June 20, 2012 in City

Dangerous driver chooses wrong day to evade police

By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photo

Spokane police take Josh Berg into custody near Seventh and Walnut on Tuesday night. Police thought Berg was a passenger in a car that was involved in a short police pursuit earlier. He wasn’t.
(Full-size photo)

It was a bad day to be named Josh or Brittanei.

As hundreds of police spent Tuesday night searching the city for two suspected accomplices with those first names in the shooting of two Spokane County deputies, Joshua Berg and Brittanei Fawver were cruising along Second Avenue in a Ford Explorer.

A police officer on patrol ran the license plate numbers after noticing some suspicious driving and learned that the vehicle’s owner had a suspended license.

So he flipped on the flashing lights and the Ford Explorer accelerated through a red light and smashed into a small pickup truck, said Police Cpl. Dave Adams.

Fawver was the driver, according to police, and tried to keep driving away. It didn’t work out.

The smashed-up SUV failed the couple, so they made a run for it. Fawver ran right out of her white flip-flops.

Meanwhile, the massive on-duty police force from the day’s earlier officer shooting and police chase began to converge.

Officers caught up with the 21-year-old Fawver first, nabbing her near the Grocery Outlet store a couple of blocks away.

Then the search for 24-year-old Berg intensified as confusion grew about who these suspects were.

Within minutes Berg was lying on asphalt near Seventh and Walnut with police rifles pointed at him, said witness Justin Bender.

“They weren’t messing around,” he said of the police.

“This whole thing was completely freakish,” said Adams.

Fawver now faces a felony hit-and-run charge. Berg was arrested on an escape warrant.

Both may face charges for a baggie of what Adams said was suspected methamphetamine.

“This was not the right day to run from police,” he said.

It was the latest odd moment in a wild day of chases and manhunts that fetched crowds wherever the clues led.

In north Spokane, residents gathered on East Princeton Avenue as the Spokane County Sheriff’s SWAT team surrounded Josh Fowler’s house at 903 E. Princeton Ave. Some of the bystanders goaded SWAT team members to raid the house and recreational vehicle as another neighbor cranked rock music out his front window.

As the officers waited, two men and a woman came around the house and officers immediately began yelling at them to get down. The officers pointed weapons at the trio as they had them walk backward toward the officers.

“They freaked out when we came outside. I was about to run when I saw the assault rifle,” Knapp said. “That wasn’t cool.”

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