Juneau driver almost hits police officer, tries to run emergency vehicles off road during chase

The suspect vehicle in a high-speed chase Saturday morning.

The suspect vehicle in a high-speed chase Saturday morning.

A 23-year-old Juneau man was arrested just before noon Saturday for assault and failing to stop at the direction of a police officer following a high-speed vehicle chase.

The Juneau Police Department said Cecil Trent Yeisley endangered the life of his mother, targeted police and fire department vehicles on the road, rear-ended a JPD vehicle and hit a civilian vehicle during the melee.

A video that was shared with the Empire and posted on YouTube and Facebook also shows the vehicle swerving to avoid his tires being spiked, nearly hitting a police officer who was on foot in the median on Egan Drive.

He was arrested at the SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center, 1200 Salmon Creek Lane near the hospital, where he left his vehicle and ran into the building.

“A JPD officer followed him into the building and when threatened with a Taser, Yeisley gave up and was taken into custody,” a JPD information release states.

JPD Lt. Kris Sell said the chase began at about 11:37 a.m. when a caller reported that a woman — later identified as Yeisley’s mother — was hanging out of the window of a moving car and screaming on Hospital Drive. The caller reported that the vehicle stopped, and that a man allegedly threw the woman out of the vehicle and was fighting with her.

“The woman was later identified as the driver’s mother, who was trying to get him to accept medical help,” Sell wrote in the release.

A JPD officer responded to Hospital Drive and saw the vehicle — a 2010 Dodge SUV that JPD later released a photograph of — going about 90 miles per hour. JPD said the officer did not pursue the vehicle due to safety reasons.

Then, JPD received a report that Yeisley had “aggressively driven” at a Capital City Fire/Rescue vehicle near Fritz Cove Road.

“The fire department employee driving took evasive action and was not struck,” Sell said.

At that time, a JPD was driving out the road trying to find the vehicle. Yeisley drove inbound on Glacier Highway and drove aggressively at the JPD patrol vehicle, forcing the officer to take evasive action, JPD Lt. Sell said.

“The on-duty JPD Sergeant was at the McNugget intersection in the turn lane preparing to meet with the officer who just took evasive action so they could go to Yeisley’s home to try and contact him. While at that intersection Yeisley rear-ended the Sergeant’s marked patrol car and struck a civilian vehicle immediately afterwards,” Sell said.

That sergeant, Jeremy Weske, then began chasing the vehicle.

“Another JPD officer was driving on Egan Drive, going toward the valley, near Vanderbilt Hill Road. That officer knew the pursuit was coming toward him so he was trying to slow down traffic and give notice of a hazard. Yeisley crossed the median in an attempt to strike that patrol car, but the JPD officer sped up and avoided the collision,” Sell wrote.

Yeisley at that time began driving on the wrong side of Egan Drive near Vanderbilt Hill Road, traveling toward downtown. A JPD officer was on foot in the median, trying to a device called “Stop Sticks” to deflate the SUV’s tires. But Yeisley drove into the median and narrowly missed hitting the officer, who jumped out of the way in time. This video posted on Facebook and shared with the Empire captured the scene.

Finally, Yeisley drove to SEARHC where he was taken into custody.

Sell said JPD is concerned he may have struck other motorists in the incident and are asking the public to report it to police, if so. JPD can be contacted at 586-0600.

Yeisley was charged with two counts each of second- and third-degree assault, class B and C felonies, and failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer, a C felony.

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