A man is in custody following a vehicle pursuit through Spokane Valley involving multiple collisions, including one with a patrol car.
According to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, around 1:30 a.m. Deputy Jeff Thurman was patrolling the area of Sprague and Freya, where he saw a stolen vehicle. When he tried to pull the vehicle over, the driver, 43-year-old Hector Rodriguez, fled the scene.
Thurman followed Rodriguez to the intersection of Appleway and Coleman, where Rodriguez turned into a dirt parking lot. When Thurman followed him, Rodriguez hit the patrol vehicle head-on, attempting to leave.
Thurman then followed the stolen vehicle to Broadway and Bowdish before his patrol car was inoperable.
Thurman and his K9 partner Laslo obtained another patrol vehicle.
Police say throughout the pursuit they could see a woman in Rodriguez's vehicle, trying to get out. Deputies were unsure if she knew Rodriguez or was a victim of a kidnapping.
Rodriguez eventually turned onto Long Road from Broadway, where he was unable to make a left turn at the intersection of Long and Appleway and ran into some small trees.
Just before that vehicle hit the trees, the woman passenger was able to jump out of the SUV. She was injured and taken to the hospital in stable condition.
Rodriguez ran from the vehicle and Laslo found him hiding underneath a deck at a nearby home. He was taken into custody and booked into jail on charges of unlawful imprisonment/domestic violence, second degree assault, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, felony eluding, vehicular assault, DUI, resisting arrest and obstructing.
The vehicle's owner Janae Cork works in Moses Lake and had her truck stolen when she went to pick her kids up from their father's house on Sunday. A friend saw her car on the news Tuesday morning.
“He's like your truck is all over the news and i was like you're kidding me. Because I was a pretty big mess yesterday at work,” Cork said.
Cork is a single mom and had everything in her vehicle. She had walked just 20 feet away to greet her children when it was stolen. She knows things could be worse.
“Maybe I was in it, maybe the kids would have been in it and he would have taken it you know, so I am counting my blessings. It just sucks, you know I work hard and try hard and it's just a bummer," she said.
Police say the investigation is continuing and additional charges are possible.