Man gets 22 months for high-speed chase

He threatened to kill girlfriend, fled in stolen vehicle

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A Vancouver man was sentenced Wednesday to 22 months in prison for a crime spree Feb. 19 that ended with a high-speed police pursuit from Salmon Creek to west Vancouver’s Uptown Village.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Wayne A. Ross, 45, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court to charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, felony harassment death threats and attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle. In exchange, Deputy Prosecutor Dustin Richardson dropped a charge of hit-and-run injury related to a collision with a Jeep occupied by a couple and their teenage son during the police pursuit.

The chase started in the Salmon Creek area and ended with a collision in Uptown Village. Two of the victims, Dorothy Golphenee and her 17-year-old son, Joseph, reported minor injuries from the collision.

Ross ran from the scene but was stopped by a police Taser weapon and a bystander wielding a skateboard.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies responded about 2:48 p.m. Feb. 19 to a report that Ross was threatening his girlfriend at a residence in the 2400 block of Northeast 129th St. Ross left the residence in a stolen red Ford pickup just before deputies arrived, according to court records.

Before leaving, he told his girlfriend, “If you call the police, I will kill you,” and “I will come back and burn you to death,” according to a court affidavit.

The police pursuit began on northbound Northeast Highway 99 near Northeast 134th Street and ended with the collision with the Jeep at Fourth Plain Boulevard and Broadway.

During the chase, Ross drove recklessly, accelerating to 90 mph and cutting off vehicles. Twice, he almost had a head-on collision with two school buses, according to court records.

His attorney, Clark Fridley, said Ross was under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident and is looking forward to seeking treatment for his substance abuse.

Ross apologized Wednesday for his actions.

“I realize I could have killed somebody,” he said.