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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sirens & Gavels

Laughing driver caught after chase

Spokane Police arrested a 21-year-old woman today after she drove away from a traffic stop and continued to laugh as officers chased her through southeast Spokane until one officer finally ended the chase by forcing her to crash.

The chase started just before 5 p.m. when Officer Joe Pence noticed a 2000 Plymouth Breeze driving recklessly near Illinois Avenue and Perry Street. After attempting a traffic stop, Breanna Stead, 21, sped up to an estimated 50 to 60 mph and ran several stop signs, Officer Ben Green wrote in a news release.

“When the officers were chasing her, they could see her laughing in the rearview mirror,” Sgt. Zac Storment said. “We are really lucky it was Sunday.”

As Stead entered the Gonzaga neighborhood, Pence decided to terminate the chase because of potential danger to other motorists and backed away from the speeding car, Storment said.

But Stead then drove by the COPS Logan station at 802 E. Sharp Ave. just as several officers were changing shifts. “She was still driving like a maniac” so other officers re-engaged in the pursuit, Storment said.

The chase ended when the pursuing officers forced the Breeze into the concrete barrier near the Second Avenue exit on the Keefe bridge near the on-ramps to Interstate 90. She was arrested without incident and was not injured.

“She kept laughing even after the crash … and drinking from her Twisted Tea,” Storment said. “She kept laughing until they pulled her out of the car.”

Officers found that she hadn’t spilled a drop of her second 24-ounce can of Twisted Tea and booked her into jail on a felony charge of attempting to elude a police officer.

“It is unknown at this time why she chose to endanger the public in this way,” Green said.

Thomas Clouse
Thomas Clouse joined The Spokesman-Review in 1999. He worked as an investigative reporter for the City Desk and covering federal, state and local courts for many years and is currently the assistant editor for the Business section.

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