High-speed car chase part of ‘busy’ Port Angeles night

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — A short high-speed chase through central Port Angeles neighborhoods Wednesday night that resulted in the arrest of two people was only one of nearly 100 calls Port Angeles police handled during a 24-hour period, Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith said Thursday.

“We had a busy night last night,” Smith said.

From midnight Wednesday to midnight Thursday, Port Angeles police officers responded to 96 separate calls and arrested 13 people, some on multiple charges, Smith said.

Those calls included arson, aggravated assault, car wrecks, burglary, domestic-violence disturbances and requests for multi-agency assistance, he said.

A car chase that began at 6 p.m. on Cherry Street to Laurel Street to East Park Avenue — and which reached 60 miles per hour on residential streets — was one of the more visible parts of that busy day, Smith said.

The chase resulted in the arrests of Christopher Michael White, 23, who was wanted on a state Department of Corrections felony warrant, and Sonya Jeanette Davis, 38, who police said was driving during the chase.

Both remained in the Clallam County jail Thursday afternoon.

Police Cpl. Bob Ensor first spotted a car associated with the wanted man, White, at about 6 p.m. on Cherry Street and turned on his lights to signal the driver to pull over, Smith said.

Instead, Davis, who police determined was driving the car, accelerated, driving through several stop signs and a red traffic signal, he said.

Ensor’s report stated that the 2.5-mile chase reached 60 miles per hour on Laurel Street and ended when the vehicle stopped in the driveway of a house on the 1000 block of East Park Avenue.

“The three people in the car got out and scattered,” Smith said.

Davis was caught in the yard of the house after a short foot chase, while White and an 11-year-old child, who had been a passenger in the car, ran into the residence, Ensor’s report said.

The child was found inside the home and was turned over to Child Protective Services, Ensor said.

White also was found inside the residence and taken into custody, he said.

Davis was booked into the Clallam County jail for investigation of reckless endangerment, attempting to elude a police vehicle and rendering criminal assistance, Smith said.

White was booked into the Clallam County jail on warrants and for investigation of attempting to elude a police vehicle.

This is White’s second suspected case of avoiding the law this year.

In September, he was the subject of a police search for another Department of Corrections warrant and was caught by police at a home on Georgiana Street.

White pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in May 2011 for attacking a woman in January 2011 and was ordered to 13 months in jail and 18 months’ community custody, court papers said.

White also was charged with second-degree assault in February 2010 for allegedly attacking a Clallam County jail inmate along with three others, and he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of fourth-degree assault as an accomplice in that attack.

In 2009, White was charged with first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault for allegedly attacking and threatening a man in a Carlsborg parking lot.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree assault for that incident and was ordered to eight months in jail.

Smith said he did not know why the day was so busy, as there did not seem to be any obvious cause, such as high temperatures or a raucous holiday. Sometimes, there are simply cycles of high and low activity, and Wednesday was a particularly active day, Smith said

With three to five officers on duty per shift, “it consumed our assets several times,” he said, noting that Port Angeles officers worked with Clallam County sheriff’s deputies, State Patrol troopers, Border Patrol agents and Elwha police officers on various cases.

Several of the calls required officers to get search warrants or complete additional investigations, Smith said.

“We’ve got some very tired police officers here,” he said at 11 a.m. Thursday, noting that some of the officers that worked the overnight shift were still in the office completing the paperwork associated with the long night’s activity.

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 08. 2012 6:17PM
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