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High-speed pursuit from Bellingham ends in Blaine

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — A Washington State Patrol trooper attempted to pull over a Toyota Tundra pickup after observing it going 83mph in a 60mph zone on northbound I-5 at the Meridian Street interchange in Bellingham. Instead of pulling over, the Toyota reportedly accelerated away at speeds over 100mph.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by prosecutors in Whatcom County Superior Court, the trooper attempted to pull the pickup truck over about 1:45am on Monday, July 17th. The trooper developed reasonable suspicion to detain the driver for driving under the influence as he watched it exit and reenter I-5 as it continued northbound.

According to radio transmissions at the time, the suspect vehicle was reportedly traveling at speeds over 100mph while another WSP trooper set up and successfully deployed a spike strip in the area of I-5 and the Birch Bay-Lynden Road interchange. The Toyota became disabled and pulled over about 2 miles later in Blaine.

The driver was taken into custody without further incident and identified as Ethan Pierre Colson, age 22 and of Oak Harbor. He was booked into Whatcom County Jail.

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It was determined Colson was driving while his license was suspended. What appeared to be a firearm was visible in the front seat and what appeared to be a barrel for an AR-style rifle was visible in the backseat. Open alcoholic beverages and the remainder of a marijuana cigarette were also visible.

The Toyota was impounded while a search warrant was being applied for.

The Toyota was reported to have been stolen out of California and thought to have been involved in an armed robbery in Oregon on July 15th.

At the time of his arrest, Colson had prior felony convictions in Island County Superior Court for possession of a stolen vehicle and 2nd-degree identity theft in 2022.

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Colson was charged with the following crimes when booked into the jail.

  • 2nd-degree driving while license is suspended
  • attempting to elude a police vehicle
  • driving under the influence
  • unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • possession of a stolen vehicle

As of July 21st, Colson remained in custody at the Whatcom County Jail pending being able to post a $50,000 bond or $5,000 cash bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on July 28th.

It was exactly a year ago when Colson was suspected of having thrown rocks at a business’ front windows in retaliation for denial of service. He was arrested later that night after reportedly stealing from another retail business and leading Bellingham Police Department officers on a short pursuit. Colson was booked into Whatcom County Jail charged with suspicion of eluding a police vehicle, 3rd-degree theft and 2 counts of 2nd-degree malicious mischief. He was transported to Island County Jail where he was already awaiting trial on other charges. The local charges were eventually dismissed.

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