High-speed chase through county ends in Vancouver

Fleeing vehicle nearly hit school bus; driver crashes, subdued after foot chase




A high-speed chase that led from the Salmon Creek area to Uptown Village in Vancouver ended with a crash and a suspect subdued by a law enforcement Taser, assisted by a mohawked, skateboard-wielding man and another bystander.

A high-speed chase that started in the Salmon Creek area ended with a crash in Vancouver’s Uptown Village Wednesday. The suspect then fled on foot but was met with a police Taser and a bystander wielding a skateboard.

The chase began after a report of a disturbance and death threats at 2:48 p.m. in the 2400 block of Northeast 129th Street in Salmon Creek. Detectives are still pinpointing the suspect’s exact route, but the police pursuit appeared to begin near Northeast 50th Avenue and Salmon Creek Street by Washington State University Vancouver.

Deputies reported a red pickup hurtling down Northeast 50th Avenue. The fleeing pickup swerved into oncoming lanes and nearly struck a school bus as it fled from deputies on a route that took it south at speeds of 90-95 mph, according to radio traffic.

The chase moved onto St. Johns Road through Vancouver’s Minnehaha neighborhood and eventually passed over state Highway 500 and into the Rose Village neighborhood before reaching Fourth Plain Boulevard.

The driver eluded officers after turning west on Fourth Plain but drew attention moments later when his pickup collided with a black Jeep at the intersection of Fourth Plain and Broadway at about 3:13 p.m.

John and Dorothy Golphenee and their 17-year-old son, Joseph, were heading north on Broadway in the Jeep, on their way to Safeway, when the westbound red Ford F-250 pickup ran a red light on Fourth Plain and T-boned their vehicle.

The force propelled the front end of the Jeep into a traffic signal pole on the northwest corner of the intersection.

“I was in a daze,” said driver John Golphenee, 52. When he looked up from the steering wheel, he noticed the driver in the red pickup was gone.

John Golphenee wasn’t injured. His wife and son said they had minor injuries but didn’t need to be transported to the hospital. They didn’t know there was a police pursuit in the area.

“I felt that we helped them stop the guy,” said John Golphenee, who is a driver for The Columbian.

Immediately after the collision, the suspect jumped out of the red pickup and ran across a Walgreens parking lot at the southwest corner of the intersection, said bystander Bobby Lawson.

Lawson said he was standing on the southeast corner of the intersection with a soda he’d purchased from the store when the collision happened.

Despite the fact that he has emphysema, Lawson and a skateboard-wielding bystander chased the suspect through the parking lot and an alleyway, Lawson said.

By the time Lawson got to the suspect, “the police had already (tasered) him,” he said. “It kind of scared me. I just saw the guy drop.”

Lawson said the Golphenees happen to be his customers at Jiffy Lube.

Brittany Foster, 22, of Vancouver was walking south on Main Street back from Walgreens when she saw people running and screaming. She took off her headphones and saw a man, whom she described as being in his 20s with a dark mohawk and carrying a longboard-style skateboard, running after the suspect.

“He was running, and he tackled him to the ground,” Foster said. “He hit the guy with a longboard … it was crazy.”

“If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know if they would have caught the guy,” Foster said.

Officers said that during the foot pursuit, many other bystanders helped by pointing police in the direction of the suspect.

Vancouver police confronted the man at the intersection of Main and 23rd streets in Uptown Village and subdued him with a Taser minutes after the vehicle crash.

Ambulances were dispatched to the scene of the crash and to where the suspect was subdued. The suspect, identified as Wayne Ross, 45, was placed into a patrol car outside Hopeless Ink Tattoo and later booked into the Clark County Jail.

Listed as a transient, Ross has six felony warrants out of Oregon that include bail jumping, burglary and larceny, Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Fred Neiman said.

The pickup Ross used to flee from police was stolen, according to the sheriff’s office.