Multiple “Open” 911 Calls Lead to Suspect’s Arrest
Spokane Valley Deputies, responding to a trouble unknown call, quickly learned a victim was held against his will by two suspects. One suspect attempted to steal the victim’s car and fled the area on foot as Deputies arrived. He was located hiding behind shrubbery during a search. The second suspect was not located, but Deputies have identified him. The victim was not injured.
On April 6, 2022, at approximately 12:10 pm., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to a trouble unknown call at an apartment located somewhere in the 15700 block of E. Sprague Avenue in Spokane Valley.
Spokane Regional Emergency Communications (SREC) Dispatchers advised Deputies that SREC 911 Call Receivers received several “open” 911 calls from the same number. During these calls, voices could be heard, but no one was directly talking into the phone. Deputies responded to investigate with very little information, such as an exact apartment number or what was taking place.
While SREC tried to gain as much information as possible, Deputies began to arrive in the area. Deputies were then advised the adult male victim was calling, saying someone was attempting to steal his vehicle. Deputy Andres Rodriguez arrived at the apartment complex shortly after and contacted the victim in the parking lot.
The victim said one suspect, later identified as 40-year-old Christopher S. Benefield, attempted to steal his vehicle before running east and jumping over a fence. Deputy Rodriguez obtained Benefield’s description and provided it to Deputies as they set up a perimeter for a search.
Deputies quickly learned the victim was held against his will and stopped from leaving an apartment in the complex by two suspects (Benefield and another male) because they believed the victim had stolen another person’s wallet. The victim denied taking the wallet, but the suspects told him he had to stay where he was until the owner of the wallet arrived. While they blocked any avenues of escape, the suspects brandished air-powered pistols while explaining the pistol’s capabilities.
As they waited, a friend of the victim arrived at the apartment and successfully coaxed the victim past the suspects and outside of the apartment. Once free, the victim fled and called 911 to report the specific information as Deputies arrived.
A K9 Unit was requested to assist in the search, and Deputies quickly located Benefield hiding in some shrubs in the apartment complex adjacent to the crime. He followed commands and was taken into custody without incident. An air pistol and a set of keys, later determined to be the victim’s car keys, were found in his possession.
Benefield was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Unlawful Imprisonment, Theft of a Motor Vehicle (Attempted), and misdemeanor Harassment. The courts later set his bond at $5,000 total.
The second suspect was not located, but Deputies have identified him. This remains an active investigation.