BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A Jeep Patriot SUV that took off from a BPD patrol officer reportedly ran stop lights and signs and nearly struck another patrol vehicle while driving on the wrong side of the road before stopping outside the Whatcom County Jail.
According to unconfirmed radio broadcasts at the time, a Bellingham Police Department (BPD) patrol officer reported being out with a vehicle on the Guide Meridian before 2am, Tuesday, July 19th. Soon after, he reported it took off south toward Stuart Road
After taking off, the Jeep reportedly ran the red light and almost struck a patrol vehicle at Stuart Road while driving on the wrong side of the road. The patrol officer reported he was attempting a traffic stop for suspicion of driving under the influence as the Jeep pulled into a retail business’ parking lot, but the Jeep did not stop and returned to Guide Meridian heading south.
It was reported the Jeep was occupied by a male driver and female passenger.
Other BPD patrol officers joined the pursuit of the Jeep as it reportedly traveled southbound in the northbound lanes. It was said to have been traveling 65mph when crossing Kellogg Road.
The pursuit continued on Meridian Street into downtown Bellingham while the Jeep continued to fail to stop at traffic signals and a spike strip was reportedly deployed at 1 point.
After running a stop sign in front of the BPD station, the Jeep pulled in front of the jail and stopped. The driver and passenger were reported to have been quickly detained. The pursuit had covered about 3.5 miles.
Jail records indicate Donald Mark Matthiesen, age 64, was booked into the jail by BPD and charged with suspicion of the following charges.
- driving a vehicle after the registration was refused to be issued or the registration was canceled
- 1st degree driving while his license was suspended
- operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock
- attempting to elude a police vehicle
- driving under the influence
- reckless endangerment
Matthiesen remained in custody as of 7:30am while awaiting a preliminary court appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court.
Matthiesen has prior felony convictions including attempting to elude a police vehicle, 1st degree criminal impersonation and failure to register as a sex offender.