Suspect in stolen car chase appears in court

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Courts Reporter

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A transient man accused of leading Clark County sheriff’s deputies on a chase from Orchards to downtown Vancouver while in a stolen vehicle made a first appearance Monday in Superior Court.

Eric S. Potter, 21, appeared on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle and attempting to elude police in connection with Friday’s early-morning incident.

A deputy attempted to stop a Honda sedan at about 2:45 a.m. at Northeast 95th Street and state Highway 503 after watching it hit a concrete lane divider, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Despite having a flat front left tire, the driver sped off. Deputies chased the car and tried to deploy a spike strip at Northeast 63rd Street and 72nd Avenue but were unsuccessful. The pursuit continued south on Main Street, where the Honda nearly hit a westbound vehicle at Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard, court records said.

The driver, later identified as Potter, lost control of the vehicle and hit a light pole while trying to get on Interstate 5 southbound at Main Street, the affidavit said.

Potter reportedly had three arrest warrants, according to court documents. A female passenger in the car was not arrested. Neither was reported to be injured.

Potter allegedly told police that he didn’t steal the car but knew it was stolen. He also allegedly admitted to smoking methamphetamine several hours prior to the incident, the affidavit said. His blood was drawn to determine if he was driving under the influence.