A Geiger Corrections Center inmate who escaped custody more than a week ago has been recaptured.
Keith A. Smith, 42, was arrested Friday night after a brief pursuit in a residential area in Mead, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. He had been at large since March 29, when he walked away from a supervised work crew near Market Street and Hawthorne Road.
Smith was originally being held on a misdemeanor warrant stemming from a 2015 case in which he failed to appear in court.
Following up on tips shortly after 10 p.m. Friday, Deputy Stan Kravtsov arrived at the Takesa Village Mobile Home Park and found Smith and his girlfriend in a “suspicious” black Ford Taurus, the sheriff’s office said. The trailer park is less than a mile north of the intersection where Smith had walked away from the work crew.
The sheriff’s office said that Kravtsov watched Smith’s girlfriend get out of the driver’s seat, and when the deputy tried to contact Smith, the fugitive ignored commands, climbed into the driver’s seat and locked the car doors. Then, the sheriff’s office said, Smith started the car and drove away, grazing a pole and running over some rocks on the way out of the parking lot.
Soon afterward, Kravtsov, along with Deputy Phil Pfeifer and his police dog, Enzo, found fresh tire tracks in a neighboring trailer park and found the car unoccupied and “crashed into the porch of a residence,” the sheriff’s office said. Then they found Smith in a fenced storage area being pursued by the property owner, who was wielding a club, the sheriff’s office said.
Smith shouted that he was “done running,” dropped to the ground and began following commands, the sheriff’s office said. He was arrested and treated for a cut he received while climbing the fence. In addition to the original misdemeanor, he faces charges of escaping custody, obstructing law enforcement and hit-and-run property damage.
The trailer park owner, who “aided in the capture of Smith,” did not pursue trespassing charges, the sheriff’s office said.
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