Courthouse Logo
County Sheriff
Public Safety Building
1100 West Mallon
Spokane, WA
Contact Us
Print this page 
Email this page to a friend 

Man Jumps Into River To Avoid Capture

Posted 5/7/2012 4:48 PM by MDGREGORY

On Monday, April 30th, at about 6:30 p.m., Spokane County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call of a male subject who had struck a vehicle occupied by three females with nunchakus several times in the area of Dartford and Hazard Road. The victim told deputies the suspect, identified as 31 year-old Joseph Blessing, walked up behind her vehicle at the inters...ection of Dartford and Hazard Road. The victim's 15 year-old granddaughter, who was sitting in the back seat, saw him approaching with the weapon and told his grandmother to "go".

The victim looked back and saw Blessing approaching her vehicle on the passenger side carrying metallic nunchakus. Blessing swung the weapon at the vehicle and struck the rear, passenger side of her 2004 Nissan Maxima. The victim drove a short distance away and called 911.

Deputies Logan and Westlake arrived on scene within one minute and saw Blessing walking near the victim's vehicle. Deputy Westlake asked Blessing to stop. Blessing refused Deputy Westlake's request and ran down an embankment and jumped into the Little Spokane River.

Deputy Westlake ran down to the river and attempted to get Blessing out of the river. Blessing told Deputy Westlake he had used the river to escape from the police before and he would do it again. Blessing refused to get out of the river and continued to float west down the river.

Cpl. Jeff Welton had responded to the scene and was in the area of 13900 N. Rivella when he saw a male subject matching Blessing's description running towards him next to the river. Cpl. Welton contacted the subject, confirmed it was Blessing and took him into custody without incident.

Blessing was booked into Spokane County Jail on the charges of 3rd Degree Malicious Mischief, three counts of Intimidation with a Weapon and Obstructing.

Information about this Spokane Sheriff News story is also available at