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The Columbia Press

Police and Public Safety

Man pleads not guilty to 11 charges after high-speed downtown pursuit

Cody Arnett
Thursday, March 19, 2020

The man who led officers on a high-speed chase through downtown Warrenton on Feb. 29 faces additional charges.

Cody Alexander Arnett, 27, of Vancouver was arrested after a manhunt around the Premarq Center and Shilo Inn.

According to police reports and court documents, Arnett and a woman who was with him both were driving vehicles stolen from the Vancouver area. At some point, while Arnett was driving a white Audi and the woman was driving a Ford Explorer, a communication between them prompted a witness near the KOA campground on Ridge Road to call police to report a case of road rage.

Arnett was swerving toward the SUV as if he were trying to run her down. When officers arrived, she was near Parkview Apartments and the Audi was stopped beside her. She got into his vehicle and he sped away as police arrived.

“I was approaching from the south and observed a male subject run to the driver’s door and a female jump into the right front passenger seat,” Sgt. Jim Pierce wrote in a probable cause declaration. “I turned my patrol car broadside as the male driver … attempted to ram the side of my patrol vehicle.”

A chase ensued through downtown. A woman headed south on Main Avenue near the high school told police the white Audi came at her vehicle in her lane, nearly striking her head-on and forcing her to swerve quickly, according to a court document.

The Audi continued north on Main then headed toward Highway 101 along Harbor Drive, where police lost sight of him. A short time later, a sheriff’s deputy spotted the car parked at Shilo Inn. A clerk said the couple came in and rented a room, but took off running down the hall before she could give them a key, according to the declaration.

The woman was found hiding in a hallway off the lobby and told officers Arnett was her boyfriend and she was afraid of him, which is why she got in the car. She claimed to have no knowledge of the stolen Ford Explorer. Yet a witness had snapped a photo of her inside the vehicle when the road rage incident first began.

The Ford had been stolen the previous day from a business in Vancouver. A man slipped into the back room at Party City and stole the purses of two female employees, according to a police report. He used the keys from one of them to steal the SUV.

The white Audi had been stolen off the lot at REV Motors in Beaverton.

Arnett has been charged with six counts of recklessly endangering others, two counts of auto theft, fleeing/attempting to elude police, reckless driving and attempting to commit a Class A felony. He pleaded not guilty to all charges during an arraignment Monday.

The name of the woman has been withheld pending issuance of a warrant for her arrest.


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