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UI employee jailed on vehicular assault charge

Pedestrians struck on WSU campus in Pullman Monday are listed as stable

Daniel A. Noble, 31, of Moscow, was arrested on a felony charge of vehicular assault after two pedestrian men were struck early Monday morning on the Washington State University campus.

Lt. Steve Hansen of the WSU police said Noble was allegedly driving erratically. The pedestrians, whose identities were not released Monday night, were listed in stable condition at Pullman Regional Hospital, Hansen said.

Noble, who is employed by the University of Idaho Trust and Investment Office and is immediate past chairman of the UI Staff Affairs Committee, remained jailed in Pullman pending further investigation, Hansen said.

A large portion of Stadium Way, on the WSU campus, was closed for more than eight hours, Hansen said, as WSU police worked with Whitman County sheriff’s deputies and members of the Washington State Patrol to piece the incident together.

“There was a report about 7:45 a.m., or even earlier, of a vehicle that was driving erratically on State Route 270,” Hansen said. The vehicle, Hansen said, was reported to be traveling west and passing other vehicles by veering into the center turning lane of the highway between here and Moscow.

Shortly afterward, there were reports two people had been struck. The first man was hit in a crosswalk on Stadium Way, Hansen said, and the second was struck at least a block farther away when the vehicle turned onto the sidewalk. The car continued on, Hansen said, until it stopped even farther down the street.

“The suspect got out of the vehicle and was walking around in the general area of the second victim,” Hansen said, adding the Pontiac Grand Am Noble was driving had two flat front tires when it stopped and has been impounded as part of a continuing investigation.

“It was well over 1,000 feet between where the first victim was struck and the vehicle stopped,” Hansen said.

The suspect, Hansen said, was uncooperative when authorities arrived at the scene. “He was combative at the start, when we tried to take him into custody.” Police eventually used a Taser to subdue the suspect, Hansen said, and he remained on-and-off combative throughout the day.

Hansen said several witnesses have been interviewed, but he asked that anyone else who might have seen the incident contact WSU police.

Dan Lahann, a friend of Noble for 10 years, said the alleged action “is totally out of character.”

“We went to the ballet yesterday, he seemed perfectly normal,” Lahann said.

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