Local News

Armed domestic violence suspect taken into custody

SPOKANE, Wash. - An armed suspect who threatened to take his own life Tuesday morning was successfully taken into custody by Spokane Valley Deputies.

Spokane Valley Deputy Jay Bailey responded to the 15700 block of E. Longfellow around 8:45 a.m. for a report of violations of a "no contact" domestic violence court protection order.

The victim's ex-boyfriend, 41-year-old Benjamin D. Gheorghiu, violated the order by attempting to contact her through text over the past several days.

Deputy Bailey called Gheorghiu, who was cordial and agreed to meet Deputy Bailey after he finished work.

Gehorghiu called Deputy Bailey again around 2:15 p.m., and said he knew he "messed up." He became emotional and began making suicidal statements, saying that deputies would have to shoot him and hung up.

Deputy Bailey notified the victim and told her to call 911 if she saw Gheorghiu. The victim said Gheorghiu had made statements about "suicide by cop" in the past.

The victim reported around 3:30 p.m. that Gheorghiu was sending her text messages again saying today is the day law enforcement will shoot him.

The victim then reported around 4 p.m. that Gheorghiu had showed up at her address and was armed with a knife. Deputies found Gheorghiu's car parked at Minnehaha on 5636 E. Upriver drive. A witness saw Gheorghiu standing on top of the rock wall and saying he would jump if law enforcement arrived.

Several units tried to get him down, but Gheorghiu said he would have to be shot or would jump from the cliff. During the hour long standoff, deputies worked to keep nearby people from harm.

Just before 6 pm., Gheorghiu walked from the cliffs toward his vehicle. He carried a knife on his hip, and refused deputy commands to stop and get down on the ground. Deputies fired less lethal rounds at Gheorghiu, which did not stop him. They then physically took him to the ground, and into custody.

Gheorghiu continually asked why deputies didn't "just shoot" him.

He was booked into the Spokane County Jail for 6 counts of Violation of a Court Order of Protection.