Officials are still trying to sort out the details of the incident, but a preliminary investigation found that police responded just after 12:15 p.m. after receiving a report that a man had attacked several people on a bus near Aurora Avenue and Denny Way.
The man reportedly fled south on foot through the Battery Street tunnel.
Two officers found the man inside the tunnel and attempted to stop him. As they did, the man attacked the officers, then jumped into a Seattle patrol car and took off, police said.
"This subject was fleeing at a high rate of speed, so it was a danger to the public," said assistant police chief Paul McDonagh
Officers pursued the suspect to West Olympic Place and 8th Avenue West, where the suspect hit a car and then crashed after running over a retaining wall.
Jeff Parks said he was driving near 9th and West Blaine when a police car slammed into his Audi.
"He didn't seem too concerned about it, so either he was going someplace important or he wasn't a cop," Parks said.
Moments later, the cruiser crashed near the corner of 8th and Olympic.
"He officers were drawing guns as they came up to him so they were concerned," said witness Bob Franz.
The man was then removed from the patrol car and taken into custody.
Police said he appeared to be very intoxicated. He was placed on a gurney and wheeled to a waiting ambulance. The nature of his injuries were unclear.
Police have closed traffic on three streets around West Olympic Place, and there may be traffic delays in the area through the afternoon.