A Bellingham man must serve 3½ years in prison for a chase in which he rammed into a Whatcom County sheriff deputy’s car, a Superior Court judge ruled Thursday, Oct. 20.
Eladio Ernesto “Payaso” Martinez-Ramos, 33, had a warrant out for his arrest on Aug. 2 when a deputy recognized him as he fueled up a gray 1990 Honda Accord at a gas station at 4485 Birch Bay-Lynden Road.
Martinez-Ramos fled lights and sirens and drove to the freeway, where speeds topped 110 mph, according to charging papers.
Spike strips took out the car’s tires on Interstate 5, but deputies still needed to perform a PIT maneuver – tapping a corner of the patrol car into a corner of the Honda – to make the car spin out and stop, at Grandview and Dahlberg roads.
Martinez-Ramos regained control, however, and rammed the driver’s side door of a patrol car as a deputy jumped back into the driver’s seat.
Martinez-Ramos then ran from his car but was arrested moments later when a police dog and handler chased him down. The patrol car had at least $10,000 in damage, officials said.
Martinez-Ramos pleaded guilty Thursday, Oct. 20, to attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, malicious mischief in the first degree, assault in the fourth degree on the deputy, and reckless endangerment.
He had six prior felonies on his record, most of them drug related.
Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis ordered him to serve three years and seven months in a state prison, the most time allowed within state guidelines, as suggested by a plea deal.