Suspect Rams Fire Station, Brush Trucks & a Sheriff’s Office Car
Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a male suspect who rammed his vehicle into the door of Spokane County Fire Department (SCFD) Station 98 several times. Once he gained entry, he stole one of the fire vehicles (Jeep) parked inside and attempted to flee, ramming a Sheriff’s Office patrol car in the process. He was eventually taken into custody and booked into jail for multiple charges.
Thankfully, no one was injured. However, two SCFD Brush Trucks, a much-needed asset used to fight wildland fires, the Jeep, the Fire Station, and the Sheriff’s Office Patrol Car, were all damaged. Initial estimates for the repairs totaled over $50,000.
On August 13, 2021, at approximately 6:05 pm., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the report of a driver ramming a truck into the back of Spokane County Fire Station 98. A passerby witnessed this and continued to give updated information as Deputies responded.
A Spokane Police Officer arrived at the scene to find the suspect’s vehicle near the north side roll-up door unoccupied and heavy damage to the fire station. The SPD Officer positioned his patrol car in front of the unoccupied white pickup driven by the suspect, later identified as 45-year-old Aaron P. Kaemuongmul, to block any attempted escape.
The SPD Officer heard the sound of a revving engine coming from inside the fire station. Suddenly, a red Jeep CJ5 drove through the north door and into the parking lot from inside the fire station as Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Armstrong arrived at the scene.
With his emergency lights and siren activated, he attempted to get Kaemuongmul to stop. Unfortunately, Kaemuongmul chose to attempt to flee, driving into an open field behind the fire station. With the assistance of Deputy Costello, who had also now arrived, they tried to box Kaemuongmul in and cut off any escape route but were unsuccessful.
With all three patrol cars working together to try and stop Kaemuongmul from getting out of the field and onto the roadway where he would be a danger to other motorists, Kaemuongmul crashed into a chain-link fence. The patrol cars moved in and took up positions to block Kaemuongmul’s ability to escape. Kaemuongmul continued to try and break free of the containment, backing up and then ramming into Sergeant Armstrong’s vehicle. At one point, Kaemuongmul slammed into the patrol car so hard it caused the Jeep’s driver’s side wheel to jump up and over the patrol car’s reinforced PIT bumper.
Shortly afterward, Kaemuongmul appeared to understand he was stuck and unable to flee. Kaemuongmul, holding a ball-peen hammer, followed commands and was soon taken into custody without further incident.
Sweating profusely, Kaemuongmul was provided medical treatment at the scene and transported to the hospital for additional treatment. He remained at the hospital until he was medically cleared on the evening of August 14, 2021.
After his release from the hospital, Kaemuongmul was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Burglary 1st Degree, Assault 2nd Degree, Malicious Mischief 1st Degree, Malicious Mischief 2nd Degree (four counts), Theft of a Motor Vehicle, and Malicious Mischief 3rd Degree.
The three fire vehicles and the patrol car were removed from service until they can be inspected and/or repaired.