington's infamous blackberry bushes, that ultimately stopped the man in his tracks.

A high-speed pursuit of the suspect from Spanaway to Frederickson ended when the man crashed into a person's backyard fence and took off on foot, according to the Sheriff's Department. Deputies said the man was arrested after he was snagged by the bushes.

"Where he crashed out there was a ton of blackberry bushes," Deputy Carly Cappetto said. "It's very dense in the bushes category."

Deputies said the fleeing vehicle blew through several red lights as it went south on Canyon Road, at times reaching speeds of 95 mph during the pursuit in light traffic. The 25-year-old man was booked into jail, and deputies said the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office charged him with second-degree domestic violence assault, felony harassment, interfering with reporting of domestic violence, obstructing, eluding and third-degree theft.

The man was arraigned Wednesday, and his bail was set at $100,000, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.

A 911 call from a Spanaway residence at about 10:11 a.m. Tuesday spurred deputies to respond. Dispatchers could only hear crying and screaming in the background, according to a statement from the department. Deputies had previously responded to domestic violence incidents there, and they went to the home.

When they arrived, deputies said a man ran from the house and got into a vehicle while a woman shouted that he had assaulted her, according to the statement. Deputies ordered him to get out, but he drove away. Later, the woman reported that the man hit her in the face several times and tried to strangle her. Deputies said the suspect took her phone so she couldn't call 911, but she found an old cellphone and called for help.

Deputies quickly developed probable cause for second-degree assault and gave chase. Spokesperson Deputy Carly Cappetto said stop sticks were deployed, taking out one of the suspect vehicle's tires before he could get out of the residential neighborhood at about 10:28 a.m.

The pursuit continued east on 152nd Street East to Brookdale Road East, where Cappetto said the suspect's vehicle was down to one working tire as he went toward Canyon Road to go south. There, speeds increased to 70 mph and went as high as 95 mph.

Cappetto said the suspect blew through several red lights before crashing into a fence line where Canyon Road ends at 200th Street East. The man got out of the car and ran about 100 yards before he was snagged by blackberry bushes, deputies said. He was taken into custody.