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Police sergeant faces DUI charge

Thu., Sept. 24, 2009

Arrest follows hit-and-run; victim followed pickup

A Spokane police sergeant was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Wednesday and may face additional hit-and-run charges.

Bradley N. Thoma, 44, was cited for suspicion of misdemeanor DUI and released, following a hit-and-run crash at Newport Highway and Farwell Road about 5 p.m., said Sgt. Dave Reagan, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

The victim, Sherry L. Prickett, 51, of Spokane, was stopped at a red light on Farwell when her Ford Ranger was rear-ended by a Dodge Ram pickup driven by Thoma, officials said.

Prickett, who was not injured, and another witness followed Thoma as he fled east on Farwell to Market Street and turned north. Prickett and the witness told authorities that the Dodge crossed the centerline and drove onto the shoulder of the roadway numerous times.

Deputies stopped Thoma at Market Street and state Highway 206, and he was released to the Washington State Patrol for processing as a DUI suspect, Reagan said. Hit-and-run charges will be sent to the Spokane County prosecutor for consideration.

It was unknown Wednesday what disciplinary action Thoma could face, said Jennifer DeRuwe, police spokeswoman. Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick planned to address the issue this morning, DeRuwe said.

Thoma, a veteran of the department, was stabbed in the jaw in January after an off-duty confrontation with a group of males harassing another officer’s friends outside the Steam Plant Grill downtown. In 1991, he was among the officers involved in a northeast Spokane gun battle that left a bystander dead. He was cleared by a jury of any wrongdoing in that incident.

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