Reckless Bicyclist Risks Safety and Fails to Comply;
“Thank You” Unidentified Retired LEO for Your Assistance
The report of a reckless bicyclist weaving in and out of traffic during an evening commute continued as the bicyclist failed to stop for a Spokane Valley Deputy and resisted arrest before he was finally taken into custody with the assistance of an unnamed Good Samaritan who identified himself as retired law enforcement.
On June 6, 2018 at approximately 5:40 p.m., Spokane Valley Deputies received a report of a bicyclist, later identified as 28-year-old Travis N. Theisen, wearing a mask and riding a green bike was swerving between lanes/vehicles on Sprague at McDonald.
Deputy Samuel Turner responded as the caller continued to update Theisen’s location. Deputy Turner located Theisen riding east on Sprague in the center left turn lane at Adams. Theisen swerved from the center turn lane, in front of traffic, into the far-right lane causing drivers to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting Theisen, as he continued east on Sprague.
Deputy Turner turned around and, with the high volume of traffic, eventually caught up to Theisen as he rode north on Sullivan. Theisen continued his reckless behavior, swerving from the center turn lane and the northbound lane of travel in front of commuting drivers.
Deputy Turner was able to catch up to Theisen as they approached Valleyway and activated the emergency lights and siren of his fully marked patrol car to conduct a traffic stop and contact Theisen due to numerous traffic violations/reckless behavior. Theisen looked over his shoulder and, instead of stopping, continued to ride northbound. Deputy Turner used the PA system advising Theisen to stop but Theisen looked over his shoulder at the patrol car, turned east on Valleyway and continued to ride.
Deputy Turner accelerated alongside Theisen, stopped rapidly and exited his vehicle while running toward Theisen ordering him to stop. Theisen stopped and initially began to comply with Deputy Turner’s commands but as Deputy Turner started to detain Theisen, Theisen turned around and said, “What you stopping me for?! You ain’t got no reason to stop me!” Deputy Turner told Theisen he was detained and not to move as he removed Theisen’s backpack to place him in handcuffs. Theisen tensed up and began to resist as Deputy Turned pinned him against the patrol car, ordering him to stop fighting. Theisen continued to struggle, causing Deputy Turner’s radio mic to be ripped lose from his uniform. Now unable to reach his radio to request additional units to assist, Deputy Turner told Theisen he was under arrest and to stop fighting as he tried to gain control and place Theisen in handcuffs.
As the struggle continued, a Good Samaritan stopped his vehicle and identified himself as retired LEO (law enforcement officer). Deputy Turner requested his assistance and the gentleman complied. Not willing to comply even with the assistance of the Good Samaritan, Theisen escalated and attempted to kick Deputy Turner.
Deputy McNall arrived to assist as the pair gained control of Theisen and placed him handcuffs. While Deputy Turner and Deputy McNall continued to address Theisen, who was now safely in custody, the retired LEO got back in his vehicle and continued on his way.
Theisen was advised of his charges and of his rights which he acknowledged by yelling, “I know my rights!” He denied doing anything wrong and stated he planned to continue riding until he felt it was safe to stop. He was placed in the back of a patrol car and denied the need for any medical attention.
While in the vehicle, Theisen continued to yell, thrash around and, at one point he slid his hands, still restrained in handcuffs, from behind his back down to the back of his knees. Seeing Theisen’s attempt to bring his hands in front of him, Deputies repositioned Theisen’s hands, applied leg restraints to stop future attempts and transported and booked him into the Spokane County Jail.
Theisen was charged with Failure to Obey a Police Officer, Obstructing and Resisting Arrest. He was issued traffic infractions for Improper Operation of a Bicycle, Failure to Signal Stops/Turns and Unsafe Lane Change.
Thank YOU to the Good Samaritan/Retired LEO who stopped and helped gain control of Theisen. Without your assistance, additional force would have been needed to gain control of Theisen, increasing the risk of injury to Theisen and Deputy Turner.