More and more Spokane crooks are using their vehicles as weapons when trying to avoid being arrested by police; to underscore that point, in the last 24 hours officers in Spokane and in Spokane County have been rammed by drivers trying to make a getaway.
Monday night U.S. Marshals and the Patrol Anti-Crime Team were looking for Gary Todd and spotted him driving a stolen Ford Focus on the South Hill. Todd didn't want to go back to prison so he tried to outrun police instead.
"This person didn't want go back to jail and that's why he obviously didn't mind ramming a patrol car and potentially hurting the officer or the K-9 that was inside," Spokane Police Sergeant Lydia Taylor said.
Officer Dan Lesser and his K-9 partner Rav were uninjured in the collision.
Tuesday afternoon a sheriff's deputy attempted to pull over a pickup truck in Mead. When the female realized the fake names she offered weren't going to keep her out of jail she tried run over the deputy.
"Eventually she rolls the window back up, locks the doors, puts it in reverse and actually hits Deputy (Kevin) Mosher with the driver's side mirror, and its icy there and he was actually concerned he was going to get sucked underneath the vehicle, luckily and very fortunately he did not," Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.
The driver joins a long list of criminals who are running from police because the charges they're wanted on are much worse than the crime of eluding.
For example, murder suspect Brandon Mellon has led police on pursuits three times; Bryan Storms is awaiting trial for slamming into an innocent bystander because he mistakenly thought police were chasing him. Two of the last three officer involved shootings involved dangerous pursuits.
"Kind of historically you would expect this to be in the middle of the night, two or three in the morning. That's not the case anymore, especially with the drug addictions people have. As we've seen with the daytime residential burglaries its very common for us to see these type of unfortunate things during the daytime," Chamberlin said.
And this is why, when you're driving around and hear those sirens coming, look for the police car, but if you're coming up on an intersection look to see if a pursuit coming your way because these criminals don't care if they run into you or not.
Police want judges to treat eluding cases more seriously when they are setting bonds, which is what happened recently when Judge Annette Plese set a $100,000 bond for Chris Canatta, who has a history of eluding police. Cars are 6,000 pound bullets and police think people who use them as weapons deserve the same high bond amounts you hand out to suspects in drive-by shootings.