South Seattle

Bizarre police chase ends with man hiding in marijuana grow

 Bizarre police chase ends with man hiding in marijuana grow
Terez Bardwell. Photo courtesy of DOC.
SEATTLE -- A wild Monday afternoon police chase in South Seattle ended when officers found a suspected burglar hiding in a marijuana grow.

A South Precinct patrol officer first spotted a car with no license plates at around 2 p.m. in South Seattle. The officer hit his lights and tried to pull over the car, but the driver instead sped off, according to police.

The driver, later identified as 21-year-old Terez Bardwell, sped through a stop light at Seward Park Avenue and Rainier Avenue South before crashing into two other cars.

Nobody was injured in the crash, but police say Bardwell's car was disabled. When the car finally came to a stop several hundred feet down the road, Bardwell and his female passenger hopped out and took off on foot, according to police.

Officers quickly snagged the woman, but Bardwell continued on down Rainier Avenue.

As Bardwell sprinted down the street, he caught the attention of a martial arts instructor who happened to be in the area.

Noticing something was afoot, the martial artist began chasing Bardwell. The instructor soon caught up, at which point he delivered what police describe as an "outside crescent kick" to the suspect's leg, which knocked him off his feet.

The instructor and another man held Bardwell down and called out for police, but before officers arrived, a stranger walked over and helped Bardwell escape, according to police.

Free from the martial artist, Bardwell once again took off on foot. By this time, officers were hot on his heels and watched him run into a building that was playing home to a medical marijuana grow operation. Officers followed him into the building and fanned out amongst the pot plants to find him.

During their search, officers found a red bag filled with jewelry, several wallets, mail and cash, which they believe Bardwell dropped during the chase.

Moments after finding the bag of loot, police found Bardwell hiding in a wall inside the grow room. When police searched him, they found cash and a young woman's purple wallet.

Inside the wallet was an ID card with an address on it. When police drove to that house, they found a family who had just returned home to find their door kicked in and their home ransacked, according to police.

While searching Bardwell's crashed car, police say they found several iPads and a gun.

Bardwell, who happens to be on Department of Corrections supervision, was booked into King County Jail on suspicion of hit and run, felony eluding and unlawful possession of a firearm. Police are also investigating him for burglary.

The 18-year-old passenger was identified and released.