SPD: Man steals U-Haul, leads officers on chase, then hides in rafters of N. Spokane garage

SPD: Man steals U-Haul, leads officers on chase, then hides in rafters of N. Spokane garage
Police arrested a man they say stole a U-Haul and hid in the rafters of a garage. 

Authorities arrested a theft suspect in North Spokane late Wednesday night.

According to a release from the Spokane Police Department, a Washington State Patrol trooper was in a parking lot near the U-Haul at the Division “Y.” The trooper heard loud banging noises and went to investigate. He saw a man, later identified as 49-year-old James Manfredda, running from the building.

Authorities said Manfredda broke into a security key box, stole keys and was running to a U-Haul truck. He then climbed inside and started to drive away.

The trooper attempted to stop the truck, but Manfredda reportedly kept fleeing south. The trooper decided to stop the pursuit due to safety concerns, but it was initiated again by WSP.

The second pursuit led troopers to the area of Wellesley and Howard, where Manfretta stopped the truck and ran away.

SPD officers, along with K9 King, were called to the scene to assist. King tracked Manfredda to 4700 N. Stevens. Neighbors told officers they saw a man trying to hide and believed he had entered into a garage.

Officers surrounded the garage and saw Manfredda hiding in the rafters. He was asked to come down several times, but police said he refused and was acting erratic. Police said he was climbing through the rafters and kept putting his hands in his pockets, grabbing items and throwing them at officers.

Police said Manfredda scooted across a rafter and entered an access point that led to the attic of the duplex. Officers found his backpack in the garage and discovered a realistic airsoft gun and several wigs.

Officers attempted to negotiate with Manfredda with no response. King entered the attic and attempted take him into custody, but Manfredda reportedly threatened to kill the dog. Police said he picked up a stick and started swinging it, trying to hit the dog. Officers called King out of the attic to prevent him from being harmed.

Manfredda climbed through the attic to an area that was not easily accessible nor safe for the K9 or officers to enter. Officers ultimately were able to use a ladder and remove a vent on the front of the house. From there, police said they used less lethal means against Manfredda to take him into custody. Police did not clarify what type of tactic they used.

Manfredda was booked for numerous charges, including theft of a motor vehicle and eluding. WSP is investigating possible burglary charges.

Police said Manfredda has a criminal history dating back numerous years. He has been convicted of taking a motor vehicle without permission, attempting to elude a police officer, possession of stolen property, theft, assault and DUI.