Suspect can't elude deputies

Island County Sheriff’s deputies needed a Taser to end a high-speed chase Thursday afternoon.

An investigation of a Wednesday night accident led deputies to 41-year-old Bill Montoya, who also had a felony warrant out for his arrest. When deputies arrived where Montoya was staying, he drove off, Chief Criminal Deputy Russ Lindner said.

Deputies chased the man at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour in the West Beach area. Montoya made his way to Highway 20, where he slowed to the speed limit, Deputy Lane Campbell said. After Montoya turned onto Hastie Lake Road, Campbell said his car clipped the rear of Montoya’s car, sending it into the weeds.

“It was to the point where we needed to end it before anybody got hurt,” Campbell said.

After Montoya spun off the road, he jumped out of his car, holding a large knife to his neck, Campbell said. The man threatened to cut his throat. But deputies ruined that plan by firing two Taser shots, temporarily stunning Montoya.

“We deployed two Tasers and he dropped the knife,” Deputy Ray Tash said.

The first Taser shot entered the man’s coat and did not make a solid contact.

“After we shot him with the Taser, he was trying to pull one of the probe’s out,” Campbell said.

Campbell said Montoya was reaching up to pull the Taser’s probe out when Tash fired the second shot.

“That shows the Taser can be an effective tool,” Lindner said. “It allows us to prevent injury to himself and it keeps the deputies from having to wrestle the knife away.”

Campbell is the department’s driving instructor for utilizing what is known as the “pit maneuver.” The deputy taps the rear corner of the suspect’s car with the front of his own. This puts the suspect’s vehicle into a controlled spin.

“I was going to pit him on the highway, but he was going a bit too fast,” Campbell said. “Our biggest concern is the safety of everybody involved.”

Montoya was arrested at the scene and will be charged with felony evading, as well as the original warrant charges.

Records show that Montoya is a Seattle resident, Lindner said. But the warrant originated in Island County, he said.

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