Sirens & Gavels

Man arrested 30 mins after eluding police

A police chase through downtown ended this morning because officers deemed it too dangerous, but the suspect was arrested 30 minutes later.

Leroy K. Berra, 44, was stopped just before 3 a.m. near Monroe Street and Shannon Avenue and arrested for drunken driving, driving while suspended and for cocaine found in his pants pocket.

His female passenger told officers she feared for her safety during the earlier pursuit, which began when Officer Scott Lesser tried to stop Berra's speeding gray Chevrolet Suburban about 2:30 a.m. in downtown Spokane, police said.

The Suburban had ran red lights without slowing down, and Berra looked at Lesser and accelerated once Lesser tried to stop him. Lesser ended the pursuit because Berra driving "was so reckless that it presented a danger to vehicle and pedestrian traffic," police said.

Berra faces an unlawful imprisonment charge for not allowing his passenger out of the car during the chase, according to a news release.

He was arrested on the same charge in July 2001 after a woman called police and said he would not let her out of the car as he sped away from police on Fort George Wright Drive, according to news archives.

Berra is due in Superior Court this afternoon.




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