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Friday, July 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

SWAT team arrests suspect hiding in bunk bed bottom at north Spokane apartment

UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 19, 2019

Spokane police SWAT officers arrested a man suspected of assault, burglary, felony harassment and other charges at a north Spokane apartment complex after they found him hiding inside the false bottom of a bunk bed Thursday afternoon.

Police saw the suspect, Jason W. Ely, 41, at an apartment complex on 13110 N. Addison St. at around 1 p.m., according to police Sgt. Terry Preuninger. Ely then spotted the officers and ran inside an apartment.

Officers knew a woman and her child were in the apartment, and she was not answering her phone, Preuninger said. The SWAT team was activated at 2 p.m. out of concern that police were dealing with a hostage situation or the woman was aiding Ely.

Ely had a history of violence and made statements about not returning to jail or being taken alive, according to police Lt. Dan Waters. Preuninger said one of the charges against Ely was firearm-related.

Police blocked the road into the apartment complex, and Mead School District buses dropped children off at a road block for police to escort them safely to their residences, Preuninger said.

“Most parts of the complex were safe and weren’t in view of the target apartment,” Preuninger said.

The woman eventually left the apartment and said Ely was not inside, Preuninger said. Officers obtained a search warrant and then used a police dog and a robot to search the residence.

Police located Ely inside the false bottom of a wood-frame bunk bed, Preuninger said. Ely did not comply with officers’ commands, but surrendered when police threw a flash bang grenade into the room. Preuninger said police did not recover any weapons on his person.

Ely was booked into the Spokane County Jail just after 5 p.m. on a $100,000 warrant out of Stevens County, according to jail records.

Police were still investigating potential new charges for the woman and Ely, related to hiding in the apartment, Preuninger said.

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