A Monday traffic stop escalated into a high-speed chase that ended when a K-9 tracked and bit a man who is suspected of multiple crimes and who was found hiding in a woman’s garden.
The traffic stop on East Sprague Avenue started to unravel when Shane Hopkins, 39, refused to identify himself to Deputy Jessica Baken, court documents say.
“I have the right to travel and I do not need a driver’s license,” Hopkins said, according to Baken’s report. “This is not a motor vehicle, this is my private conveyance and I do not need a driver’s license.”
Hopkins rolled up his window and sped away, leading Baken at 85 mph in a 35 mph zone, according to court documents. He weaved in and out of the left lane and blew through at least six red lights without reducing speed as cars moved out of his way to avoid collisions, court documents say.
After falling behind Hopkins by about a quarter-mile, Baken spotted Hopkins’ silver Pontiac Sunfire stopped in the middle of traffic where it had hit the curb at the intersection of North Pines Road and East Valleyway Avenue. She found the driver’s side door open and keys still in the ignition.
At this point, she called for units to set up a perimeter.
About a half-hour after the initial traffic stop, a K-9 found Hopkins in a tarp tent in a woman’s yard. The dog bit Hopkins’ around his left bicep, and Baken escorted him to Spokane Valley Hospital.
Four hours after the struggle, the gardener found a revolver by a flower pot in her yard. The Ruger revolver was loaded and the serial number was scratched off.
Hopkins faces eight charges, including eluding police, unlawful possession of a firearm, altering identifying marks on a firearm and criminal trespassing.
Baken plans to seek a search warrant for the Sunfire.
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