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Suspect in police chase convicted of similar crime last year

Wed., Nov. 18, 2009, 1:05 p.m.

A man accused of leading police on a chase from Spokane to Post Falls this morning was arrested in March 2008 after a similar pursuit.

John D. Rovik, 29, was sentenced to 120 days in jail for attempting to elude a police officer last year. About 4:15 a.m. today, Spokane police spotted a 2002 Buick Century driving erratically near Crestline and Sprague and chased the car on Interstate 90, where sheriff’s deputies used a spike strip to flatten the tires.

The driver, whom police identified as Rovik, exited the freeway in Post Falls and stopped after police hit the car’s rear and forced it into a spin, stopping the chase.

“It was a textbook pursuit,” said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, Spokane police spokeswoman.

Two women in the Buick were interviewed and released. Rovik was booked into Kootenai County Jail on charges of attempting to elude and unlawful imprisonment and is awaiting extradition to Washington. Police haven’t determined if the Buick was stolen.

Rovik’s last arrest was in August on suspicion of vehicle theft, police said. Court records show he was sentenced to four months in jail in October with credit for 65 days served after pleading guilty to attempting to elude a police vehicle.

Rovik was arrested in March 2008 after police followed his tire tracks in freshly fallen snow after ending a pursuit because of high speeds. Officers spotted Rovik near the abandoned car. Rovik’s other criminal convictions include six counts of possession of stolen property.

Staff writer Mike Prager contributed to this report.

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