A 19-year-old driver led several law enforcement agencies on a high-speed chase Sunday night and into Monday morning, plowing over spike strips and allegedly shooting at an officer.
After the hour-long pursuit an officer arrested Austin Bailey. The chase began on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation and ended when a Spokane County sheriff’s sergeant rammed Bailey’s SUV into a guardrail on Highway 27, according to court records.
At about 11:20 p.m., Officer Jason Robinson of the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police Department tried pulling over Bailey’s Kia Sorento for speeding through a parking lot and not having license plates, court records say.
Instead of stopping, the SUV sped west on Truax Road at 90-100 mph, court records say. Robinson reported “he hear loud bangs and observed bright flashes coming from the vehicle and believed the occupants were shooting at him.”
Spokane County sheriff’s deputies took over the chase when Bailey’s vehicle crossed the state line. They popped three of his tires using a spike strip near Rockford, and the pursuit slowed a crawl. Court records say Bailey continued to flee at 10-20 mph.
The Spokane Police Department’s K9 unit surrounded the vehicle, and the Sheriff’s Office helicopter hovered overhead. Before arresting Bailey, deputies asked him to lift up his shirt, at which point a “smoking device” fell to the ground, court records say.
“Before asserting his right to remain silent, Bailey told deputies he didn’t stop because he didn’t have a license and didn’t want to go to jail,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
Bailey’s passenger, Kianna Peone, said she told him to stop and pull over during the pursuit. She was not charged.
Deputies later recovered a realistic BB gun and methamphetamine from Bailey’s vehicle, according to a search warrant.
Bailey is being held in the Spokane County Jail on a $12,000 bond. He faces charges of obstructing and attempting to elude law enforcement, and resisting arrest. The Sheriff’s Office said it may recommend additional charges as the investigation continues.
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