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Felon chucks allegedly stolen firearm in chase

A 26-year-old Spokane man with multiple felony convictions tossed a .45 handgun believed to have been stolen during a chase through a residential neighborhood Friday, according to court documents filed this week.

Joshua V. Fowler was booked into Spokane County Jail just after 4:30 p.m. Friday facing charges of attempting to elude police and unlawful possession of a firearm. A Spokane police officer, who said he recognized Fowler from multiple interactions, attempted to pull the 26-year-old over on suspicions he was driving with a suspended license.

“(Fowler) is as familiar with me and my Police Impala as I am with him,” the officer wrote in his report.

Fowler fled, according to the officer's statement, leading him on a car chase through an apartment complex parking lot, reaching speeds of 45 miles per hour. Fowler eventually left the car and reached for his waist, according to court documents. He was arrested nearby without incident.

The officer found the handgun and some ammunition in a bush nearby. The gun is believed to have been stolen in a residential burglary, according to court documents.

Fowler has three forgery convictions and a conviction for eluding police. Spokane Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins set his bail at $5,000 on Monday. He remains in custody.

Woman who stalked deputy denied cigarettes, says “game on”

A Spokane woman who pleaded guilty to sending hundreds of sexually explicit and threatening text messages to a Spokane County Sheriff's deputy in 2010 allegedly chased a stranger in her car after he refused to buy her cigarettes.

“I guess it's game on then,” the man reported Tina Blanchette, 44, said when he denied her the smokes at a Spokane Valley gas station on Sept. 2.

The man left the station after buying a newspaper, then noticed Blanchette driving a tan Mazda in his rearview mirror, according to court documents. Eventually, Blanchette rammed the man's truck, he said, and he ran away to hide in some nearby brush and call 911 while Blanchette returned to the gas station parking lot nearby.

Blanchette was granted two years probation after pleading guilty to a charge stemming from a series of texts she sent the law enforcement officer in 2010 after a marijuana growing bust she said put her life in danger. While vacationing in Hawaii, Blanchette sent the deputy texts that mentioned his family and her proficiency aiming a shotgun.

“U wanna tlk yet or u want me 2 make us all famous,” one text read, according to court documents.

The deputy who interviewed Blanchette following the Spokane Valley incident in September wrote the 44-year-old was “acting paranoid and delusional” when he arrived at the gas station. She told him the man she chased was “a gang member and after her,” according to the deputy's sworn statement.

Blanchette was arrested and booked on a charge of second-degree assault. She has undergone psychiatric evaluations and was released on her own recognizance last month. A trial in the case is tentatively scheduled to begin in late December.

Wild SPD chase ends with arrest, nap

It started with what appeared to be a drug-fueled joy ride in a stolen pickup truck. It ended with a nap.
 
Spokane police arrested Benjamin P. Aleto, 27, Tuesday night after they say he fled from Officer Ron Van Tassel through a north Spokane residential area, according to an affidavit. Aleto had a woman in his car, who later said she knew Aleto from high school, but couldn’t remember his first name.
 
Van Tassel was driving north on Napa Street when he saw Aleto driving a stolen Toyota pickup southbound, according to an affidavit. Aleto shifted into Van Tassel’s lane, traveling toward him at a high rate of speed, court documents say. Van Tassel flashed his lights, but Aleto didn’t slow or stop.
 
 At the last minute, Aleto turned west onto Boone Avenue, narrowly avoiding Van Tassel’s patrol car, police said. Van Tassel began chasing Aleto. The woman begged Aleto to let her out, but he refused, the documents say.
 
The chase finally ended at Columbus Street and Mission Ave; or at least, Van Tassel tried to end it. The officer performed a PIT maneuver, attempting to hit the back end of the truck to turn it around, according to the affidavit. Aleto didn’t stop, however. He attempted to drive in reverse on Mission. 
 
Van Tassel attempted another PIT maneuver, but his patrol car somehow became attached to the truck, according to the affidavit. Aleto continued to attempt to flee, dragging the patrol car about seven feet.
 
Aleto refused to exit his vehicle, instead staring ahead with a “crazed look on his face,” according to the affidavit. Van Tassel said he had to drag Aleto out of the vehicle in order to arrest him.
 
Aleto, who appeared to be high, then closed his eyes and went to sleep in the roadway, according to the affidavit.
 
Officers found methamphetamines and a glass pipe in the truck, as well as a key ring with shaved keys on it, according to the affidavit. The truck had been reported stolen Aug. 9, according to the affidavit.
 
No officers were injured, police said. Aleto suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
 
Aleto was booked into Spokane County Jail on charges of attempting to elude police, unlawful imprisonment, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and driving with a suspended license. His bond was set at $35,000. 
 

Chase leads to arrest

Spokane Valley Police arrested a man late Monday night after he led officers on a car chase and nearly ran over the foot of one officer, according to police spokesman Craig Chamberlin. An officer spotted a car swerving out of its lane at Main and Herald at 11:30 p.m. The driver pulled over, but gave police false information before he sped off and narrowly avoided driving over the officer's foot, Chamberlin said.

He drove east on Valleyway and crashed at VanMarter and Nixon. The driver ran away and was tracked by a Spokane Police K-9. The dog tracked the driver to the 10800 block of East Valleyway. Officers found a shaved key in his possession, said Chamberlin, which is often used to steal cars.

Police arrested 28-year-old Brian McGaugh and charged him with felony eluding, making false statements, reckless endangerment, possessing vehicle theft tools, resisting arrest and second-degree driving with a suspended license. His female passenger was not arrested.

High speed chase leads to arrest

Reporter Meghann Cuniff has details on this morning's high speed chase in Spokane Valley that had a part of Sprague near Willow shut down for a while. Joshua G. Garvin, 27, reportedly drove the wrong way down the one-way section of Sprague and hit a police car before he was stopped. He was arrested on multiple charges. Click here for more details.