Driver Charged With Unlawful Imprisonment Following Freeway Frenzy

By The Chronicle

In Lewis County Superior Court on Wednesday, Christopher Craig Mantele, 27, of Lake Elsinore, California, was ordered held in jail on $5,000 bail until at least Jan. 4 on an unlawful imprisonment charge stemming from an alleged incident from Dec. 26.

Information from the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office indicates that Mantele’s mother phoned 911 on Tuesday as she rode with her son on Interstate 5. The reporting party indicated that her son was driving erratically, including speeding and veering toward other drivers, and that she believed he was suffering some sort of psychosis.  

Emergency dispatchers noted that although the suspect knocked the phone out of his mother’s hand during the call, they were still able to overhear the victim telling her son to stop the vehicle.

Alerted to the situation, Trooper Pry of the Washington State Patrol waited for the vehicle to pass his location at Exit 77 and then pulled the vehicle over. Mantele allegedly admitted to consuming methamphetamine three days prior to the incident and was found to have a suspended driver’s license. He was subsequently placed under arrest.

During an interview, the victim confirmed to the state patrol that her son refused to pull over, even when she attempted to pull the keys from the ignition. She added that her son just recently began abusing drugs.

Mantele was placed in restraints in the back of Trooper Pry’s patrol car after he allegedly began kicking the door. The unlawful imprisonment charge carries a maximum prison sentence of up to five years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.