Man Accused of Driving Recklessly Through Downtown Centralia and Crashing While Drunk 


Bail has been set at $100,000 for a Chehalis man accused of driving recklessly through downtown Centralia, ultimately wrecking his vehicle on north Railroad Avenue, while intoxicated and attempting to avoid arrest Monday evening. 

The man, Anthony M. Koopman, 52, reportedly entered a grocery store in the 500 block of South Tower Avenue “smell(ing) of alcohol” then left in a black Jeep, prompting someone to call 911 just before 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 8. 

Koopman had reportedly been asked to leave a nearby bar earlier that evening “as he was making verbal threats to people and had been drinking,” according to court documents. 

The officer located the Jeep on West Magnolia Street and reportedly saw it swerve in its lane, nearly colliding with parked vehicles, and fail to obey stop signs as it drove towards North Pearl Street. The officer pulled the vehicle over and used her speaker system to order the driver, who she identified as Koopman, to turn off the vehicle due to an outstanding arrest warrant out of Mason County. 

At that point, Koopman allegedly “hit the accelerator and fled southbound on Hillkress Avenue,” according to court documents. The officer pursued. During the pursuit, Koopman allegedly failed to obey four stop signs, including the sign marking the Center Street and North Tower Avenue intersection, where the officer reportedly saw Koopman “hit his brakes and nearly collide with traffic,” according to court documents. 

Koopman eventually turned left onto Railroad Avenue and “lost control” before continuing northbound, “proceeding off the road into a gravel area and eventually rolling the vehicle onto its roof.” 

Koopman got himself out of the vehicle and was detained. During the arrest, the officer “noticed the strong odor of alcohol coming from Mr. Koopman as well as bloodshot and watery eyes,” according to court documents. 

Koopman was transported to the hospital for medical clearance before he was booked into the Lewis County Jail just after 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 9. He has since been charged with one count each of driving under the influence and attempting to elude with endangerment to others. 

Given Koopman’s criminal history — which includes two prior DUI convictions, one of which was paired with third-degree assault and attempt to elude convictions — deputy prosecuting attorney Joe Bassetti said Koopman’s case posed “a significant community safety risk” and asked for the high bail at Koopman’s preliminary hearing in Lewis County Superior Court on Tuesday. 

“Bail is going to be extremely difficult if not impossible (for Koopman),” said defense attorney Rachael Tiller. She cited “mitigating circumstances” to the case, including treatment Koopman is undergoing through Veteran Affairs, and asked for Koopman’s bail to be set no higher than $25,000. 

“I think that in itself will be virtually impossible (for Koopman),” said Tiller. 

Judge James Lawler found Koopman to be a community safety risk and set bail as requested by Bassetti at $100,000. 

Koopman’s next court appearance is an arraignment hearing scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 11.