Suspect in chase has history of car thefts

Vancouver teen allegedly rammed police vehicle amid Friday night pursuit

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

 

A Vancouver teen made his first court appearance Monday morning after allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle and ramming a patrol car to avoid capture Friday night.

Timofey Petrovich Zaikin, 18, is being held on suspicion of first-degree assault, attempting to elude police and possession of a stolen vehicle. His bail is set at $500,000, with arraignment scheduled for Oct. 3.

The teen has a history of similar crimes. In July 2009, when he was 14, Zaikin was sentenced to 18 months' probation and 40 hours of community service in juvenile court for possession of a stolen vehicle, second-degree possession of stolen property and resisting arrest. In Oct. 2009, at age 15, he was convicted of taking a motor vehicle without permission. A year later, when he was 16, he attempted to elude a police vehicle. Most recently, in Jan. 2010, he was sentenced to 20 days and $200 for two counts of driving while his license was suspended and driving while his license was revoked.

The Friday night chase yielded the most serious accusations against him yet.

Vehicle stolen

It all started around 5:30 p.m. when Juan Gonzalez, 29, got home from work and parked his black 1992 Honda Accord across the street from his house on Northeast Cranbrook Drive, according to police reports. He saw a man believed to be Zaikin walk near his car, figuring he was just checking out the two-door.

The man got into a gray car parked in front of Gonzalez's Honda and drove away. Gonzalez walked over to his car and found it was unlocked, though he was sure he had locked the door after he parked it. He relocked it and went inside to shower. But when he looked a few minutes later, his Honda was gone. Gonzalez called police, an officer took a report, and the car was entered into the National Crime Information Center database of stolen cars.

At 7:44 p.m., Officer Charlie Ahn, with the Vancouver Police Department, was assisting officer Brian Ruder and Cpl. Bill Pardue with a routine matter at East Fourth Plain Boulevard and Falk Road. Ahn had parked on the south side of the street, just east of Falk Road, with his emergency lights flashing. They were finished, so Pardue left the scene.

Shortly after, Pardue called Ahn and Ruder to let them know a vehicle was driving at a high speed toward their location.

When Ahn looked east, he saw the black Honda swerve to miss hitting a car pulling out of the Chevron on Fourth Plain. Then he saw it run a red light. Ahn made a U-turn to get behind the Honda and called dispatch as he followed the car, which was weaving through traffic.

Once the driver passed Rossiter Lane, traffic cleared and he sped up, allegedly driving 60 to 70 mph. As he turned north onto Grand Boulevard, Ahn got close enough to the Honda to radio license plate number. He discovered the car had been stolen from Gonzalez just hours before.

The chase continued past East 33rd Street on Grand, a dead end where officer Steve Donahue followed the car. Ahn pulled over at the 3400 block of Grand, thinking the driver would bail out and run once he reached the end of the cul-de-sac. Instead, the driver revved his engine and rammed Ahn's car. Ahn got out, pointed his gun at the driver and told him to get out of the vehicle. Instead, he reversed, driving around Ahn and Donahue and turning off Grand onto 33rd Street. He ran a red light at 33rd and St. Johns Boulevard, almost hitting a car.

As the Honda turned north onto Main Street, it passed Cpl. Jeff Sundby, who made a U-turn and took the lead in the pursuit. The chase turned west onto 39th Street as Vancouver police brought the Clark County Sheriff's Office and Washington State Patrol into the chase.

At the end of 39th Street, the Honda turned right onto Northwest Fruit Valley Road. Sheriff's deputies Chris Luque and Rick Osborne joined the chase and started calling out locations where police could set up spike strips. The Honda's driver tore north through Felida at more than 80 mph, until the road curved to the left where it becomes Northwest Seward Road.

Deputies set up spike strips in the 3700 block of Seward. As the Honda drove over them, the driver had to slow down as the road curved and turned onto Northwest 41st Avenue. The stolen car, however, was still traveling at about 55 mph through curvy roads and wet conditions. Sheriff's office deputies has also set up spike strips at Northwest 179th Street and 41st Avenue.

The Honda ran through the stop sign at the intersection and ran over the strips, its right front passenger side tire flew off the rim, and the car fishtailed as the driver tried to go uphill on the curvy roads. Over the radio, police suggested using the pit maneuver, where an officer pushes a vehicle into a controlled spin.

Donahue pushed the Honda all the way around with the push bars on the front of his patrol car. Finally the Honda came to a stop, and Luque pinned it on the driver's side with his front bumper.

On deputies' command the driver, identified as Zaikin, stretched his hands out the car window. Ahn and Luque got him out of the car and pinned him to the ground, where a struggle reportedly ensued. When they were able to handcuff him and stand him upright, they saw cuts on Zaikin's face and road gravel pressed into his face and shirt.

After reading Zaikin his rights, Pardue drove him to the Clark County Jail in his patrol car. The cuts on Zaikin's face were treated at the jail. Pardue recommended additional charges: second-degree driving while suspended, reckless driving and resisting arrest.

Officer Ahn was transported to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center for lower back injuries he sustained when his car was rammed.

Patty Hastings: 360-735-4513; twitter.com/col_cops; patty.hastings@columbian.com.