State v. Trowbridge – Case Brief Summary (Washington)

In State v. Trowbridge, 49 Wn. App. 360, 742 P.2d 1254 (Wash. Ct. App. 1987), the Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One held that the eluding statute simply requires knowledge that the pursuing vehicle is a police vehicle. 742 P.2d at 1256.

In Trowbridge, the defendant was signaled to stop by two uniformed police officers, one of whom was standing by a fully marked police vehicle and the other standing next to an unmarked police vehicle. 742 P.2d at 1255.

When the defendant failed to stop, the uniformed officer in the unmarked car followed the defendant. Id. The defendant admitted "she had seen the accident scene, that she knew it was a police officer who had motioned her to stop, and that she 'made a mistake and took off.'" Id.

Trowbridge argued that "appropriately marked" within RCW 46.61.024 must be read in conjunction with RCW 46.08.065, the marking statute. Id.

The Court disagreed, and further held that the signal to stop need not be given by the officer while the officer is pursuing in a police vehicle. Id. at 1256.

Therefore, when the defendant was given the visual and audible signal to stop by the two uniformed officers who were standing near their police vehicles, the signal to stop element was met. Id.