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

Deputies use bean-bags to subdue robbery suspect they say threatened Rite Aid employee with knife

UPDATED: Tue., May 25, 2021

A man accused of threatening a Rite Aid employee with a knife in Spokane Valley was arrested Sunday afternoon after deputies fired multiple beanbag rounds at him.

A cashier at the store, located at 12222 E. Sprague Ave., saw a man, later identified as Christopher J. Sanchez, 46, walk over to the lighters and take a package off the rack, then pull out a large knife from his waist and cut the package, according to court documents.

Seeing the knife, the cashier alerted her manager, who told Sanchez he could not have the weapon in the store and needed to leave. According to court documents, Sanchez said he would pay for the damaged item.

He refused to leave and said “You know that saying? Snitches get …,” according to court documents.

He repeated the phrase several times. When the manager didn’t reply, he told police he heard Sanchez mutter “stitches.”

The cashier then called 911 and Sanchez left the store, according to court documents.

Police responded about 2 p.m., the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

As deputies arrived, the employees pointed out Sanchez crossing the street walking toward the nearby Value Village.

Outside the store, four deputies stopped Sanchez, who had a knife visible on his right hip, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office said attempts to de-escalate the situation were ineffective.

After his fellow deputies let Sanchez know he was under arrest and he continued to ignore commands, a deputy fired a beanbag round and hit him in the lower leg, according to the sheriff’s office.

Sanchez allegedly continued to not follow deputies’ orders and was shot again in his leg, the sheriff’s office said. Then Sanchez “staggered” toward the entrance of the store and the deputy fired two more beanbag rounds, hitting his legs and knocking him to the ground, the sheriff’s office said.

After receiving medical attention at the scene, Sanchez was taken to a local hospital before being booked into the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of first-degree commercial robbery, resisting arrest and felony harassment with a weapon.

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