Friday night, April 28, 2023 was a busy night for the Washington State Patrol (WSP) in South King County, with fleeing vehicles and the local, regional and national issue of street racing and takeovers.
WSP – along with other law enforcement agencies – has experienced an increase in the number of vehicles fleeing attempted traffic stops, yet it is imperative this criminal behavior is addressed in the safest manner possible to hold these individuals accountable.
The WSP is addressing this issue with the invaluable assistance of its Aviation Section.
Below is a compilation of four incidents that occurred in the South King County area on Friday, April 28, 2023, where arrests were made using the trooper/pilots following and guiding ground units to suspect vehicles.
- Incident #1: WSP aircraft observed a vehicle traveling southbound SR 167 in Auburn at 97mph and passing on the shoulder. They followed the vehicle as it exited the freeway and at one point in time seemed to be racing other vehicles. The vehicle ended up in a drive thru and when it exited troopers were able to arrest the driver. Numerous charges, which includes suspicion of DUI.
- Incident #2: This incident is where a vehicle was doing doughnuts in front of a trooper in Kent. The vehicle fled an attempted traffic stop and was followed by the aircraft. After the aircraft followed the vehicle all over the Southcenter area the ground units were led to where the vehicle parked near a warehouse and the driver was taken into custody.
- Incident #3: The aircraft spotted a vehicle northbound SW 167 traveling at 107mph heading to what was believed to be a racer meetup. The vehicle fled an attempted traffic stop by a trooper and was followed by the aircraft where speeds reached 118mph. The vehicle was followed all over the Southcenter area until it reached a meetup where a number of vehicles were blocking the road. The vehicle was trapped by the other vehicles and troopers were able to make an arrest.
- Incident #4: A trooper followed several street racers and attempted to stop one for speeding. The vehicle fled into east Auburn into a residential area and entered a home. Troopers arrived at the residence and were able to talk the driver and passenger out of the house. The trooper in the aircraft was able to ID the driver by the hoodie they were wearing and a lanyard hanging out of their pocket. The driver was subsequently arrested.
Below is video showing Troopers tracking the suspected fleeing drivers on April 28, 2023:
“These incidents are just a few examples of the great work that is being done using the tools that the Washington State Patrol has with the support and participation of local law enforcement agencies to make the roadways safe,” WSP said.