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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: car chases

2 cars crash on tracks in wild chase

A wild car chase on Sunday ended in a father and son's vehicles crashing off railroad tracks into trees and a suspected thief getting away, police said Tuesday.

Authorities are asking for tips on the car thief, who they say stole a car from a Spokane Valley home then ditched it near East 16th Avenue and South Dishman-Mica Road after being pursued by the owner and his father.

The father had moved his son's car about 4:30 a.m. because it was partially blocking his vehicle. He left the keys in the ignition, then went inside to wait for his car to start because of a problem with its alarm system, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

He looked out the window to see his son's vehicle being driven north on South Dishman Road. He and his son got in his car and gave chase north on Dishman to East 8th Avenue, where the car thief began driving south on railroad tracks and they followed.

The car thief and the father-son team lost control of the cars and drove into a group of trees just south of 16th, where the suspect ran north on Dishman and the victims lost sight of him.

He's described as a white man, about 6-feet-tall and wearing a blue shirt and black pants. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Police: Car thief tried to run over officer

A Spokane man tried to run over a police officer before abandoning the car and fighting with a K-9 today, officials say.

Melvin A. Gillespie, 41, who was released from jail earlier this year after pleading guilty to assisting a suicide, is back behind bars on charges of first-degree assault, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and attempting to elude.

Spokane police stopped a stolen 2002 Subaru Impreza at East Rowan Avenue and North Nevada Street and tried to detain the driver and passenger who had exited, but the driver got back in the car and drove in reverse toward a police sergeant, who had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck.

Police located the Subaru, which had been reported stolen Christmas Eve from the Spokane International Airport, in the 500 block of East North Avenue unoccupied. A police dog, Leonidas, found the suspected driver, later identified as Gillespie, hiding in leaves in a backyard in the 500 block of East Everett Avenue.

Police say Gillespie punched Leonidas in the head several times before he was controlled by officers. The dog was not seriously injured.

Gillespie was sentenced in April to six months in jail for helping his friend William Pickard jump to his death from the Sunset bridge above High Bridge Park in June 2010. Pickard’s body was found wrapped with a cord in what police first suspected was a homicide.

After months of investigation, Gillespie admitted to police that he'd helped Pickard kill himself at Pickard’s request.

Stolen Supra catches air in police chase

A 26-year-old man tried escaping police by driving more than 100 mph in a 35 mph zone in north Spokane County early Tuesday.

The stolen 1989 Toyota Supra Kory L. Zielke was driving went airborne for more than 100 feet as he sped away from a Washington Sate Patrol trooper about 6:50 a.m., according to court documents.

The trooper found the Toyota abandoned on Russell Road at Highway 2 with steam billowing from under the hood.

Zielke's mother arrived and said her son had called her from her home a half mile north on Russell Road and said he'd run from police.

Police arrested him outside the home.

The Toyota was reported stolen about two hours later. Zielke was booked into jail on a felony charge of eluding police and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and city theft.

Cops’ crash damages 5th car in 2 weeks

Two patrol cars were damaged in a chase over the weekend - the fourth and fifth police cruisers taken out of service in the last two weeks.

The latest crash occurred when Spokane Valley police Officers Scott Bonney and Todd Miller slammed into each other while pursuing a suspect. Two other officers had tried to stop a Honda Prelude about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday when the driver, Jason Edward Cooper, 25, sped away and ran stop signs and red lights, said Sgt. Dave Reagan.

Bonney and Miller may have been going to put down spike strips when they collided in the intersection at Sprague Avenue and Bowdish Road, Reagan said, damaging their cars, a light pole and a fire hydrant. Bonney was not hurt but Miller suffered minor cuts from broken glass.

Cooper was arrested, but a passenger in his car escaped. Anyone with information about the passenger's identity is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

The crash came one week after Deputy Matt Spink's patrol car was totaled as he responded to an assault call at Hawthrone Road on Highway 2. Motorist Judith Ann Vanderbosch, 71, of Mead, was cited for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.

Six days before that crash, a sheriff's patrol car was destroyed after crashing into a truck driven by a retired sheriff's sergeant, who was cited for failure to yield.

Wallet theft leads to 100 mph car chase

Two suspected wallet snatchers led the victim on a 100 mph chase in Spokane Valley Thursday night, police said today.

Valley resident Robert A. Hunter, 25, and Jenna L. Myers, 25, of Coeur d'Alene, were arrested on theft charges after allegedly fleeing the Tesoro gas station, 13800 E. Trent Ave., with a wallet Myers picked up in the parking lot.

A 22-year Spokane Valley man dropped the wallet about 7:45 p.m. as he exited his car to buy a soda at the store, where he was a regular customer.  The store employee told police he saw Myers (pictured) get out of a car and pick up the wallet, then enter the store and whisper something to Hunter before the two fled.

The victim ran to his car and pursued the couple westbound on Trent as the Tesoro employee called police with the suspects' license plate number.

The victim gave up the pursuit, police said, but officers soon arrested Hunter and Myers at Sprague Avenue and Flora Road. The victim told police the couple ran stop signs and reached speeds of more than 100 mph on arterials, neighborhood streets and Interstate 90.

Myers stashed cash in her underwear and threw the wallet from the car as they crossed a bridge over the Spokane River, police said. Officers recovered both.

Both suspects are to appear in court today on felony counts of second-degree theft of credit cards and third-degree theft for the wallet. Hunter also was booked for third-degree driving while license suspended.

Myers, a 2009 Crime Stoppers graduate, has at least two previous convictions for theft.

Motor home rams patrol car in wild chase

A police chase with a motor home Tuesday night ended with a Spokane Valley man's arrest after the rig tried to ram a patrol car, officials said today.

Michael Manuel Chavez, 56, was booked into jail on a second-degree assault charge after inviting police into his home after the wild chase, which included Chavez directing his dogs to “get” officers, according to a news release.

The chase began when Spokane County sheriff's Sgt. Doug Marske was stopped to the side of Willow Road reading a computer message about 10 p.m. He saw headlights quickly approaching from behind and pulled ahead and off the road to avoid a collision, according to a news release.

The motor home stopped in front of Marske's patrol car and Marske exited his car, but the driver backed the rig toward the sergeant “while staring directly at him,” according to a news release.

The rig then took off southbound on Willow, and Marske activated his car's emergency lights and took off after it. The motor home again backed toward the patrol car at Willow and Appleway Boulevard but accelerated again and turned southbound on Farr Road before pulling into a yard on a private road.

The driver exited the vehicle and walked into a home, which officers surrounded.

Chavez exited the home with baseball bat and commanded his dog to “get 'em” while pointing at police, but he eventually invited them into his home and was arrested, according to a news release.

Police say Chavez had trouble standing, had slurred speech and smelled strongly of alcohol.

Car thief arrested after chase w/ stolen car

A Spokane man convicted of car theft last week is back in jail after police say he led them on a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle.

 Tyrar H. Munter, 23, (left, in 2007) remains in Spokane County Jail on a $10,000 bond and a probation hold.

A K-9 tracked Munter after police say the convicted felon abandoned the car in the area of North Stone Street and East Francis Avenue after fleeing a police stop near North Crestline Street and East Empire Avenue at 11:10 p.m. Police ended

the search after less than two minutes because Munter was driving dangerously, according to a news release. Citizens told police what direction he’d fled.

Munter was booked into jail on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and attempting to elude police.

He’d pleaded guilty Aug. 25 to second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission and use of drug paraphernalia and was credited for 43 days served in jail, records show.

Fugitive rapist flees police in stolen car

A fugitive sex offender armed with a knife and driving a stolen vehicle led officers on a chase through west Spokane today, Spokane police said. 

Chris L. Gilbert, 40, drove in reverse for several blocks after Officer Terry Preuninger, tipped that Gilbert (left) had a warrant, approached him in the 1100 block of West Jackson Avenue about 2:30 p.m.

He lost control, then slowed to let a woman out of the car before speeding away. Preuninger struck the back bumper of Gilbert’s Honda with his police cruiser, forcing it into a spin and bringing it to a stop. Gilbert raised his hands but then sped away again, this time westbound on Grace Avenue through Monroe as Preuniger got out of his cruiser.

” Gilbert was clearly unconcerned for the heavy afternoon traffic on Monroe Street,” according to a news release.

Officers Erin Raleigh and Bruce Palmer helped block Gilbert’s car and arrest him. Police say he had two knives - one with a blade more than a foot long.

Police found suspected stolen property in the Honda, which was stolen from the area of Ash Street and Glass Avenue Saturday night. Its plates were stolen from another car Sunday in the 1100 block of West Spofford.

Gilbert was booked into jail on charges of attempting to elude a police officer, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, possession of stolen license plates and a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender.

He has convictions for third-degree rape, as well as theft, possession of stolen property, malicious mischief, reckless driving, refusal to cooperate, domestic violence assault, violation of a no contact order, unlawful possession of a firearm and driving while license suspended, according to Crime Stoppers.

Traffic stop turns into police chase in Valley

A man driving a car without its lights on last night led police on a high-speed chase that ended with residents shoving him off their front porch.

Jason M. Tittman, 30, was in a Subaru without its headlight on when police tried to stop him near Sixth and University about 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Tittman ran a red light at University and Fourth, according to police, then continued west on Sprague before turning northbound onto Gillis, striking the sidewalk and coming to a stop. Tittman ran from the car but was arrested after police found him “being shoved off the front porch of a home by its residents,” according to a news release.

Tittman was bleeding from his mouth and told police he fell while scaling a fence. He was taken to a hospital, along with his passenger, a 26-year-old Spokane Valley man who complained of stomach pain from the car’s impact with the sidewalk.

The passenger was released without charges; Tittman was booked into jail on charges of attempting to elude police and third-degree driving with a suspended license. He also was served with two Spokane Municipal Court warrants for theft and possession of marijuana.

Police found a ring of shaved keys in the Subaru but haven’t located the car’s owner.

High-speed I-90 chase ends in Browne’s

A suspected drunken driver took a state trooper on a chase from Interstate 90 to Browne’s Addition late Tuesday.

Robert Shawn Beck, 42, was arrested after a Washington State Patrol trooper hit Beck’s car from behind, forcing it into a spin on Pacific Avenue between Spruce and Hemlock streets, where it struck  parked car, then accelerated into a yard and struck a stump and another parked car, WSP said.

The chase began about 8:30 p.m. after two motorist reported an erratic driver, and a trooper spotted Beck’s car on westbound Interstate 90 between Freya and Altamont streets.

Beck exited at Lincoln Street and went west on Second Avenue before the trooper lost sight of him, then spotted him again at Sunset Boulevard and Hemlock Street.

Beck was booked into Spokane County Jail for a felony charge of eluding a police officer, driving while intoxicated and first-degree driving on a suspended license as a habitual offender, which is a gross misdemeanor.

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