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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man steals bus, leads 40-mile high-speed chase in Grant County, deputies say

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 3, 2021

Early Wednesday, a bus thief led police cars from four law enforcement agencies on a chase through  (Courtesy Soap Lake Police Department)
Early Wednesday, a bus thief led police cars from four law enforcement agencies on a chase through (Courtesy Soap Lake Police Department)

With a touch of pink in the morning sky Wednesday, a Grant County bus whizzed along state Route 155 at 80 mph followed by a trail of flashing red and blue lights.

Grant County deputies, state troopers and Moses Lake and Soap Lake police officers had all joined in on a chase as 62-year-old Richard Manley of Grand Coulee traversed the county for 60 miles in the bus, according to a Grant County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Around 7 a.m., Grant Transit Authority reported a short bus had been stolen in Moses Lake, the release said. Thirty minutes and about 20 miles later, a Grant County Sheriff’s deputy spotted the white bus traveling on state Route 28 near Stratford. It took off north on Pinto Ridge Road as more officers entered the pursuit, the release said.

The bus passed through Coulee City and headed north on state Route 155, where Grand Coulee police set up spike strips about 7 miles north of town. The bus hit the spikes, deflating one of its rear dual tires, but the driver was able to keep going at close to 80 mph, the release said.

Just south of Electric City, about 40 miles north of Stratford, where the chase began, another Grand Coulee officer was setting up spikes strips. These deflated the right front tire of the bus and, about a half-mile later, dash cam video showed the driver had slowed down.

Manley veered to the right to make a fast turn and went off the road up a slight grassy incline, just missing a tree before coming to rest, video shows. Once stopped, an officer can be heard ordering Manley to put his hands over his head.

Deputies booked Manley in the Grant County Jail on suspicion of motor vehicle theft and felony eluding. The pursuit did not leave anyone injured, but the bus sustained minor damage, the release said.

Manley has been tried in Okanogan, Lincoln and Grant counties at least 18 times since 1987, according to court records.

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