Milton-Freewater man charged in connection with chase

David A. Pickett is accused of driving a stolen vehicle during a chase into Oregon last month.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man who allegedly drove a stolen vehicle during a chase by patrol officers into Oregon last month has been formally charged in Walla Walla County Superior Court with the crimes.

David A. Pickett, 35, of 53752 Appleton Road, No. 61, Milton-Freewater, is accused of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. The charges were filed Friday.

Pickett was arrested shortly after the pursuit ended and was booked into the Umatilla County Jail on suspicion of being a fugitive from another state and for a parole violation.

Walla Walla police said Pickett was seen driving from a residence in the 600 block of South Palouse Street in a stolen white Honda Accord about 2:30 p.m. June 15.

When marked emergency vehicles started following him near Whitman and Howard streets, he sped south on Howard and Cottonwood Road, police said.

He allegedly headed from Walla Walla on gravel and dirt backs roads, eventually abandoning the car in an alley in the area of Fifth Avenue and Willow Street in Milton-Freewater. He was taken into custody a short distance from the scene.

During the pursuit, Pickett reportedly eluded officers for 13 miles, with speeds as high as 80 mph. "Pickett ran through at least four stop signs without stopping and swerved across the center line numerous times," according to a Walla Walla police report filed in court.

No injuries or property damage were reported. The vehicle had been stolen in Milton-Freewater within two hours of the chase, police said.

Picket has been arrested more than 15 times and has a lengthy criminal history of drug crimes and other offenses, according to officials.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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