A 47-year-old Castle Rock man fresh out of jail was zapped with a Taser and pepper-sprayed by police following a wild, high-speed chase through Kalama on Wednesday afternoon.
No one except the driver, Kevin J. Hamrick, was injured in the escapade, which began with callers reporting a 1993 Honda Civic driving recklessly on northbound Interstate 5 at milepost 16. Minutes later, several people called 911 about the same Honda nearly striking children and pedestrians while speeding through a residential area of Kalama around 4:15 p.m.
When police tried to stop the car on East Frontage Road, the car sped off and entered the freeway on-ramp in the wrong direction in an attempt to escape, police said in a press release.
Hamrick lost control of the car and crashed into a utility pole at the Frontage Road intersection with Geranium, then fled on foot. He ran through a crowded restaurant and across Main Street before officers caught up to him in the 200 block of North Second Street.
When Hamrick resisted arrest, officers subdued him with a stun gun and pepper spray in the back yard of a home, police said. Hamrick was treated at the hospital for minor injuries from the crash. Then he was booked into the Cowlitz County jail, from which he had been released only hours earlier after spending more than a month behind bars for a Department of Corrections violation, jail staff said.
He is being held on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, felony eluding, negligent driving, resisting arrest, ignition interlock violation, felony harassment and second-degree malicious mischief.