Police say the incident began just before 5 o'clock with a man trying to break into cars in Bellevue, but quickly escalated into a high-speed chase across several neighborhoods.
Traveling first in what police said was a stolen silver Honda, then in a blue Subaru the man broke into, the driver traveled surface streets, Interstate 405, and state routes 520 and 522 for over half an hour, reaching speeds of 80 mph. He was passing police cars, blowing through stop lights and signs, and racing past rush hour traffic in the oncoming lanes.
He took his attempted escape to busy northbound lanes of 405 at NE 85th Street, weaving in and out of freeway traffic at extremely high speeds and losing control at times -- one time swiping a red SUV -- then he raced from one shoulder to the other, where he nearly hit another SUV.
Back on city streets, the driver pulled abrupt U-turns, then scraped three more cars and bumped a fourth.
He then left city streets and raced across the back nine of the Wayne Golf Course. He plowed through a chain-link fence and nearly spun out of control. He even raced across greens and down cart paths -- and back onto the street.
At one point, he stopped to ask pedestrians for their cell phones.
Racing off again on Juanita Drive, a civilian SUV driver rammed him from behind three times trying to stop him, but the fleeing driver keept going.
A left turn on 18th Avenue in Kirkland would be one of his last. Racing past Juanita Junior High School, he cut through Crestwoods Park, made a left on 19th, and pulled into Teresa Moen's front yard and tried to run.
The man got out of the car but quickly surrendered to police and was arrested without further incident.
Teresa Moen was watching the chase on TV as the man pulled up to her house.
"We were in the living room having dinner and watching it on the news," she said. "So we went onto the porch and he was in our driveway."
She can be seen on the video from Air 4 running away as the man crashed his car into her driveway.
Meanwhile, the owners of the damaged Subaru made it to the end of the chase too.
Paul and Katie Malm first found out their car was stolen when they went outside to see what the helicopters were searching for.
"He went out there and he called me on the cell phone and said, 'You won't believe it, it was my car,' " Katie Malm said.
Moen, meanwhile, sought solace for her very frazzled nerves.
"I don't know. I'm gonna go in the house and maybe have a glass of wine," she said.
While the man was involved in several fender benders as he forced his way through congested traffic, no serious injuries were reported, although one Bellevue police officer did sustain a minor injury.
How It All Began
While the chase ran through several Eastside neighborhoods, Bellevue police say it all began with an attempted car prowl. It was an off duty Washington State Patrol trooper who was bicycling in the Lake Hills neighborhood around 3:20 p.m. when he saw a man and a teen girl break into a car. The trooper called 911 to report the incident.
Police were able to arrest the teen on a Metro Bus, but the suspect fled on foot, where eventually, he just barged through the front door of Richard and Lu Mariott's house.
"I was sitting, dozing in a chair," Lu Mariott said. "And I opened my eyes, and here's this guy standing in the house."
Richard Mariott added: "I said, 'What are you doing?' He said, 'My wife is injured, I need to call 911.' I said, 'OK,' but I told him to get out of the house."
Then Richard watched the man run down the street, to Tim Randall's house, trying to steal his car.
"This is what he was using to start the ignition on mine," Randall said, holding up a screwdriver.
And he says the man ended up stealing one of his larger screwdrivers, but luckily, didn't make off with the car.
"He was in the car, using (the screwdriver) to try to get to the ignition when my neighbor stopped him," Randall said.
That neighbor was Marc Amsberry.
"(The thief) just looked desperate," Amsberry said. "He looked panicky."
Marc says the man got away from him.
Chiu says Bellevue police found him nearby, attempting to break into a silver Honda and that the man got into the car and attempted to ram a Bellevue officer's car before speeding away.
"When we knew that the officer was almost run over -- when we learned that there may have been a home invasion type situation, this really upped the ante," said Chiu.
And that's where the chase began.
A short while into the chase, the man got out of the silver Honda and broke into a blue Subaru.
Chiu says police initially decided not to pursue him due to the risks of doing so in rush-hour traffic. They decided they could trace the man through evidence at the scene and the teenager in custody.
Police later identified the man as 24-year-old Ryan Wade-Everett. He was booked for investigation of burglary, robbery, car theft and felony flight.
Everett has a lengthy criminal history. He's been arrested more than 10 times and served time in jail for robbery, assault, hit and run, and possession of stolen property.
TV Choppers A Big Help
During the chase, when it became too dangerous for police to chase the man in congested rush-hour traffic, police kept tabs on the fleeing vehicle by watching live video from Air 4 and other local TV stations.
And as the thief found out, you can't outrun a Bell 407 Helicopter that flies comfortably at 120 knots.
"I wanted to express my thanks to the KOMO helicopter and the pilot and their staff," said Kirkland Police Lt. Brad Gilmore. "Because it was their information that we were able to initially locate this person on these crimes and I appreciate their help. Our dispatchers were watching the television as the feed was coming through and getting that information out to the officers."
Wade-Everett was still being questioned late Tuesday night by Bellevue police and was expected to be booked into the King County Jail sometime Wednesday morning.
Bellevue police ask for anyone who sustained damage to their cars from the fleeing suspect to contact their local police department and file a report.
A Windows Media version of the chase video is also available.