Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Aug. 4, 2020

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Clark County judge sets $75K bail for man accused in high-speed police chase

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:

A man accused in a lengthy police pursuit Friday, in which he allegedly tried to strike several responding officers, appeared Monday via video in Clark County Superior Court.

Anthony James Hill, 34, no address provided, is facing five counts of first-degree assault and one count each of first-degree kidnapping, attempting to elude police and hit-and-run of an unattended vehicle. Hill also has a Department of Corrections warrant, court records show.

Judge David Gregerson set Hill’s bail at $75,000. He will be arraigned July 7.

Shortly before 7 p.m., Cowlitz Tribal Officer Sean Cook was contacted by ilani security about two people who were passed out from suspected drug use in the parking lot at the casino. When the officer arrived on scene, the suspect vehicle, a white Honda Accord, was backing out of the parking stall, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The driver ignored officers’ commands to stop and crashed into a gray Toyota Sienna. Cook opened the driver’s door, but the driver turned away, forcing Cook to let go to avoid being pulled under the vehicle, the affidavit states.

The Honda then sped off to Interstate 5 with police Sgt. Joe Higgs in pursuit. The sergeant said the Honda made a U-turn and drove toward his patrol vehicle, nearly striking him, court records say.

About a half-hour later, Clark County sheriff’s Deputy Phillip Walker responded to assist in the police pursuit by Cowlitz Tribal Police. The deputy heard over the radio that the Honda had attempted to run over an officer, according to court records.

Walker tried to get in front of the pursuit to deploy spike strips, he said, while listening to it on the radio. He heard the suspect vehicle went south on I-5, reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph, and prompting Ridgefield and Battle Ground police to join the pursuit. The pursuit then went east on Northeast 219th Street, south on Northeast 10th Avenue and east onto Northeast 209th Street, the affidavit says.

While traveling on 209th Street, the Honda nearly struck Ridgefield police Officer Andy Marvitz head-on. Marvitz said he made eye contact with the driver, “and it was evident he was attempting to hit my patrol vehicle,” the affidavit reads.

The pursuit continued to Northeast 29th Avenue, where the suspect vehicle turned south, until Northeast 179th Street where it began traveling east. It avoided two spike strips, and headed north on Northeast 112th Avenue.

The pursuit continued to Southwest Eaton Boulevard, where the Honda turned east. At one point, the Honda drove toward Battle Ground police Officer Brian Archer, nearly hitting him head-on, according to court documents. Archer said he believed the Honda swerved into his lane to ram his vehicle or force him off the road.

During the lengthy pursuit, the Honda ignored traffic signals and drove into oncoming lanes, causing multiple crashes, the affidavit states.

Walker went to the intersection of Northeast 119th Street and Northeast 172nd Avenue to help deploy spike strips. The Honda swerved in the direction of Clark County sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Preston, who was outside his patrol car, prompting him to run out of the way, court records say.

The suspect vehicle continued over the spike strips and eventually slowed to 35 mph, allowing deputies to perform a Pursuit Intervention Technique, or PIT, maneuver. Two deputies pinned the vehicle, forcing it to stop. Two people were detained. The driver was identified as Hill and a female passenger was identified as Bailee Bunnell, according to the affidavit.

Bunnell told deputies she and Hill were at the casino for about a half-hour when she wanted to leave. She walked back to their car and waited for Hill, who came out shortly after and was angry about losing money. He then injected heroin, she said, and the next thing she knew police were surrounding them in the parking lot, court documents state.

She said Hill drove toward an officer and heard the side mirror break but was unsure if the officer was hit. Bunnell told Hill, “Stop, you’re scaring me,” she said, but he continued to elude police. She asked repeatedly to be let out of the vehicle, but Hill wouldn’t stop, the affidavit says.

Hill initially told police he didn’t realize tribal police were trying to contact him, but he later admitted he fled because he had been using drugs and had a DOC warrant. He also denied trying to intentionally hit any officers and said he was trying to avoid them and the spike strips, according to court records.

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