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Thursday, February 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Man Kills Self While Hiding In Trash From Cops Officers Surrounded Refuse Bin, Doused It With Pepper Spray

A man killed himself in a neighborhood trash bin Friday after eluding state police in a stolen car.

The man’s body was found in a trash bin in the alley south of the 1100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue about two hours after he evaded police in the area.

Police are withholding the man’s identity, but say he is a North Idaho resident in his 20s.

A dozen city and state police with weapons drawn surrounded the trash bin about 3:45 p.m. after neighbors reported seeing an armed man crawl into it.

They suspected the man inside was a car thief, who had eluded Idaho State Police Cpl. Doug Orr earlier in the day.

About 1:15 p.m., Orr tried to stop a maroon 1985 Chrysler Lancer on Sherman Avenue after recognizing the driver as someone whose license was suspended. The driver fled.

Orr lost sight of the car near 1100 Pennsylvania.

A witness told police she saw the driver throw something out of the car during the chase. She turned over syringes and what police suspect is a small amount of methamphetamine.

About 1:30 p.m., a man cut through Guy Bafus’ back yard at 1010 Pennsylvania and crawled into the trash bin behind his house. The man wore a T-shirt and carried a bundle under his left arm, Bafus said.

“I thought he was digging for trash or something,” Bafus said. “I thought about calling 911, but they would have asked me what the emergency was about a guy digging through a Dumpster.”

Bafus went grocery shopping. When he returned about 3:30 p.m., police were knocking on neighborhood doors. He told them what he had seen.

Another resident had found the Lancer - which police later learned was stolen from Sunset Motors on Government Way - idling in a neighboring alley.

After a half-hour wait, a handful of officers rushed the large garbage container and hosed it down with pepper mace.

“One guy jumped in with handcuffs and immediately jumped back out,” said witness Steve Randleas.

The man apparently shot himself sometime between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Neighbors did not hear a shot, but a handgun was found with the body, said Coeur d’Alene Police Lt. Walt Roeske.

Jan Rodgers, who lives at Pennsylvania and 10th Street, didn’t see a thing until neighbors told her police were crawling through her yard with shotguns.

“What a place to die,” she said later. “In a can.”

MEMO: Cut in Spokane edition

Cut in Spokane edition

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