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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man leads police on chase down Old U.S. Highway 195

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 23, 2017

Gunnar, a  German Shepherd, holds his chew toy Tuesday, April 12, 2016 outside Spokane County Sheriff's Office. Gunnar helped to track a suspect who led police in a car chase down Old U.S. Highway 195 early Wednesday morning. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Gunnar, a German Shepherd, holds his chew toy Tuesday, April 12, 2016 outside Spokane County Sheriff's Office. Gunnar helped to track a suspect who led police in a car chase down Old U.S. Highway 195 early Wednesday morning. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
By Drew Gerber The Spokesman-Review

A man led police on a chase down Old U.S. Highway 195 early Wednesday morning before crashing his car and attempting to flee.

Dustin D. Wegleitner, 27, was arrested on a number of charges, including attempting to elude a police vehicle and hit-and-run property damage, after he allegedly sped away in a four-door Lincoln when approached by Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputies, according to a news release.

Deputies responded to a report of a vehicle prowler near the 3000 block of Spangle Waverly Road at about 3:55 a.m. At the site, they made contact with a man who said he had been sleeping in his car when another man entered and stole his keys. The second man then drove away in the Lincoln, the victim said.

The victim went on to say that prior to the arrival of the deputies, he had confronted the second man, who was with a woman and whom the victim believed to be high on methamphetamine. The victim was able to retrieve his keys, he said.

The victim identified the Lincoln, but as Deputy Skye Ortiz approached, it pulled out of the parking lot and accelerated east on Spangle Waverly. Ortiz activated his lights and siren and pursued the vehicle as it headed southbound on Old U.S. Highway 195.

During the chase, the vehicle reached estimated speeds over 100 miles per hour, it said.

The Lincoln began to swerve as it approached Davis Road, and Wegleitner allegedly lost control of the car north of Prairie View Road before striking a guardrail, the release said.

Wegleitner, along with passenger 31-year-old Amber L. Donnelly, then allegedly fled the vehicle heading east through a field, despite several commands to stop. Donnelly stopped running and returned to Ortiz’s car, where she was taken into custody, the release said.

Uncertain if Wegleitner was armed, additional deputies – including Deputy Jason Hunt and his K-9 partner Gunnar – arrived. K9 Gunnar tracked and located Wegleitner about a mile away, hiding in some bushes, upon which Wegleitner allegedly punched the dog and tried to flee before being taken into custody, the release said.

Gunnar was not injured, it said.

Wegleitner told Ortiz that he fled upon seeing the deputies because the Lincoln was stolen and he had meth with him, the release said.

Wegleitner, who told police that he tried to swallow the meth during the chase, received medical attention before being booked at Spokane County Jail.

Donnelly, his passenger, was also booked at the jail for vehicle prowling and obstructing an officer.

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