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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: police chases

Video shows North Idaho police shooting

Two Post Falls police officers were justified when they shot a fugitive to death in March during a chase that ended in a cul-de-sac in Hayden, authorities concluded last week.

Video from a police cruiser’s dashboard camera released Friday shows Justin Earl Nicholas Todd, 33, strike Idaho State Police Cpl. Michael Thomas Keys with a car before Keys and Post Falls police Officers Aaron Ogle and Bradley Johnson opened fire.

Todd, who died at the scene, was shot 10 times. Johnson fired 16 shots, Ogle fired one and Keys three.

Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall concluded this week that no criminal charges will be filed because the officers’ use of force was lawful.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

April 4: Video questions account of shooting

March 12: Man killed by Post Fall police identified

Man jumps fences but still can’t escape

A man wanted on a Washington Department of Corrections warrant jumped over fences and made it through six yards before police caught up to him Tuesday. Colton P. Kilgallen, 21, told Deputy Damon Powers he was “just being stupid” and apologized for running after Powers arrested him, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

A homeowner in the 12900 block of East Olive Avenue called police about 6:30 p.m. and reported Kilgallen was in the area. Powers knew Kilgallen has a history of fleeing police, so four other deputies and two Liberty Lake officers arrived to help.

The caller allowed Powers into his backyard, and he recognized Kilgallen on the back porch before Kilgallen ran.
Deputy Dale Wells and two Liberty Lake police officers arrested Kilgallen, according to the release.

Kilgallen was arrested on the DOC warrant for fourth-degree assault and new charges of resisting arrest and eight counts of trespassing, apparently for each private property he accessed.

Police eluder left prison 3 months ago

A Spokane man released from prison in April is back behind bars after leading police on a chase in a stolen car, authorities allege.

Zachary J. Schackel, 26, is to be arraigned today on charges of theft of a motor vehicle and attempting to elude police after a man awoke to the sound of his vehicle being started up and stolen from his driveway on July 17.

Officer Mario Juarez followed the victim's vehicle and tried to stop it at Mission and Hamilton, but it sped away. Juarez had to stop because he flattened a tire on spike strips meant for Schackel's vehicle, according to court documents.

Officer Ron Van Tassel continued pursuing the vehicle before it spun out near Upriver Drive and Frederick Street and the driver tried to run. Van Tassel chased the driver for a couple hundred yards before the man caught himself on an electric fence and was arrested, police say.

Schackel told police he'd recently smoked marijuana, documents say. He also had a suspended license.

Schackel was arrested on the new charges as well as a Washington Department of Corrections warrant.

In 2008, he was sentenced to 4 years and 9 months in prison after being found guilty of attempting to elude a police vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, reckless driving, and second-degree operating with a suspended license. He was released on April 21 and is on probation, according to the DOC.

Police arrest robbery, eluding suspect

A Spokane man suspected in recent robberies and of eluding police at least twice was arrested Monday after ramming a police cruiser.

Shane Lawrence Hagedorn, 30, was driving a red Oldsmobile Achieva on West Wellesley Avenue about 9 p.m. when members of the Spokane police Patrol Anti-Crime Team tried to block him at a red light at North Division Street, according to court documents.

Police say Hagedorn and his car are linked to at least two police chases and several robberies. He packed up his car and collided with Officer Jeremy Daniel's cruiser, then rammed the passenger side of Officer Sean Wheeler's cruiser before again striking Daniel's car.

Hagedorn was pulled from his vehicle and booked into jail on assault charges. He also faces drug charges for OxyContin and methamphetamine found on him after his arrest.

Hagedorn nearly died in 2008 after he was shot several times in his stomach during a fight at the West Wynn Motel, 2701 W. Sunset Highway.

It was described as a confrontation over a girl that started with threats on the phone. The gunman, Anthony R. Covert, then 19, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after a jury convicted him of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault and two weapons charges.

Covert's lawyer said Hagedorn instigated the fight.

“This is a case where somebody (Hagedorn) thinks he has the upper hand and he’s going to wreak havoc on someone else and he miscalculates,” Assistant Public Defender Al Rossi said at Covert's sentencing in November 2009.

Covert is serving his sentence at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

Man arrested w/ stolen SUV after chase

A man was arrested at gunpoint early Sunday after leading a state trooper on a high-speed chase from Interstate 90 to the Gonzaga University area.

Charles A. Castro, 31, was driving a black SUV east on the freeway when he changed lanes to take the Division Street exit about 3:45 a.m., then suddenly swerved back and continued driving erratically, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The trooper tried to pull him over, but Castro continued driving on the shoulder before exiting the freeway

Its doors sprung open but the SUV, which had been stolen in Sandpoint, continued driving; the trooper believes the passengers were thinking about jumping from the vehicle but decided against it.

The SUV sped north on Hamilton through flashing red lights and a cross walk before driving in the wrong lanes and coming to a stop in the middle of the intersection of East Cleveland Avenue and North Dakota Street.

Castro told police he had a warrant for missing court and had meth in his front pocket. He said he his passengers didn't know the car was stolen and that he was giving them a ride from the casino.

Police found meth in the SUV's center console. Castro was taken to jail, then to a hospital after he told officers “that he had swallowed a bunch of meth during the pursuit,” according to court documents.

Castro was treated at a hospital, then booked into jail on eluding police and stolen vehicle charges, as well as two Spokane County warrants for drug and stolen vehicle charges.
  

Two arrested after high-speed chase

Two young people in a stolen car led a sheriff's deputy on a high-speed chase in Spokane Valley on Thursday.

Jordy Scott DeBoer, 20, and Nicole Dawn Singer, 23, were in a green Honda Accord when Deputy Brian Hirzel tried to stop it near North Pines Road and East Valleyway Avenue.

The driver, identified by police as DeBoer, fled at speeds of about 70 mph in the 35 mph zone, driving through residential area, blowing through stop signs and red lights, straddling lanes and cutting through grocery store parking lots.

Deputies Damon Simmons, Scott Bonney and Jason Karntiz helped Hirzel in the pursuit.

DeBoer nearly struck several vehicles, deputies say. Hirzel ended the search because of public safety concerns; a Washington State Patrol trooper later located the suspects and they admitted to fleeing Hirzel.

“Singer admitted to Deputy Hirzel she told DeBoer to 'go, baby, go' when he attempted to stop them,” according to court documents.

The Honda was stolen early that morning or late the night before from a home in the 1300 bock of North McDonald Road.
  

Sex offender arrested after car chase

A sex offender sought by Crime Stoppers was arrested Thursday after leading troopers on a chase in the West Plains area.

Phillip John Motyka, 45, pulled into a parking lot but just circled through and exited back on state Route 2 after Washington State Patrol Trooper Chad Kindler tried to stop him for driving without a front license plate.

Trooper Tom Shirey joined in the pursuit and followed Motyka to another parking lot and attempted to stop the car with a PIT maneuver after Motyka struck his patrol car, according to WSP.

Motyka exited the car with his hands up, then drove to the ground and was arrested without further incident.

Motyka had methamphetamine, heroin and morphine on him, according to WSP. He was arrested on drug charges, as well as attempt to elude, hit and run, and driving while suspended.

He had warrants out for his arrest, including for failing to register as a sex offender. Motyka was convicted of third-degree rape in 1990. He's a level 1 sex offender, which is the classification considered least likely to reoffend.

Repeat offender sentenced to 4+ years

A repeat offender has been sentenced to about four years in prison for drug and property crimes.

Christopher Bruce Gooch, 35, was given an exceptionally high sentence of 50 months in prison. He's in the Spokane County Jail awaiting transport to prison.

A jury convicted Gooch of two counts of eluding police last month. He then pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen motor vehicle, eluding police, unlawful possession of a payment instrument and possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced May 31.

Gooch was arrested in February after a police chase while driving a stolen vehicle.

Police issued a news release today about his prison sentence that included information on a serial burglar sentenced last month to 108 months in prison. Read more about Donald Myhren here.

“These arrests and convictions are part of an extensive effort by Spokane Police to investigate property crimes and arrest the ROPs responsible for the majority of these crimes,” wrote Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department.

Myhren was actually arrested by Spokane police last summer, well before the department announced they would only be investigating about 5 percent of property crimes. He was out of jail awaiting trial - and committing more crimes - when the Spokane County Sheriff's Office connected him and his brother to a series of burglaries.

Spokane police helped with that arrest, DeRuwe said today, which occured one day after the City of Spokane and Spokane Police Department announced a renewed focus on property crimes.

Bevy of drugs found in felon’s truck

A longtime Spokane felon who fought with police in a Browne's Addition grocery store parking lot last week had about three ounces of heroin in his vehicle, police said today.

Stephen Patrick Link, 46, pleaded not guilty today in Spokane County Superior Court to possession of methamphetamine, attempt to elude a police vehicle and two counts of third-degree assault for the May 21 incident with Sgt. Kurt Vigesaa and Officer Ron Van Tassel at Rosauers, 1800 W. 2nd Ave.

Police are requesting prosecutors charge Link with six additional drug felonies after a search of his Ford Ranger on Friday revealed the heroin, valued at $2,400, marijuana packaged for sale and four prescription drugs packaged for sale, as well as a scale and baggies.

Police also found two syringes loaded with suspected heroin.  Those drugs were found in addition to methamphetamine, more than $7,000 and 35 suspected stolen gift cards that were found on the ground next to Link the night of his arrest.

Police began pursuing Link after a homeowner in the 4800 block of North Oak Street reported a man sitting in a truck in front of his home smoking drugs. Vigesaa attempted to stop Link near North Ash Street and West Grace Avenue, but he fled and crossed the Maple Street Bridge into downtown.

Police used a PIT maneuver to stop the truck, and Link exited the vehicle and fought with Vigesaa, who said he nearly lost consciousness and didn't know what hit him after he was attacked by Link, according to court documents. Vigesaa was treated at a hospital for cut eye and a broken blood vessel. (Police released a photo of the injury today)

Link also kicked and punched Van Tassel and broke his watch, police say Backup officers arrived and Link was shocked with a Taser and taken to the ground before being handcuffed. (View a photo from the scene here.) He was taken to a hospital before being booked into jail.

Link is well known to drug detectives “who have worked previous cases involving him,” according to a news release by police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

Vigesaa and Van Tassel have returned to work, DeRuwe said.

“This situation illustrates not only the dangers of police work, but how officers work together to effectively apprehend and remove a criminal suspect from the streets of Spokane.”

Link remains in the Spokane County Jail.

Man nets 2nd police chase in 3 weeks

A Spokane man arrested at gunpoint after a police chase three weeks ago was picked up again Tuesday morning after another chase with law enforcement.

 A profusely sweaty Michael S. Wheeler, 38, was taken to a hospital after he told a sheriff's deputy he had eaten an unknown amount of cocaine when he was arrested near Argonne and Bruce roads, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Ryan Truman tried to stop Wheeler after spotting he and his passenger “frantically” moving and reaching under the front seats when he approached their parked Jeep Cherokee just north of Hastings Road about 4:30 a.m.

Truman noted a damaged steering column and a punched ignition with a screwdriver sitting on the vehicle's center console. Dispatch reported the car was stolen, and Truman ordered an already “very agitated” Wheeler and passenger Jamie Burdeau, 22, out of the vehicle, the sheriff's office said.

Wheeler instead put the Jeep in reverse and struck a shed, fence and a “junk car” as he fled, officials say. Truman and other deputies found the Jeep abandoned in the area of 3rd Avenue and Railroad Street in Mead. Burdeau was spotted walking near the vehicle and told deputies Wheeler had run east. She later said she and Wheeler had been waiting for a meth dealer when Truman approached them, the sheriff's office said.

A Spokane police K-9 found Wheeler's gray hooded sweatshirt near the Jeep.  Patrol officers found Wheeler at Argonne and Bruce roads, where he was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and felony eluding. Burdeau was arrested on a charge of possession of a stolen vehicle.

Wheeler also faces a third-degree assault charge for allegedly striking a security guard at Holy Family Hospital while running from sheriff's deputies. Deputies said Wheeler ran from them after saying “Have you ever been to jail? It sucks,” according to court records. Wheeler was shocked with a Taser as he struggled to get away from the deputies.

Wheeler was arrested May 3 after a high-speed chase with a state wildlife officer in a stolen car while high on methamphetamine, according to court documents. He was released from jail when prosecutors didn't file charges within three days.

Wheeler also was wanted by Crime Stoppers when he rammed a sheriff’s patrol car in December 2010 while successfully eluding a deputy. Read more here.

Car theft suspect ‘kind of figured that’

A Spokane man told of his car's stolen status after a police chase Saturday replied that he “kind of figured that,” officers say.

Tyson G. Blimka 31, is accused of fleeing police in the area of Euclid Avenue and Lee Street in a black Ford Escort with Idaho plates Saturday about 3:20 p.m. Police tried to pull him over after learning the car had been reported stolen on Friday from the 800 block of West Cleveland and likely had switched license plates.

Police pursued Blimka until the engine of the car appeared to quit and the vehicle stopped in the middle of Carlisle.

Blimka told officers he got the vehicle from a man named Brian, police say. He said he knew police were trying to stop him but that the accelerator on the car stuck, according to court documents.

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

Teen arrested after Valley police chase

A juvenile was arrested for felony eluding police after a chase in Spokane Valley this morning.

The boy, whose age was not released, was speeding through a parking lot in the area of East Sprague Avenue and North Pines Road about 2 a.m. when sheriff's deputy Jason Karnitz followed him and observed several other traffic violations, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Karnitz tried to stop the car near Pines and Valleyway Road, but the driver fled on Valleyway. Karntiz terminated the pursuit near Valleyway and Adams Road, but the boy continued speeding and crashed into a fence at the intersection.

The boy ran east, but a sheriff's K-9, Gordy, found him hiding under brush nearby. He told Karntiz he was “walking home from work, heard all the sirens and decided to hide because he was scared, the sheriff's office said.
  

Chronic eluder arrested for eluding police

A Spokane man with a history of fleeing police led a state wildlife officer on a chase in a stolen car while high on methamphetamine recently.

Michael S. Wheeler, 38, remains jailed on stolen car and eluding police chases after he was arrested at gunpoint Thursday after a high-speed chase that began in the area of 36900 Valley Road.

Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Daniel Rahn was in the area when he noticed a 1986 Doge pickup parked in his neighbor's driveway.

Rahn didn't recognize the truck and watched as the driver approached a parked trailer. The driver told Rahn he was looking for copper wire when stopped, but he soon sped way and a chase ensued.

Rahn ended the chase because of public safety concerns, but a sheriff's deputy was able to stop Wheeler at gunpoint on Deer Creek Road near Elk-Chattaroy after Wheeler lost control of the truck while trying to avoid a spike strip.

Wheeler told police he had taken methamphetamine earlier that day, according to court documents. He said he didn't know the truck was stolen. Police say the truck was stolen that day from a home on Sherman Road in Deer Park.

Wheeler had a Department of Corrections warrant for escape. He has several felony convictions that prohibit from possessing weapons, so he could face another felony charge for a rifle found in the truck.

Wheeler was wanted by Crime Stoppers when he rammed a sheriff’s patrol car in December 2010 while successfully eluding a deputy. Read more here.

Boy arrested for DUI after police chase

A 17-year-old boy in a stolen van was arrested for drunken driving after running into a fast food restaurant, then disabling his front tires by running over a curb.

The boy also faces charges of attempting to elude police, possession of a stolen vehicle, hit and run, possession of marijuana and driving while license suspended after deputies were dispatched to a van driving recklessly Saturday about 7:30 a.m. in the area of East Bigelow Gulch Road and North Argonne Road, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Witnesses called 911 to report the van, and sheriff's Deputy Matt Spink caught up with near Highway 2 and Day-Mt. Spokane Road.

Spink followed the van and was told by dispatchers that it had just run into the Zip Trip nearby, according to the sheriff's office. He tried to stop the van, but it sped away before the boy drove it over a curb near Lane Park and Chesapeake Road, which disabled the front tires.

Spink arrested the boy. The owner of the van said he'd parked it in front of his home about 11 p.m. the night before and did not know the boy or that his van had been stolen.
  

Video questions account of shooting

Watch me talk about the story in the video above with KHQ's Dave Cotton.

A homeowner says his surveillance video brings into question the official account of why law enforcement shot and killed a North Idaho fugitive three weeks ago, though police warn against drawing too many conclusions from the footage because it captures just a portion of the chaotic 20-minute chase and final encounter.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

March 12: Man killed by Post Fall police identified

2 arrested after chase w/ stolen truck

A sheriff deputy's attempted traffic stop led to a chase with a stolen truck Sunday night.

The driver and his passenger fled the truck near Haven Street after city police officers disabled its front and rear passenger tires at the intersection of North Market Street and East Euclid Avenue.

Suspect Gary A. Patterson, Jr., 34, was arrested near the truck and admitted he was a passenger, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's K-9 Brax found the suspected driver Kyle A. Costello, 26, hiding on top of a six-foot tall roof.

Deputy Shawn Audie had been pursuing the truck since trying to pull it over for a defective taillight near East Francis Avenue and Market about 10:15 p.m. Dispatchers told him the truck had been stolen in Spokane earlier that day.

Audie terminated the pursuit when the truck continued to travel recklessly with sparks flying from the front and rare passenger tire rims. He thought he saw a crash on Haven Street but arrived to see Patterson and Costello running from the stolen truck. There was no crash.

The men were booked into jail for possession of a stolen vehicle. Costello also faces a felony eluding charge.

Patterson was arrested about a month ago on suspicion of burglary after he requested - and was given - a bottle of wine when he unlawfully entered a home at at 828 E. Joseph Ave., allegedly.

Shot fugitive had wig, weapons, paint

A fugitive shot to death by police in North Idaho had material for changing his identity in his vehicle, as well as weapons, drug paraphernalia and an active police scanner.

 The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department announced the discovery Wednesday as part of its ongoing investigation into the death of Justin Earl Nicholas Todd, 33.

Todd died early Monday after he was shot by multiple Post Falls police officers following a 20-minute chase that ended in a residential area in west Hayden, Idaho.

Todd was shot after he struck an Idaho State Police trooper with his car and knocked him to the ground. The trooper suffered minor injuries.

Todd, a longtime felon, was wanted on a warrant for eluding police when his car triggered an alert system on Interstate 90 that detects stolen vehicles and fugitives.

Investigators said Wednesday that Todd's car had recently been painted from blue to white. They found six cans of black spray paint in the car that indicated Todd may have planned to paint it again. They also found a brass knuckles/stun gun combination weapons, a knife, three cell phones along with the paraphernalia and scanner.

Investigators interviewed all officers involved in the incident Wednesday. The Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office will decide on charges once a report is submitted.

Fugitive shot, killed by Post Falls police

A North Idaho man with an extensive criminal history was shot and killed by a Post Falls police officer early Monday after striking a state trooper with his car, police say.

Justin Earl Nicholas Todd, 33, died at Kootenai Medical Center after a nearly 20-minue police chase ended with shots fired in a residential area near St. Estephe Court and Bordeaux Drive, just west of Ramsey Road and south of Honeysuckle Drive in Hayden.

Read the rest of my story here.

2 arrested for meth after police chase

A Spokane man suspected of domestic violence was arrested on drug charges after a police chase late Sunday.

Shane Patrick Wilson, 34, drove away from the 500 block of East Everett Avenue in a white Acura after officers were called to the area by a man who identified Wilson as his estranged wife's boyfriend, according to the Spokane Police Department. The man told officers Wilson was harassing him and damaging his property.

Officers Ben Yinger and Aaron Ames stopped Wilson in the Acura, but he sped way.

Police say Wilson jumped out of the car in the 500 block of East Nebraska and ran into a home, where officers arrested him for attempting to elude police and possession of methamphetamine. He was booked into jail about 2:21 a.m.

Christopher John Steinbaugh, 31, also was contacted at the home and arrested for possession of meth.

Wilson already faces two felony drug charges for an arrest in January. He was scheduled to be in court Tuesday for those charges; now he'll be in court today on the new charges, too.

Wilson has previous convictions for possession of meth and second-degree robbery.

Driver arrested after 20-minute chase

A 20-minute police chase through northeast Spokane led to arrest of a 40-year-old Spokane woman Monday.

Henrietta Allice Wynne is accused of fleeing a traffic stop by a Washington State Patrol trooper who spotted her driving erratically about 5:13 a.m. as she left the Royal Scot Motel parking lot at 6507 N. Division St.

Trooper Jeff Thoet pursued Wynne's red Ford Taurus from Division to a residential area, where she ran stop signs and reached a speed of 70 mph, according to police.

A sheriff's deputy deployed stop sticks at Lacey and Regal streets that deflated the Taurus' right front tire, but Wynne continued to drive on he tire rim and was able to avoid several attempts by Thoet to perform a pursuit immobilization technique, police say.

Two other tires deflated before Thoet successfully stopped the vehicle.

Police found a drug pipe in the car and arrested Wynne on charges of eluding police, driving while license suspended and misdemeanor warrants.

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