Reckless Driver Flees – Eventually Arrested for Multiple Felony Charges
Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies attempted to contact a reckless driver early Saturday morning. The suspect fled in what was later determined to be a stolen vehicle but due to his recklessness the pursuit of the vehicle was terminated several times. After the suspect struck another vehicle, a pursuit was initiated again in a less populated area of North Spokane County. A PIT maneuver was used to stop the driver’s dangerous driving but the driver fled on foot. The driver was later located walking in the area by an alert Washington State Patrol Trooper and was booked into jail for multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.
On January 5, 2019, at approximately 2:50 a.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Jessica Baken observed a beige Toyota Camry traveling south on Hwy. 395 near Holland, at a high rate of speed. Deputy Baken attempted to stop the vehicle, occupied by two males, on Country Homes, just west of Hwy. 395. Instead of stopping the driver, later identified as 29-year-old Tyler J. Severson, accelerated and began to try and evade Deputy Baken.
Severson drove recklessly, eventually turning south, traveling the wrong way on N. Maple (a one-way street). Deputy Baken terminated the pursuit due to the increased danger to the public, the occupants of the Camry and pursuing law enforcement vehicles.
A few minutes later, Deputy Brad Humphrey observed the Camry stop in the intersection of Garland and Maple. Severson turned west on Garland and continued at a high rate of speed but in the correct lane of travel. Deputy Humphrey activated his emergency lights in an attempt to stop the vehicle. Severson continued to flee and drive recklessly as he attempted to evade Deputy Humphrey. When Severson turned north on Ash (a one-way street) traveling the wrong way, Deputy Humphrey began to slow and terminate the pursuit due to the increased danger to the public, the occupants of the Camry and pursuing law enforcement vehicles. As he did, he observed Severson slow and swerve around a truck and a Camaro as he continued the wrong way on Ash. Hearing this update, Sergeant Kiehn advised to terminate the pursuit and Deputy Humphrey confirmed he had.
A few minutes later, Dispatch advised the driver of the Camaro was reporting her vehicle was struck by Severson. Deputy Humphrey and Deputy Othmer turned around to contact the driver of the Camaro. They found Severson had sideswiped the passenger side of the Camaro. The driver later advised she was uninjured and declined medical attention.
Additional efforts to deploy spike strips and slow the speeds of the vehicle as Severson continued to drive recklessly were unsuccessful.
Several minutes later, near Hwy. 395 and Hasting, Sergeant Thurman observed a set of taillights ahead of him which he believed was Severson still traveling at a high rate of speed.
With Severson’s continued reckless behavior, in addition to the initial information the driver of the Camaro he had struck was possibly injured, Sergeant Thurman attempted to stop Severson near Woolard and Hwy. 2. As Severson turned north on Hwy. 2, into the southbound lanes of travel, Sergeant Thurman quickly conducted a site survey to safely conduct a PIT maneuver to end Severson’s dangerous behavior. Determining it was safe, Sergeant Thurman moved in and conducted a successful PIT. The Camry came to rest on the west shoulder of the road. Severson bailed out of the vehicle and began running on foot. He had a backpack in one hand and a dark colored object, believed to be possibly be a handgun, in the other. Sergeant Turman told Severson he was under arrest and to stop but Severson refused to comply and kept running. Sergeant Thurman turned his attention to the passenger, later identified as 28-year-old Michael J. Curran. Curran followed orders and was taken into custody without incident.
A perimeter was quickly established with the assistance of Spokane Police Officers and Washington State Patrol Troopers but a search for Severson by K9 Teams and Air 1 was unsuccessful.
At approximately 7:20 a.m., WSP Trooper Rob Spencer located a male matching Severson’s description near Hwy. 2 and Carney Road. The male was determined to be Severson and he was taken into custody. At the jail a substance, later tested and showed a presumptive positive result for Heroin, was located in Severson’s pants. Several “shaved keys” (keys used to defeat ignition locks and steal cars) were found on Severson and seized as evidence.
Severson was booked for Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Possession of Stolen Property 2nd Degree, Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Hit & Run Attended Vehicle, Making/Possession Motor Vehicle Theft Tools, No Valid Operator’s License and a valid warrant for Theft.
Curran was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for a valid Washington State Department of Corrections felony warrant.