Deputies & Officers Work Together to Capture Fleeing Suspect
with K9 Gunnar on His Trail
On Sunday evening, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Spokane Police Department Officers worked together to locate a suspect who fled from a traffic stop. The suspect’s vehicle was found abandoned and crashed into a tree. Deputy Hunt and K9 Gunnar conducted a track for over a mile which led to the intersection where an SPD Officer roving the perimeter had detained the suspect.
On April 14, 2019, at approximately 7:40 p.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Stan Kravtsov observed a red Dodge P/U with no visible license plates on Division near Lyons Ave. As Deputy Kravtsov pulled behind the truck at the intersection, stopped for a red light, he noticed a trip permit, which appeared to have been altered, in the rear window.
When the traffic light turned green, Deputy Kravtsov activated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop to inspect the trip permit and due to an equipment violation. Instead of immediately stopping as required by law, the driver, later identified as 31-year-old Jose Ruiz, continued to drive south on Division at a slow speed. At Houston, Ruiz pulled into a parking lot but continued to creep forward through the parking lot to the south side of the business before finally coming to a stop.
As Deputy Kravtsov approached, he could see the female passenger looking back at him as she spoke to Ruiz. Moving toward the driver’s door, Deputy Kravtsov obtained a good view of Ruiz as he turned and looked back at the Deputy.
Suddenly, the truck’s engine revved loudly and sped away, turning south on Division without stopping to check for traffic.
Attempting to catch up to the vehicle, Deputy Kravtsov used caution navigating his way through traffic and turned east on Francis in time to notice Ruiz turn south on Mayfair. Deputy Kravtsov later determined he quickly caught up to the truck because Ruiz possibly stopped long enough on Francis for the female to jump out of the vehicle. She was not located, but Deputies believe they know her identity.
On Mayfair, Ruiz increased his speed as he chose to try and elude Deputy Kravtsov’s marked patrol vehicle with its emergency lights and siren activated. Ruiz continued to drive recklessly and without care for anyone’s safety. Deputy Kravtsov tried to keep the truck in sight but was having difficulty as he safely watched for other vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Deputy Kravtsov lost sight of Ruiz after Ruiz turned south on Addison from Dalke. As Deputy Kravtsov drove south on Addison, he observed the truck stopped in the front yard of a residence in the 6000 block of N. Addison. The truck had crashed at a considerable speed into a large tree and was abandoned.
Spokane Police Officers quickly arrived to assist. Through the investigation, it was learned that no one was inside the vehicle when it hit the tree. A white baseball hat, similar to the one Ruiz was wearing when he initially stopped, was located on the sidewalk several houses to the north. Deputy Kravtsov surmised Ruiz jumped out of the vehicle prior to the crash and fled on foot. A check of the truck’s VIN showed it had not been reported stolen and there was no report of sale. Several attempts were made to contact the last known registered owner.
A perimeter was established, a description of Ruiz was broadcast to assisting patrol units and Deputy Hunt, with his partner K9 Gunnar, responded to search for Ruiz.
Starting the search from the found baseball hat, K9 Gunnar tracked into a back yard, across the alley and into the next back yard where a gray sweater discarded by Ruiz as he ran. K9 Gunnar continued to track for over a mile to the intersection of Rowan and Pittsburg where SPD Officer Fabian advised he had contacted and detained a male subject who appeared out of breath and matched the description of the fleeing suspect. K9 Gunnar’s track led right to the very same intersection.
Deputy Kravtsov contacted the male, later identified as Ruiz. Ruiz was dressed in a t-shirt despite the cold temperature, and on his forehead, an impression from recently wearing a baseball hat was observed. Deputy Kravtsov visually confirmed Ruiz was the driver who fled and advised Ruiz of his rights.
Ruiz said he was just released from prison and was in the area looking for a place to stay. Ruiz continued to deny being the driver of the truck.
Ruiz was arrested and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle and Driving while Suspended 3rd Degree.
Back at the scene of the crash, a plastic box with sticker and the name “Jose Ruiz” printed on it was found in the bed of the truck. On the speedometer area of the dash was a picture of Ruiz and two other people.
The last known registered owner of the truck was eventually contacted. He stated he sold the vehicle to Jose Ruiz last January and had seen Ruiz driving the truck since that time.
Further inspection of the trip permit found it was not filled out correctly and it had been altered.
Ruiz was additionally charged with a misdemeanor Trip Permit violation.