A 39-year-old man is in custody after he allegedly stole a school bus and then a front-end loader, which he crashed into his home in northwest Washington state, according to police.
Andrew Loudon, who law enforcement identified and connected to both incidents by the yellow dress he was wearing, was arrested Sunday, a day after being released from a psychiatric hospital in the city of Lakewood, according to the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office. Police blamed a new law restricting vehicle pursuits for preventing them from apprehending the suspect sooner.
Employees of a rafting company in Leavenworth alerted police on Saturday evening that a yellow school bus owned by the company was stolen by the suspect, whom police were able to locate and pursue, according to a police news release.
Officers followed the suspect and the bus, which did not stop, and had to cease the pursuit because the suspect did not meet a new set of necessary conditions to justify the pursuit, police said.
Under a new law, law enforcement must have probable cause the suspect committed a violent offense or is under the influence of a substance to continue a pursuit, or officers must determine a pursuit is “necessary for the purpose of identifying or apprehending the person” or that the person is an “imminent threat to the safety of others.”
Police in neighboring Douglas County also pursued the suspect in the school bus but similarly stopped their pursuit.
The suspect was arrested on Sunday after he allegedly ditched the bus for a front-end loader, which police said he crashed into his home in Chewelah.
Loudon's estranged wife fled the home before the incident after hearing he was nearby, police said.
Loudon is being held in jail on charges of motor vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, malicious mischief first degree/domestic violence, and eluding police.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman
Original Location: Police pursuit of stolen bus disrupted by new Washington law