by Steve Guntli
A 27-year-old man was charged with four felonies last week after a wild police chase through Ferndale on October 2.
Dustin Tyler Owen was charged last week in Whatcom County Superior Court after his attempts to elude Ferndale police in a stolen vehicle lead to a chase and multiple injuries. Owen is accused of attempting to elude police, possessing a stolen vehicle and two counts of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon.
On the afternoon of October 2, Ferndale police detective Jason Gum and another office recognized a mid-’90s Subaru Legacy in the parking lot of the Ferndale Haggen grocery store, according to reports from the Ferndale Police Department. The vehicle had been reported stolen a week before, and the officers noticed a driver, identified as Owen, inside.
Upon seeing the police approaching, Owen quickly put the car into reverse, striking Detective Gum in the hip and backing into his empty police car. On the way out of the parking lot, Owen allegedly struck another police car, this one occupied and attempting to block the exit. Neither Gum nor the vehicles were significantly damaged, and the officers gave chase.
The driver took the stolen vehicle southbound onto Interstate 5, reaching speeds of upwards of 100 mph. He crossed into the northbound lanes before crashing onto the grassy shoulder. Owen then left the vehicle, jumped a chain link fence and proceeded on foot. An officer shot the fleeing suspect with a taser but the device didn’t work.
Ultimately, Detective Gum was able to find and subdue Owen near the woods close to Waldron Road.
The incident delayed traffic on I-5 for a few hours on the afternoon of October 2, when the chase occurred.
Owen had only been released from King County Jail a few days earlier. He had been in jail for violating his probation from another felony eluding charge.