A Kennewick man remains locked up on $50,000 bail for allegedly leading police on a chase that topped 110 mph after being questioned about a glass bottle in his SUV.
Jason R. Caryl II, 22, pleaded innocent this week in Benton County Superior Court to a felony charge of attempting to elude police.
His trial is scheduled Aug. 8.
Caryl was arrested early June 9 after abandoning the damaged Suzuki SUV and trying to run from law enforcement.
It all started after 1 a.m. when West Richland police were called about a man knocking on the door of a stranger’s home. The man then left northbound on South Highlands Drive.
Officers were responding when they passed Smitty’s Paradise on Bombing Range Road and noticed an SUV matching the description parked at the gas station. A clerk in the convenience store told police the SUV’s driver was in the restroom, and the officers waited until Caryl emerged.
Caryl initially was cooperative and told police he had been at the home because he was looking for a woman who lived in that area, court documents said.
At the officers’ request, Caryl retrieved his identification from the vehicle. He then “became combative” when police asked if an amber glass bottle in the center console was a beer, documents said.
Caryl asked if he was free to go and got back into the Suzuki. As he was leaving the gas station, he backed up at a high rate of speed, almost hitting a patrol car, court documents said.
He then put the car in drive, accelerated forward quickly and left the lot without stopping to check for oncoming traffic or pedestrians, documents said.
Sgt. Ryan Boyce had yelled “don’t drive recklessly” at one point to Caryl.
Boyce and Officer Mitchell Coates felt that when Caryl drove off, “he did so with willful disregard for the safety of others,” documents said.
They followed Caryl in their patrol cars and stopped him on West Van Giesen Street near 68th Avenue.
Coates approached the car and told Caryl to get out of the SUV because he was under arrest for reckless driving. Instead, Caryl answered “no,” rolled up and drove off as Boyce was trying to open the driver’s side door, court documents said.
Caryl allegedly drove 80 mph on Van Giesen in 35 and 40 mph zones, then 100 mph in a 55 mph zone on Highway 240, and went through a red light at Swift Boulevard.
Officers from the three other Tri-City police departments and Washington State Patrol also joined in the chase.
Spike strips were deployed near the Columbia Center Boulevard overpass on Highway 240, puncturing all four of the Suzuki’s tires. However, instead of slowing down, Caryl accelerated to 110 mph, documents said.
He drove the vehicle — which he reportedly took without permission from his sister and brother-in-law — off the highway at the Edison Street exit. At one point, the front left tire came off.
Caryl eventually abandoned the Suzuki in the middle of the road and ran away, but was caught by Coates as he tried to jump a fence, documents said.
Caryl refused to talk after his arrest.