By Andrew Christiansen
Reporter 

Police chase ends in multi-car crashes

 

Lou Marzeles

WILD FINISH TO A WILD CHASE: A Goldendale police car and the parked car it hit show heavy damage. The police car was stolen by a suspect, who led police on a frenetic chase Sunday morning.

A perceptive look at a car Sunday morning led to a dramatic police chase after a suspect who, by the time he was captured, wrecked five different vehicles, injured a police officer, and panicked passengers on a church van.

Sunday morning around 8 a.m. Goldendale Police Officer Dwayne Matulovich spotted a green 1993 Honda that he believed belonged to Kyle Fowler, 27, of Goldendale. Matulovich was aware of a warrant out for Fowler’s arrest. The warrant was issued by Hood River County regarding a recent robbery that took place at Cascade Locks.

Matulovich tried to stop the car and was led on a high-speed chase to 801 South Schuster Street, where the driver left the vehicle and ran into the apartment complex. Matulovich was unsure which apartment the suspect entered but knocked on the door he suspected. The occupants refused entry and without certainty about the apartment that was entered, a warrant could not be obtained. Officers impounded the Honda and left the scene. While doing so, Matulovich noticed a gold-colored car driving slowly by, attracting his attention and policeman instincts.


While on patrol about an hour later, Matulovich saw the gold car parked on East Collins by the tennis courts and decided to take a closer look. Matulovich approached the vehicle and saw two individuals in the front seat. The driver stepped out of the vehicle and identified himself. Matulovich noticed the passenger was avoiding looking in his direction and he asked the driver who his passenger was. The driver responded that it was Fowler.

Matulovich went to the passenger side of the car, and Fowler jumped into the back seat, exited the driver’s side of the car and ran. Matulovich pursued Fowler through neighborhood yards while calling for back-up. During the pursuit, Fowler sprayed Matulovich at least three times with pepper spray, once hitting him in the eyes, but Matulovich continued the pursuit which led back to the Collins Street. Fowler ran to Matulovich’s police vehicle which was left running with doors locked, but the driver’s side window was partially down. Fowler reached in, unlocked the door, got into the vehicle and put it in drive.

Matulovich reached through the window and attempted to put it back into park while Fowler repeatedly struck at Matulovich’s arm. With the car in drive, Fowler stepped on the gas and dragged Matulovich 10 or 15 feet until he got loose and fell away from the car.


A passer-by noticed the action and drove his pick-up truck in front of the police car to block the escape, but Fowler collided with the truck and continued west on Collins, arriving at South Columbus.

Meanwhile, Klickitat County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Beasley was responding to the call for assistance, and arrived at Columbus in time to intercept Fowler at the intersection. Fowler crashed into Beasley’s car, ripping off the front bumper and continued across Columbus onto West Collins where he struck a New Life Assemblies of God Church van with six people aboard. The police car spun after the collision and sideswiped a parked car putting an end to the police car’s run.

Matulovich, who had hitched a ride from the driver of the pick-up arrived at the scene along with the deputy. Fowler left the vehicle and led both officers on a foot chase through neighborhood yards. He was found on a front porch of a residence, and both officers fired taser guns at him. Each taser struck with just one dart, thus failing to fire. But Fowler rolled over and surrendered. Matulovich handcuffed Fowler, and he was taken to KVH to be checked out along with both officers. All three were released with no serious injuries. An occupant of the van was also transported to the hospital where she checked out to be fine.


The police vehicle was totaled. The church van had damage on the driver’s side plus a broken tie rod. The parked car had its trunk pushed in and rear wheel broken. There was no information on the extent of damage to the pick-up. The State Patrol is completing an investigation of the incident.

A number of residents called the police station and reported hearing gun shots they believed were associated with the chase. According to Goldendale Police Chief Rick Johnson, no guns were fired by officers or Fowler.

 

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