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Helicopter used to arrest fleeing DUI driver

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office used its Air 1 helicopter to catch a man who deputies said was intoxicated and fled after he fell asleep at an intersection with his vehicle running and in gear early this morning.

A release from the Sheriff’s office said a deputy saw Yevgeniy Rudnitskiy, 24, asleep at the wheel at a green light on North Country Homes Boulevard facing North Division Street shortly after midnight.

The deputy called for back-up to block in the vehicle before waking up the driver, but Rudnitskiy “jumped up in his seat” before units arrived and took off. He stopped a short distance away, and the deputy approached the vehicle and knocked on the window, but “the driver screamed and accelerated rapidly,” the release said.

The deputy lost sight of the vehicle when it turned off Division but caught up with it traveling east on Price Avenue. The driver continued east on Magnesium Road, hitting 80 mph in a 30 mph speed zone as he approached Nevada Street, authorities said.

Due to the high rate of speed, deputies stopped chasing the vehicle and called for air support.

The Air 1 helicopter spotted the vehicle and updated deputies on the ground of its location. At this time, Rudnitskiy had parked the vehicle in a driveway and fled on foot, the release said.

Air 1 continued to update deputies of the suspect’s location.

Deputies arrested Rudnitskiy in the backyard of a home in the 600 block of West Cascade Way. He was charged with attempting to elude officers, a felony, along with misdemeanor DUI and trespassing.