SWAT Team Responds after Wanted Suspect Flees into Home and Threatens to Shoot Deputies
Spokane Valley SWAT Team, Negotiators, K9 Units and the Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) were utilized to safely take a suspect, with a valid Stevens County felony warrant for charges of Child Rape 1st Degree, Child Molestation 2nd Degree and Rape of a Child 2nd Degree, into custody after the second hours-long standoff in as many days.
On April 24, 2019, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Spokane Valley Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a residence located in the 400 block of S. Leta Rd. to check for a wanted suspect, 38-year-old Donald A. Hegel.
Arriving Deputies observed Hegel who was wanted for several felony charges in Stevens County Washington. Hegel fled into the residence and refused to surrender to Deputies who secured the residence to ensure escape routes were covered as addition patrol units responded to assist.
Hegel chose to refuse to comply with multiple announcements advising Hegel he was under arrest and to surrender peacefully. During this time, Hegel responded by threatening to come out shooting.
With the seriousness of the felony crimes charged in the warrant for Hegel’s arrest and not knowing if he was armed, his refusal to peacefully surrender, his threats to shoot Deputies and information he could be suicidal, the SWAT Team, Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT), Spokane Valley Fire Rescue Task Force Team and EDU Technicians were called to the scene.
Negotiators made contact with Hegel, but he continued to be defiant, refusing to surrender. SWAT Team members inserted OC and CS chemical agents to make it uncomfortable to stay inside. NFDD (Noise Flash Diversionary Devices, AKA flash bangs, were also used to no effect.
EDU mobilized their Robot to make entry into the residence, utilizing its camera to locate Hegel. The robot located Hegel hiding in a closet hiding under a blanket which obstructed a clear view of his hands. Hegel continued to refuse to surrender. Swat Team members deployed 40 mm less-lethal impact munitions which were also ineffective with Hegel continuing to refuse to exit the home. Eventually, Hegel’s hands were found to be empty, and Deputy Hunt deployed K9 Gunnar to take Hegel into custody, K9 Gunnar latched on to Hegel, but Hegel began violently fighting with K9 Gunnar. After an extended fight, Deputy Kullman deployed K9 Kahn to assist but Hegel’s violent actions to resist continued. SWAT TEAM members entered to assist and eventually gained control of Hegel and took him into custody.
Hegel was provided medical attention and will be booked into the Spokane County Jail for his warrants and new charges of felony Harassment-Threats to Kill, Resisting Arrest and Obstructing Law Enforcement.
Spokane County SCOPE SIRT Members also responded to the scene to assist with Traffic Control.
This is the second intense and potentially violent incident where SWAT, HNT, EDU, and HNT members have responded to in two days demonstrating the high amount of dedication for these highly trained and profession special team members.
We would also like to thank Derek and everyone at the E. Sprague Yokes for stopping by with donuts and coffee for everyone working at the scene. We are so blessed to have the support of our wonderful community.