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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stalking suspect may have tried to run over officer

A stalking suspect was shot and injured Saturday by police while in a stolen Chevy Monte Carlo, but a police officer told investigators that the car was pointed at her and the engine was revving when the suspect was shot by her police partner. Police spotted Joseph E. Hensz driving west on Knox Avenue toward Monroe Street at more than 100 miles per hour just before 8:30 p.m. Saturday after his ex-girlfriend’s family had called 911 several times that day to report that Hensz was stalking and harassing them, according to court documents. A patrol car driven by Officer Michael Roberge with Officer Amy Woodyard as a passenger caught up to Hensz at a stop sign at Montgomery Avenue and Post Street, court documents say. When Hensz accelerated away, Roberge used the front end of his car to bump the back end of Hensz’s car in a “pit maneuver,” court records say. Both cars spun around and the passenger side of the police car was up against a tree, Woodyard told Washington State Patrol investigators. Roberge got out of the car, but Woodyard had to climb through the car and get out on the driver’s side because her door was blocked. Woodyard told investigators that when she got out of the car, she could see the headlights of Hensz’s car pointed at her and hear the engine revving, according to court documents. Roberge fired after the car began moving forward, Woodyard told investigators. Hensz’s car circled west and then south before stopping. Roberge fired four times through an open window and Hensz was hit once. Investigators recovered three bullets from inside the car along with a clear baggie containing a white powder residue. No gun was found in the car. The WSP is handling the investigation into the shooting and has not released information about Hensz’s injuries. He is in stable condition at a local hospital, said Spokane police spokeswoman Monique Cotton. An investigator with collision reconstruction training said the tire marks and acceleration marks found at the scene support Woodyard’s statements, according to court documents. Roberge was wearing a body camera but it was not turned on during the incident.
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