By Mike De Felice
Special to Kitsap Daily News
PORT ORCHARD – A 19-year-old man driving a stolen Honda sent several police officers on a raucous early morning high-speed chase through east Port Orchard that ended with the suspect driving into an apartment complex where he struck a parked car.
Joseph Jeffrey Hubbard of Port Orchard was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, and eluding and hit and run as a result of the Dec. 29 incident.
Hubbard was driving a gold Honda Accord with portions of the car spray painted black, according to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office reports. At 2:23 a.m., a sheriff’s deputy working patrol was parked at the Eagle’s Club on Jackson Avenue in Port Orchard. The officer observed the Honda pass at “a high rate of speed” on the 35 mph roadway, according to police reports.
As the deputy pulled out to pursue the vehicle, he observed the driver fail to stop at a red light. After the pursuing deputy turned on his overhead emergency lights, the suspect turned onto Southeast Conifer Park Drive, increased his speed and turned off his headlights. The chase was terminated for public safety and a call went out to other units in the area.
Soon after, another unit picked up the chase as the driver continued to speed and ran traffic lights and stop signs.
A number of times, the pursuing officer attempted to get alongside the fleeing car to conduct a PIT — a pursuit intervention technique — in which a pursuing police car bumps a fleeing car, causing it to abruptly turn sideways. A PIT was eventually used on the Honda, causing the suspect’s car to momentarily spin out, then continue to drive on, police said.
The Honda appeared to not be running well and seemed to sputter when accelerating, officers reported. The vehicle then entered the Mariner’s Glen Apartments off of Southeast Lund Avenue. When the driver attempted to turn right, the vehicle instead continued straight ahead and hit a parked car and part of a carport. After the Honda crashed, one of the police units blocked the vehicle to prevent escape.
Officers came up to the car and pulled Hubbard out of the car, officers noted. After a brief struggle, the suspect was arrested and booked into Kitsap County Jail.
During the pursuit, radio transmissions between officers indicated that during the previous week, a vehicle matching the description of the stopped Honda had been involved in other reckless driving maneuvers or eluding activities, police said.
A search of the Honda’s trunk turned up four other license plates, authorities said. One of the plates matched those seen on a car fitting the description of the gold Honda involved in a police pursuit one week earlier.
Hubbard’s next court date will be an omnibus hearing on Jan. 22.