Wyoming fugitive arrested in Sequim after high speed chase, crash

A man wanted for a Wyoming robbery-conviction parole violation was arrested while hiding in underbrush after he sped down West Washington Street at about 70 mph with police in pursuit.

Jonathan Michael Hale, 31, had his first Clallam County Superior Court appearance Thursday, March 29, after his March 28 arrest for investigation of resisting arrest, fugitive from justice in another state and eluding a police vehicle.

Bail of $100,000 was set on the fugitive from justice charge and a review hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. April 13.

Bail of $25,000 was set for a 72-hour hold on investigation of resisting arrest and eluding. Filing of formal charges was set for 1 p.m. Monday.

Hale was wanted on a statewide warrant from Wyoming for a parole violation on a conviction for robbery with aggravated assault, Sequim Police Detective Sgt. Darrell Nelson said last week.

Sequim Police Officer Mike Hill was in his police vehicle when he attempted to stop the driver of a rented Chrysler Town and Country van speeding down West Washington Street at about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 27.

Hale raced to approximately 70 mph in a 25-mph zone, Nelson said.

“It wasn’t long at all after he began to pursue the vehicle that it sped up and got to dangerous speeds. It was probably less than a minute.

“The officer terminated the pursuit, turned off his lights and turned around in the opposite direction.”

Sequim police conducted an area search and did not find the driver, Nelson said.

“The officers assumed he had left the area.”

Hale was arrested mid-morning the next day after he ditched the van at the end of Simdars Road about 1½ miles away from where Hill stopped chasing it, Nelson said.

A resident reported at 7 a.m. on March 28 that the vehicle had been abandoned in a ditch after the driver apparently was unsuccessful in trying to turn it around, Nelson said.

A public works employee saw a man approaching the vehicle at about 8 a.m. and reported it to authorities.

When police arrived, Hale ran into the woods.

Law enforcement from the Sequim Police Department, Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife set up a containment area and searched for him.

He was discovered once, but a deputy unsuccessfully deployed a stun gun and Hale continued to run into the woods, Nelson said.

Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Wagner found Hale at about 10 a.m. last Wednesday, hiding in underbrush behind a tree while dressed in tan pants and a dark blue sweater.

Wagner arrested him without incident, Nelson said.

Wagner was assisted by Sequim Police Officer Jim Whittaker and Fish and Wildlife Officer Tierra Wessel.

Paul Gottlieb is a Senior Staff Writer with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.