Thurston County Deputies Arrest Suspect After Close Encounter With Cougar


A K9 unit with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office was attempting to hunt down the suspect of a hit-and-run collision Thursday when they were stopped in their tracks by a cougar. 

Sheriff’s Lt. Cameron Simper said deputies were dispatched at 7:35 p.m. March 30 to the crash in the 13000 block of Bald Hill Road, outside Yelm. He said a 45-year-old motorist had struck another person’s truck, causing them to leave the roadway and damage some power lines. There were no injuries. 

Simper said the man got out of his car and started to walk away from the scene when citizens nearby confronted him. They followed the man until he started to throw rocks at the bystanders. That’s when a deputy arrived on the scene with a K9 unit.

Simper said Deputy Dillon and K9 Isa were directed to a long driveway the man had walked down. At some point during the foot pursuit, Simper said K9 Isa came in close contact with a cougar. 

The foot pursuit ended soon after, likely because of the encounter, Simper said, and Washington State Patrol was called to assist with aircraft surveillance.

The man was soon found in the woodline, and deputies were directed to the location, where he was arrested. He was booked into the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence and hit and run, as well as for a felony domestic violence warrant.