Convicted Felon’s Suspicious Attempts to Avoid Contact Fail
A 17-time convicted felon’s suspicious attempts to avoid contact ended in his arrest and the recovery of a stolen firearm.
On April 18, 2018, at approximately 10:45 p.m., Spokane Valley Deputy Skye Ortiz observed a blue Ford Crown Victoria with what appeared to be a damaged windshield, pulling up to the gas pumps at HICO, located on the corner of Sprague and Mullan.
Planning to contact the driver for the violation, Deputy Ortiz drove around the block. He observed the driver, later identified as 34-year-old Ryan L. Cheers, exit the still running vehicle and enter the store. As Deputy Ortiz pulled closer to record the license plate, he observed Cheers walking east from the store. Cheers rounded the corner of the building and walked into the laundromat where he remained.
Cheers continued to stare at the patrol car and although lacking any laundry, remained in a laundromat while leaving his unattended vehicle running at the gas pumps. Deputy Ortiz left the immediate area to a position where he could continue to observe Cheers’ suspicious behavior.
Several minutes later, Cheers exited the laundromat, looked around in the direction of the parked patrol car and made a call on his cell phone. He remained in view as he sat down on an outside bench. At approximately 11:00 p.m., Cheers stood up and walked northbound on Willow, away from the location, leaving his still running and unattended vehicle.
Due to Cheers’ highly suspicious behavior, Deputy Ortiz pulled on Willow to contact Cheers and observed Cheers getting into a Ford Mustang. The Mustang, occupied by two people in addition to Cheers, drove south on Willow to Sprague where Deputy Ortiz conducted a traffic stop. Cheers was contacted, identified and removed from the vehicle to continue the investigation into his suspicious actions. Cheers began reaching in his pockets and was detained in handcuffs. During a frisk for weapons, Deputy Ortiz located an illegal switchblade style knife in Cheers’ back pocket and informed him he was under arrest for possession of a dangerous weapon.
Sergeant Simmons who had arrived to assist, checked the vehicle Cheers had abandon and observed a pistol in a black holster sitting on the driver’s seat.
Cheers, after being advised of his rights, initially denied even driving the vehicle but eventually said he borrowed it from a friend. He also admitted his fingerprints might be on the pistol because he pushed everything in the seat to the side when he barrowed the car but denied any actual knowledge of a firearm.
A check of Cheers’ criminal history revealed he is a 17-time convicted felon (possession of a controlled substance w/o prescription, burglary 2nd degree, possession of stolen property and theft 1st degree) and prohibited from possessing firearms.
The vehicle which contained additional possibly stolen property was seized, pending a search warrant. The pistol, a Glock G43 9mm, was later determined to have been reported stolen during a vehicle prowl in March of this year.
Cheers was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Stolen Firearm, Possession of a Dangerous Weapon and Driving While Suspended 3rd Degree.
After his initial court appearance, his bond was set at $25,000.