February 19, 1998 in City

Men Make High-Speed Return To County Jail

By The Spokesman-Review

Two men fresh out of jail led authorities on a high-speed chase in a stolen farming truck Tuesday, the Washington State Patrol reported.

The chase along Interstate 90 spanned parts of Adams and Spokane counties before troopers stopped the truck by flattening at least one of its tires with a spike strip.

The two occupants were arrested and returned to the Adams County Jail, where they had been released about six hours earlier after prosecutors decided not to charge them in a Feb. 14 theft, troopers said.

“Their time in jail apparently didn’t deter them from their life of crime,” state patrol Sgt. Chris Powell said Wednesday.

Tuesday’s action started at about 9:10 p.m. when John Harvey and Daniel Tesar, both Texas residents, stole a two-ton boom truck from Wheatland Equipment in Ritzville, troopers said.

About 20 minutes later, Trooper Carmen Herrington spotted the truck driving east on I-90 with its lights off.

A piece of farm equipment on the back of the truck smashed into the Coker Road overpass east of Ritzville as Harvey and Tesar passed under it, Herrington said.

Herrington gave chase and was joined by an Adams County sheriff’s sergeant. They pursued the truck for nearly 15 miles at speeds reaching 80 mph, WSP reported.

In the meantime, troopers from the Spokane detachment deployed a spike strip across the eastbound lanes near the Tyler exit.

The spikes flattened at least one tire on the rig, but Harvey, who was behind the wheel, drove on for another mile before careening off the interstate and plowing through a fence, troopers said.

He got out and tried to run away, but troopers Mark Haas, Rod Mittman and Bill Dingfield caught him.

Tesar, who stayed in the truck, was arrested by other troopers and deputies.

Harvey, 40, was booked into the Adams County Jail on suspicion of first-degree theft, first-degree malicious mischief and felony eluding. Tesar, 30, was booked for first-degree theft.

, DataTimes

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