Man arrested for assaulting, threatening to shoot people in Riverfront Park, police say

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SPOKANE, Wash. — A man was arrested after allegedly threatening and assaulting several people downtown Sunday morning.

Officers received several reports of a man threatening people with a gun. They found 44-year-old Jason Whitaker, who dropped a gun as several officers arrived.

Through their investigation, witnesses told police that the behavior began near Main and Howard—police were told that Whitaker confronted a stranger, accusing him of being an undercover cop and that he was going to kill him.

Whitaker then reportedly made his way to Riverfront Park, where he took a backpack from a different person, who chased after him. Police say Whitaker then punched the man and jumped on him and continued beating him.

Witnesses say the man was in an “almost unconscious” state.

Several people told Whitaker to get off the man, so he did but said he was going to get a gun, come back and kill him. He then left the area.

Police say Whitaker then returned with a gun and was waving it around and threatening people.

Officers say that Whitaker showed signs of being under the influence of drugs, and they found methamphetamine and a stolen .22 caliber gun on him. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a controlled substance. More charges may be pending.

Whitaker has a previous conviction for arson.

Anyone with more information on the incidents are asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.