Pursuit of fleeing suspect ends in a real cliffhanger

The suspect’s car was stopped on Friday before it went over a steep embankment. - Courtesy Photo
The suspect’s car was stopped on Friday before it went over a steep embankment.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Port Orchard man leaves vehicle on hill

after running from deputies, prison sentence.

A 28-year-old Port Orchard man was charged with drug possession and eluding officers Friday after allegedly abandoning his vehicle on a hill overlooking a nearby movie theater while being pursued by deputies, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said that the suspect was wanted by authorities after failing to report to the Washington State Department of Corrections to begin a prison sentence for possession of methamphetamine.

Wilson said that William S. Herdman was sentenced last month to 22 months in prison, but failed to report to jail on Aug. 26.

After receiving a tip that Herdman was at a nearby residence in the 1300 block of Russell Avenue, deputies attempted to contact him there, but arrived to find him leaving the area in a black SUV.

Deputies gave chase and followed the suspect’s vehicle until it came to a dead-end on Lovell Street.

Herdman then drove the vehicle into the backyard of a nearby home, jumping out of the vehicle and running away while it continued moving.

Wilson said the vehicle was heading over an embankment about 20 to 30 feet above the parking lot in front of South Sound Cinemas. In an attempt to keep the suspect’s vehicle from driving down to the lot below, a deputy rammed his car next to the SUV and eventually stopped it from dropping over.

The 23-year-old man who had remained in the suspect’s vehicle the entire time was detained.

Sheriff Steve Boyer commended his deputies for their work.

“Training, teamwork, sound tactical decisions and the ability to think and react to fast-changing circumstances prevented this situation from causing serious injuries, property damage or worse,” Boyer said.

After fleeing his vehicle, the suspect reportedly ran down the embankment to the parking lot, then across Mile Hill Drive and into a wooded area surrounding Peysano Lane. Following him on foot, deputies caught up to and arrested Herdman.

Upon search of his vehicle, deputies reportedly found a handgun, two knives, and various illegal substances including methamphetamine, marijuana, ecstasy and steroids.

Herdman was then booked into Kitsap County Jail for eluding a police vehicle, possessing controlled substances, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm, along with an outstanding arrest warrant.

His bail was set at $100,000.

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