A man suspected of driving a stolen Jeep pulling a stolen trailer led police on a chase early this morning that ended near Liberty Park, where he was caught with the help of a police dog.
At about 4:10 a.m., a Spokane County sheriff’s Cpl. Jeff Thurman observed a vehicle matching the description of a reported stolen vehicle while traveling westbound on Interstate 90 near Havana Road, a sheriff’s news release states. The driver, later identified as Thomas E. Lenocker, 42, tried to flee.
Lenocker took an exit, then turned south on Arthur Street, before doubling back to the area of Fifth Avenue and Pittsburg Street near Liberty Park, where he stopped and took off on foot, according to the sheriff’s office.
While running, he apparently grabbed at his waistband, prompting Thurman to draw his weapon, the release says.
Lenocker’s hand emerged with what appeared to be a pistol, the release states. He tripped and fell, and the gun was knocked out of his hand. Rather than trying to collect the weapon, Lenocker ran toward a fence and was attempting to jump over it when the police dog named Laslo caught up with him.
A passenger in the vehicle also fled and officers were unable to locate him. Lenocker told officers the passenger was a hitchhiker and didn’t know him, the release says.
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