A Washington state man decked out in a yellow dress stole a bus and eluded cops in a wild chase that ended with him plowing a front-end loader through his estranged wife’s house, authorities said.
Andrew Loudon, 39, had just gotten out of a psychiatric hospital when he allegedly stole the bus at 7:40 p.m. Saturday and refused to pull over, Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett said in a news release.
When Loudon allegedly blew through a red light, sheriff’s deputies dropped their pursuit because of new state police reform laws, Burnett said.
Douglas County deputies picked up the trail and followed Loudon for about 10 minutes, according to a timeline described by Burnett.
“They also discontinued pursuit per the new reform laws,” the sheriff stated.
After Loudon lost the deputies, he ditched the school bus near Moses Lake and then apparently hitchhiked to Spokane and then Chewelah — where his wife lived.
At some point, he stole a front-end loader and used it to tear into his wife’s house on Sunday night, apparently flipping a car into the home, photos of the incident show.
“The suspect’s wife had fled the home when she learned her estranged husband may be nearby,” the sheriff said in the statement.
It was there that he was finally arrested by Chewelah police.
The sheriff’s office said police weren’t legally allowed to chase the vehicle because of new reforms that state, in part, authorities can only chase a vehicle when there’s probable cause of a violent offense or other crimes.
Following the vehicle has to be necessary to identify the person, the driver has to pose “an imminent threat” to others and a supervisor has to give authorization, the sheriff’s office explained.
Loudon was being held on charges including theft of a motor vehicle and malicious mischief, according to the statement.