Only Hollywood could come up with a stranger story.

Chelan County Deputies report they spent much of Saturday night pursuing a man who had been released from Western State Hospital earlier in the day.

The man, whose name was not released, had undergone treatment there. Around 7:49PM Saturday, the Chelan County Sheriff said the man allegedly stole a school bus that was being used by an area rafting company near Peshastin.

Peshastin is just southeast of Leavenworth. The man, who was wearing a yellow sun dress, drove the stolen bus along Highway 2, eventually making his way to Wenatchee. He had briefly pulled over but then sped off again. Because the man had not broken any traffic laws, Deputies said they were not able to force it to a stop or otherwise detain the man due to the state's new reasonable force laws.

You may recall we shared how law enforcement cannot intervene unless certain criteria are met. That's why Douglas County Deputies, who'd joined the chase, had to let the bus go.

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Finally, the man drove through Quincy, then abandoned the bus in Moses Lake, even leaving the keys in the ignition.  He somehow was able to hitchhike to Spokane, then to his hometown of Chewelah, which is well north. He traveled a total of 191 miles from where he stole the bus.

But the strange events continued. He stole a front loader, used it to pick up and 'flip a car into the front of his house, then used the loader to punch a giant hole in the structure.  Authorities say his estranged wife was not home at the time, fortunately.

The man was eventually arrested by Chewelah Police, who learned about his bizarre trek across the state. He's being held for another mental evaluation as well as for his crime spree.

 

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