When I uploaded the video from WSP’s speed enforcement in Wenatchee earlier this week I had no idea it would blow up to become a national news story. I was hoping that others would share my frustration after hearing officers running late to a conference blowing through a speed trap 20+mph over the limit without being stopped.
Apparently this video struck a nerve with folks. It was first picked up by Komo here in Seattle, then KCPQ, then Kiro. I ended up getting phone calls from news agencies all over the country asking about the video.
I agreed to do on-camera interviews with ABC World News and Kiro to discuss my thoughts on the incident. After seeing me on TV I received a lot of texts/phone calls from friends telling me that I’d better avoid driving for a while, basically implying that WSP will want to “get even” for making them look bad.
Friday I was contacted by an attorney in Wenatchee that kindly offered to represent any motorist that received a citation at that speed enforcement operation for free. Attorney John Brangwin sounds like he’s very familiar with WSP and defending those who receive tickets in these types of situations. If you received a citation at this location and want to talk with John, his phone number is 509-663-3915, or visit his firm’s website for more contact info.
His services may not be needed however- Friday the news announced that WSP was “voiding” all the citations issued at that location for the two days that the conference attendees were allowed to pass through without receiving tickets.
The incident was embarrassing to the State Patrol and they will be making changes to how they handle patrol cars that are speeding through their enforcement areas in the future.
Mark my words on this one- they will encrypt their air to ground communications sometime in the near future. They will cite “public-safety” or “privacy” as their reason, but the real reason is they don’t like having something like this being brought out to make them look bad.
I had to make a run to Wenatchee today for work. It was an uneventful drive over highway 2, until I got a couple miles out of Wenatchee. I had been following a police car over the pass from Lynden, which was a little odd considering that’s up in Whatcom county. As we got close to Wenatchee a WSP patrol car came up on my bumper, both the Lynden car and I moved aside for him to pass. It passed me about the time we entered a speed emphasis area of highway 2. I had my scanner so I flipped over to WSP car to car frequency and picked up the aircraft chatter with the ground units.
As I continued on my way past the speed
trap “emphasis” I could hear the pilot NOT calling out the speeds of the speeders- asking ground units to confirm if they were patrol cars or not. He said he tracked several patrol cars doing “over 80” in the 60 mph zone, but they stopped none of them. It became clear that all these speeding police cars were on their way to a “drug recognition expert” conference at Lake Chelan. Apparently that’s good enough for WSP, they let them all through without stopping any of them. (They did stop a motorcyclist- but he also was heading to the conference and it sounded like he got a pass too- for 78 mph and cutting off a car).
Check out the video and see for yourself- classic case of “do as I say, not as I do”
Heard this on the scanner yesterday. Washington State Patrol aerial traffic unit had a hard time determining what a Smart Car was from the air:
Around 2pm today SCSO attempted to catch a subject speeding on a red sport bike on highway 9 nouth of Lake Stevens. An SCSO motor unit stopped after speeds exceeded 100mph on highway 9. It was not exactly clear what the guy was wanted for (besides triple digits on SR9).
Anyhow, a short while later they found the bike dumped across from the WSP office on 116th in Marysville. Then the story gets a little weird. A huge search begins, involving several deputies and a K9. Then two homeland security helicopters show up and join in the search. Somehow they ended up disturbing a bees nest, and several got stung (a deputy reportedly was stung over 100 times).
This search went on for hours. Helicopters came and went for fuel, and officers from WSP, Everett, Lynnwood, SCSO, Tribal, and Fish and Wildlife were involved in containment.
I only heard that the guy they were after was supposedly armed with a .380 handgun, and had two misdemeanor warrants. Hardly enough to warrant this huge response.
After several hours of searching with multiple K9s, the search was ended with the subject still on the loose. Not sure why, but we are seeing more and more Federal Agency involvement in local law enforcement around here.
There is obviously more to this story.
Always nice to see folks pull over to help when someone is involved in a car accident. It’s not uncommon for citizens to offer life-saving help to the critically injured before EMS arrives. Most do it because it’s the right thing to do, maybe hoping it will help with their “karma”.
Well according to this WSP Press Memo it didn’t work out so well in this case. Yesterday there was a serious accident in the Marysville area, several folks pulled over to help. Most people simply hop out of their cars and don’t even think of locking or securing their belongings. Apparently that’s the case with a woman who pulled over to help out a 74 year old man and his passenger involved in an accident yesterday. When she returned to her vehicle she noticed an envelope containing approximately $900 was missing. Seems a piece of human garbage took advantage of her good will and helped themselves to her belongings.
WASHINGTON STATE PATROL PRESS MEMO
DATE: 20121110 TIME: 1304 INV UNIT: 1009 – TROOPER NANCE
LOCATION:N5 JN 12TH ST COUNTY: SNOHOMISH NBR VEH: 02 CARS: 02 TRUCKS: 00 MOTORCYCLES: 00 NBR INJ: 00 DECEASED: 00 DRUGS OR ALCOHOL INVOLVED: NO
VEHICLE 1 NORTHBOUND I5 LANE 2. VEHICLE 2 NORTHBOUND I5 LANE 3.VEHICLE 1 RAPIDLY ACCELERATED CROSSED ALL LANES STRUCK VEHICLE 2. VEHICLE 1 CONTINUED LEFT THE ROADWAY TO THE RIGHT CAME TO REST IN A DRAINAGE DITCH. GOOD SAMARITAN STOPPED TO ASSIST AND HAD A LARGE SUM OF MONEY STOLEN FROM HER VEHICLE.
WSP Announced today that they paid 2.4 Million dollars to a Spokane man that they falsely accused of a crime. They pretty much wrecked this guy’s life because of the nature of the false charges.
My favorite quote from the WSP Media release: “Making mistakes doesn’t mean you stop trying”– Donald Sorenson, WSP Risk Manager. It does however, mean you can get your wallet out and get ready to pay for sloppy investigation practices.
Nice work detectives.