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High-speed chase ends in Olalla

A police chase through South Kitsap that began shortly after noon on Friday ended in a ditch with gunfire and taser shots.

Port Orchard resident Derek M. Smith, 30, was arrested and booked into Kitsap County Jail after leading city police and county deputies on a 15-mile chase. Smith was charged with two counts of first-degree assault, possession of pseudo ephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, eluding a pursuing police vehicle, first-degree possession of stolen property and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Bail was initially set at $125,000.

The incident began when a Kitsap County deputy noticed a green 1997 Ford F-250 pickup truck pass through the intersection of Jackson and Lund. The deputy was suspicious, since earlier in the day he had been made aware of a residential burglary and vehicle theft from a residence in the 7000 block of Zion Place SE.

A burglary had also been reported the previous day (Thursday), when another vehicle and a semi-automatic handgun had been stolen.

According to a release from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, “the similarities of the two incidents, occurring back-to-back, caused the deputy to suspect that the same person (or persons) may have been involved in both situations. The fact that a firearm had been stolen caused the deputy to believe that the driver of the green-colored Ford F-250 may be armed.”

As the deputy maneuvered his patrol car nearer the truck, the suspect, Smith, immediately sped away in an effort to escape.

The pursuit involved six officers from three law enforcement agencies — the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, the Port Orchard Police Department and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office — and covered 15 miles through both residential and commercial streets.

Smith repeatedly ignored warnings from officers to stop. He sped through busy intersections violating traffic laws. Law enforcement officers estimate Smith’s speed reached up to 85 miles per hour.

Smith led the chase southbound on Jackson Avenue from Lund Avenue to SE Salmonberry Road.

He then headed west to Bethel Road SE and turned to the south over State Route 16 to SE Mullenix Road.

Smith continued east to Olalla Valley Road SE, went south to Crescent Valley Road, then west to SE Nelson Road. He was stopped by a portable spike stick that deflated his left front tire.

The chase concluded at the intersection of Nelson and Bandix Roads when police were successful in turning the truck 270 degrees, halfway into a ditch.

“It was pretty intense because they rammed him to get the car off the road,” said Olalla resident Ron Finney, who witnessed the conclusion of the chase unfold in front of his residence.

Smith tried to get the back tires of the truck out of the ditch, ignoring verbal warnings to comply with law enforcement, causing a deputy to shoot out the truck’s tires, preventing Smith from fleeing in the vehicle.

According to the release, Smith then reached behind the seats inside the cab and gripped a .45 caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol.

Smith was immediately shocked with a taser and the gun fell out of his hand.

A second application of the taser allowed officers to physically remove Smith from the vehicle.

He was quickly handcuffed and placed on the ground with his back against the truck.

Smith was taken to Harrison Hospital in Bremerton and evaluated. Upon his release, he was booked into jail.

The handgun was later recovered from the truck, along with a magazine fully-loaded with ammunition, and items associated with the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Smith made his initial court appearance Monday.

“The police and Sheriff’s deputies performed very professionally under tense conditions,” Finney added. “I’m proud of their calm...restraint in dealing with such a dangerous and out of control individual.”

Law enforcement officials are asking anyone who witnessed any portion of the incident to to call Sheriff’s Detective Phil Doremus at (360) 337-5616.

Persons who wish to remain anonymous may also contact Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound at (800) Crime-13.

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