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Dozens of police chase stolen bus to Electric City

Local man arrested


Last updated 2/11/2021 at 5:01pm

A Grant Transit bus where it stopped after running over a stop sign at SR-155 and Hillcrest in Electric City, where a driver from Grand Coulee was arrested. - Jacob Wagner photo

A man driving a stolen Grant Transit Authority bus out of Moses Lake was pursued by more than two dozen police on the morning of Feb. 3, with the chase ending in a minor crash.

The bus had been reported stolen at about 7 a.m., and Moses Lake Police and other agencies were watching for it when a Grant County Sheriff's deputy spotted it about 30 minutes later.

The driver, 62-year-old Richard D. Manley of Grand Coulee, was on highway 28 near Stratford. He turned north on Pinto Ridge Road.

Lake Roosevelt Schools in Coulee Dam got a call from a Grant County dispatcher about 8:15 advising of the situation and calling for a lockdown, Superintendent Paul Turner said.

The bus traveled through the town of Coulee City, then headed out of town north on SR-155, where Grand Coulee Police Sgt. Gary Moore set up a spike strip about seven miles north of Coulee City, the sheriff's office reported. Those spikes deflated one of the bus's left rear dual tires, but the driver was able to keep going at high speeds.

Grand Coulee Officer Andrew Kline set up another spike strip just south of Electric City, which deflated the right front tire of the bus. About a half mile later, the bus veered to the right while attempting to turn onto a street. At the intersection of Hillcrest Avenue and SR-155 the driver hit a stop sign with the bus and came to a stop.

Manly was arrested and booked into the Grant County Jail for investigation of motor vehicle theft and felony eluding.

Lake Roosevelt Schools came out of the lockdown about 8:40, Turner said.

Local police have had multiple encounters with Manley, the most recent on Feb. 1 when a caller reported a man walking along the roadway flailing his arms. Manley was a suspect in a Grand Coulee burglary in early December 2020, and in the theft of a truck from the Coulee Hardware parking lot on the same day, police records show.

Sgt. Moore told The Star that the top speed during the chase was about 80 miles per hour.

Sheriff's deputies, officers from the Moses Lake and Soap Lake police departments, and the Washington State Patrol all joined in the chase and capture, with 26 officers responding to the incident, according to a Grand Coulee Police report. 

Star employee John Avey was on his way back to Grand Coulee from Ephrata, bringing the print edition of The Star with him last week, when he was passed by about 20 cop cars in the pursuit of the bus, he said.

Manley was still in Grant County Jail Tuesday, according to the inmate roster. 

A police report detailing the theft of the bus was not available prior to deadline from the Moses Lake Police Department.


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