Wanted Felon Drags Deputy as He Tries to Flee a Traffic Stop
A Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy received minor injuries when a male driver sped off as the Deputy tried to have him exit the vehicle, dragging the Deputy approximately 100’ before he fell from the speeding car. The suspect was located and arrested with the assistance of Spokane Police Officers, Washington State Department of Corrections, and additional Deputies. He was booked into jail for a felony warrant in addition to new charges of Assault 2nd Degree, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Making False/Misleading Statements. Thankfully, the Deputy only sustained minor injuries during this potentially deadly situation.
On June 12, 2020, at approximately 5:05 p.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy, Matthew Ennis, observed a white minivan with mismatched and expired license plates on Gardner Avenue, near Adams Street.
Deputy Ennis activated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop, and the vehicle slowed but did not stop for another block.
The driver, later identified as 48-year-old Kurt O. Clinton, said he just purchased the vehicle and that he didn’t have a driver’s license or identification. He verbally identified himself with a false name, providing the birth year of 1973 before changing it to 1972. When asked which year was correct, Clinton said 1972 because he was 42-years-old.
A check of the information provided by Clinton showed “no record,” but it showed a possible felony warrant for Clinton’s real name.
Deputy Ennis advised Clinton to turn off the ignition as Clinton became fidgety and more nervous. A Spokane Police Officer stopped to assist as Deputy Ennis opened the van door, asking Clinton to exit the vehicle. Clinton asked why but suddenly reached over and started the van, while Deputy Ennis grabbed Clinton, placing him in a headlock, in an effort to stop him from fleeing. Clinton put the van into drive and accelerated rapidly, spinning the tires.
Fearing he would be drug underneath the van as it swerved away from the curb or crushed against another vehicle as Clinton recklessly fled, Deputy Ennis hung on. With Clinton continuing to accelerate, Deputy Ennis released his grip, approximately 30 miles per hour, and slammed to the ground.
Multiple SPD Officers and Deputies responded to the area to assist. SPD Officers located Clinton’s vehicle in a parking lot located in the 900 block of N. Walnut, and a citizen informed them which residence he entered. A short time later, Clinton was taken into custody without further incident.
A black backpack was located in Clinton’s vehicle. Inside a scale with a white crystalline residue and a baggie containing a white crystalline substance was found. The substance was field tested and showed a presumptive positive result for methamphetamine.
Clinton was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Assault 2nd Degree. Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine and Making False/Misleading Statements. He also has a felony Washington State Department of Corrections Escape Community Custody-Dangerous Drugs warrant.