Driver with flashing grill lights, badge arrested after police chase

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 5:46 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 54-year-old man who had a silver badge pinned to his vest and a can of pepper spray in his pocket when he was arrested at the end of long police pursuit on U.S. Highway 12 yesterday is being investigated for possible criminal impersonation.

James P. Sauter, of rural Chehalis, was finally caught when he turned his truck into a field and got it stuck on a log about 21 miles east of White Pass, according to authorities.

It began just before 1:30 p.m. when troopers were notified of a possible hit and run involving a white Dodge pickup truck with emergency lights installed in its grill.

Callers reported the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed and forcing other drivers to pull off the road and when law enforcement began to follow it near Morton, the truck continued east in excess of 100 mph, according to court documents.

Troopers report the truck passed other vehicles using the oncoming lane, on the right shoulder and on blind corners until they eventually lost sight of it, only to get reports later it had a vehicle pulled over on the shoulder east of Packwood.

The driver allegedly activated his grill lights during the pursuit.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead writes in charging documents the hit and run allegation and the possible impersonation continue to be investigated.

The badge turned out to be a Centralia Fire Department badge, according to Halstead.

Sauter was charged today with one count of felony eluding in Lewis County Superior Court. Bail was set at $10,000.

He was just brought before a judge on Monday for possession of a controlled substance after police located pills on Sauter for which he allegedly did not have a prescription, when he was arrested three days earlier after an incident in downtown Chehalis allegedly trying to get inside a woman’s vehicle. He had been arrested and then released by Centralia police earlier that morning for allegedly aiming a laser pointer at passing motorists.

On Monday, Sauter’s bail was set with a $10,000 signature bond and he conveyed to the judge he would be able to produce the prescription bottle for the pills. A judge today revoked his bail in that case.

For background, read “Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup – UNRULY PERSON” from Monday May 22, 2017, here

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7 Responses to “Driver with flashing grill lights, badge arrested after police chase”

  1. Counting Chromosomes says:

    Got Fluoride?

  2. steve says:

    Sounds like this person needs a physc. investigation to mant times this stuff comes to slow an someone gets hurt hope this time ends up differntly

  3. BobbyinLC says:

    SW please do not use such professional and high falluting terms here. Ha ha cheese slid of his crackers ha ha

  4. william lipf says:

    Why is this guy even let out of jail ? law enforcement does their jobs well- but the judges let them loose – how many times does a man have to be arrested before he is kept there. This idiot has a problem and does not need to be out in public.

  5. still waiting for justice says:

    come law enforcement of Lewis County, how many time can this moron F-up before you get him off the street for good

  6. stephanie says:

    This guy obviously needs to be evaluated before someone gets hurt or killed

  7. SW says:

    sounds like this guy’s cheese slid off his cracker…needs some serious help

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