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High speed chase sparks discussion

A Nov. 20 high speed police chase through downtown Sunnyside prompted discussion during last night's Sunnyside City Council meeting.

Councilwoman Carol Stone brought up the chase during an open comment period near the end of the meeting.

She asked Police Chief Ed Radder if the city has a police chase policy and Radder replied that the city employs a policy similar to those used by other departments in Yakima County.

Radder said the decision to pursue a suspect depends on the severity of a crime, noting a misdemeanor would not warrant a chase.

In response to a question by Stone, Radder said Sunnyside police do pursue stolen cars since the crime is a felony.

When Radder identified the specific incident that Stone was alluding to, Mayor Ed Prilucik stepped in and asked Stone to save her comments and discuss them later with City Manager Bob Stockwell.

Radder later confirmed that the Nov. 20 incident occurred at Sixth Street and Harrison Avenue in Sunnyside when a police officer was giving chase to a man driving a stolen vehicle.

He said there was no way to know now how fast the officer was driving through the intersection when he hit a car that Radder noted had three or four people in it.

Radder said there were "no serious injuries that I am aware of" which stemmed from the accident, adding that those involved in the collision with the officer's car were "checked and released" at Sunnyside Community Hospital.

The suspect later ran the stolen car into an embankment and fled on foot, Radder said, and the man is still at large.

"We do have some suspect information," he said.

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