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Thursday, February 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Cheney reserve officer turns violent after arrest, police say

A recent graduate of the Cheney Police Department’s Reserve Police Academy grew violent after his arrest on suspicion of burglarizing an ex-girlfriend’s apartment, reaching for his training officer’s gun before being subdued, according to court documents.

Valente Abundez-Ramirez, 26, was booked into Spokane County Jail last week after an altercation outside his College Hill apartment in Cheney. Officers took a handcuffed Abundez-Ramirez there to recover Police Department property he’d received as part of his training. Cheney police had placed Abundez-Ramirez under arrest after his ex-girlfriend’s roommate told police the trainee had sneaked into their apartment through a basement window the night before.

The former girlfriend told police the relationship had been abusive and had lasted a year. A week before the incident, the two broke up at Abundez-Ramirez’s request, she said, and the two women had changed the locks, according to court documents.

When police arrived at Abundez-Ramirez’s apartment the next day, he became agitated, according to court documents. He slipped his handcuffed hands in front of him while seated in the back seat of the patrol car, then resisted officers’ efforts to subdue him. The officer in charge of the reserve program pinned Abundez-Ramirez to the ground, then began striking him while the prone officer-to-be reached for his subduer’s gun, said Cheney police Chief John Hensley.

“It was a desperate fight for the officer’s life,” Hensley said. “He was able to hold on to his weapon until units arrived to offer assistance.”

According to court documents, Abundez-Ramirez was asking the officer to shoot him during the struggle. He mentioned to responding officers he thought he would be shot if he tried to grab the weapon.

Abundez-Ramirez is an active-duty member of the Air Force, according to court documents. Hensley said his agency had informed officers there of the incident. Abundez-Ramirez had not yet officially joined the Police Department and was slated to begin official training later this month, Hensley said.

Abundez-Ramirez is being held in the Spokane County Jail on $25,000 bond.

He faces attempted assault and burglary charges.

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