Vancouver man arrested after high-speed police pursuit

Police found loaded revolver in the vehicle's center console

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A Vancouver man made his first appearance in court Monday for allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase early Friday morning. Andrey Kaplun, 44, faces charges of attempting to elude, driving under the influence and possession of a concealed weapon.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Richard Bettger narrated the pursuit in a probable cause affidavit filed in Clark County Superior Court. At 2:11 a.m. Friday, Bettger was parked on the right shoulder of the onramp from westbound state Highway 14 to northbound Interstate 5. A northbound vehicle passed him at 85 mph, according to his speed radar, and he followed the vehicle. When Bettger caught up with the vehicle as it exited to eastbound state Highway 500, he switched on his emergency lights.

Instead of pulling over, the driver accelerated to 90 mph and swerved to avoid hitting another vehicle, according to the probable cause statement. The driver then attempted to make a sudden right turn onto Falk Road as the traffic lights turned red. The vehicle struck a traffic island curbing and continued up an embankment, where it came to rest under the pedestrian overpass, according to the statement.

Kaplun allegedly showed signs of intoxication: slurred speech, a blank stare, bloodshot watery eyes and he was slow to respond to instructions, the affidavit stated.

Before the vehicle was impounded, Bettger found a loaded Smith and Wesson .357 revolver in the center console, which was seized, the affidavit said.

Kaplun was arrested and transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center for evaluation. After Bettger obtained a search warrant, blood samples were taken for toxicology testing, and Kaplun was moved to the Clark County Jail.

Monday afternoon, he remained housed under a $5,000 bail. He’s scheduled to make his next court appearance Oct. 25.