In the early morning of June 22, the driver of a stolen vehicle crashed through this security gate at the Bremerton Police Department parking lot. He crashed through a second gate in an effort to flee the scene and then crashed again several blocks away and, finally, fled on foot. The suspect is in custody. Bremerton Police Department/courtesy

Gate crasher arrested in Bremerton

Suspect driving stolen van crashes through Bremerton Police Department security gates

BREMERTON — A man crashed through the Bremerton Police Department security gates around 6:30 a.m. June 22.

Based on police reports and an interview with Bremerton Police Capt. Tom Wolfe, it seems like this gate crasher may have set a new low on the suspect comedy scale.

It seems the alleged suspect, James Bradley (a resident of Seattle/Olympia/Arizona — take your pick), somehow found himself behind the steering wheel of a stolen van that had been heisted in Olympia. Knowing the police would be on the lookout for the hot wheels, the stole a pair of license plates to replace those on the van.

Off of a Washington State Highway Patrol vehicle.

The suspect then drove on up to Bremerton where he parked the van out of sight in the alley behind the Milan Apartments — right up against the east gate entrance to the Bremerton Police Department employee parking lot.

Then he fell asleep with the motor running and his foot on the brake pedal.

When Bremerton Police officers came to check on him, the suspect woke up and tried to escape. He hit the gas and crashed through the police employee lot’s metal electronic security gate, causing what the incident report dryly noted as “significant damage to both the gate and the vehicle.” The panicked suspect then raced through the lot.

“Fortunately, the lot was fairly empty at that hour and he didn’t manage to hit anyone or anything else,” Wolfe said.

But …

Then the suspect crashed through another security gate in an attempt to get out of the lot — causing even more damage to the “borrowed” vehicle.

Racing down Burwell Street, the suspect only made it to about Warren Avenue before he managed to crash into something a third time. In this case, he sideswiped another vehicle. Abandoning the wrecked van, the suspect tried to make a run for it to evade the police, who, by this time, were in hot pursuit.

Unfortunately, the suspect was no more competent afoot than he was behind the wheel; officers captured him a short distance away, the police reported.

The suspect has been charged with multiple felony crimes and DUI. The stolen state patrol license plates were found on the back seat of the van.

“The guy said when he realized they were state patrol plates, he planned on taking them back,” Wolfe said.

“You just can’t make this kind of stuff up.”

— Terryl Asla is a reporter for the Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at tasla@soundpublishing.com

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