Retired officer stops hit and run suspect

Author: Annie Bishop, KXLY4 Reporter , annieb@kxly.com
Published On: Mar 15 2013 11:55:50 PM PDT
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -

A suspected drunk driver, accused of hitting two cars and taking off, is in jail thanks to the quick action of three good samaritans.

 Just after 9 p.m. Friday, witnesses say a man driving a black truck rear ended a SUV, driven by a retired police officer at Argonne and Montgomery.  The momentum of the crash sent the officer's SUV into the van in front of him.  Witnesses said the suspect then took off, headed east bound on Montgomery. The retired officer, and two other witnesses followed the truck to a nearby parking lot. That's where the suspect jumped out of his truck and started running.

 Darrin Meleney, who was involved in the crash, ran after the man and grabbed him as he tried to scale a fence. Meleney put him in a choke hold until more witnesses showed up to help.

"He obviously had done something wrong, he wasn't going to be responsible," Darrin Meleney said

"And I've had other people hit me before and run before in the past so I guess I had a reason to go after him, wasn't going to let him get away," he added.

Jim Hill, another witnesses, and the retired officer helped keep the suspect on the ground until deputies arrived. 

The retired police officer was taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Deputies arrested Joseph Dauphine for DUI and hit and run.