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

Long standoff involving house fire ends in arrest in north Spokane

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 22, 2021

Authorities arrested a man for suspicion of assault after two separate standoffs Wednesday and Thursday at a home on North Crestline Street in North Spokane.  (Garrett Cabeza / The Spokesman-Review)
Authorities arrested a man for suspicion of assault after two separate standoffs Wednesday and Thursday at a home on North Crestline Street in North Spokane. (Garrett Cabeza / The Spokesman-Review)

A north Spokane standoff that started Wednesday and included a house fire ended Thursday with an arrest.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, SWAT team, rescue task force, hostage negotiation team and Spokane County Fire District 9 returned Thursday to a home on North Crestline Street where a domestic violence suspect refused to surrender Wednesday night, according to a post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page.

The post said authorities decided not to force entry on Wednesday because of the previous violent history of the suspect and his unwillingness to cooperate with negotiators.

They left the scene in an attempt to de-escalate the situation per the new police reform laws passed by the Washington state Legislature, the sheriff’s office said.

Kay Johnston, the aunt of suspect Brian N. Olson, said Olson was living with her brother, who is Olson’s father and who owns the home.

“He was trying to help him out,” Johnston said. “(Olson) has a drug problem.”

Johnston said Olson was getting violent lately and the standoff started when Olson attacked her brother Wednesday.

She said her brother left the house, called the police and got a motel Wednesday night.

On Thursday, the victim requested assistance at the residence to obtain his medications.

Johnston watched Thursday from just beyond where the sheriff’s office blocked traffic on Crestline Street from Lincoln to East Magnesium roads during the standoff.

Authorities had attempted to contact Olson, 37, and execute the search warrant obtained Wednesday night.

Olson was inside the home, which he is suspected of setting on fire intentionally Wednesday, and continued to be uncooperative, but was eventually taken into custody late Thursday afternoon, deputies said.

The sheriff’s office said he received medical attention and would be booked into the Spokane County Jail once medically cleared.

Olson faces fourth-degree assault charges from Wednesday night’s incident and may face additional charges as the investigation continues.

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