Suspected Impaired Driver Arrested After Fleeing Traffic Stop Where Had He Provided His Driver’s License
A driver, who had already provided his driver’s license during a traffic stop, chose to flee in his vehicle. Suspected of being impaired, the Deputy pursued but eventually lost sight of the suspect due to his excessively high speed. With the assistance of a Liberty Lake Police Officer, the suspect’s vehicle was located after being reported as abandoned in the driveway of a nearby home. The suspect was later contacted as a passenger in another vehicle during a separate traffic stop, and he was arrested for charges of DUI and Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle. He told the arresting Deputy that he got bad information and thought, “They won’t chase you anymore.” The suspect shows no previous local arrest history.
On April 13, 2022, at approximately 10:50 pm., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy P. Figueroa noticed a black Ford F150 Raptor fail to stop at a stop sign. Deputy Figueroa initiated a traffic stop on N. Spokane River Bridge Road, just south of E. Appleway Avenue.
Deputy Figueroa contacted the adult male driver, who identified himself with a Washington State driver’s license as 51-year-old Jonathan R. Leach. Deputy Figueroa spoke with Leach, he noticed Leach’s speech was slurred, and his eyes were red/watery. When asked, Leach admitted to having three beers.
Deputy Figueroa asked the driver to step out of the vehicle for a DUI investigation. Leach said, “Sure.” and started his vehicle's engine. Deputy Figueroa told Leach he wasn’t going anywhere, and Leach turned his head toward the Deputy, smiled, and said, “Yes, I am.” and accelerated rapidly from the gravel shoulder, causing a dust cloud.
Suspected of DUI, Deputy Figueroa pursued (exemption allowed under RCW 10.116.060) the truck in a fully marked patrol car, with lights and siren activated as it traveled west on I-90 at over 100 mph.
Leach exited the interstate on the Liberty Lake exit, drove over the curb of the roundabout, and continued west on Mission Avenue. Deputy Figueroa lost sight of the vehicle N. Harvest Parkway, and the pursuit was terminated.
A short time later, Liberty Lake Police (LLPD) Officer Sowell was advised of a suspicious vehicle call where the caller said a black Ford Raptor was parked in his driveway, 1800 block of N. Glenbrook Road, and was abandoned. Deputy Figueroa responded and confirmed the vehicle was the one Leach fled in and owned. Deputies and LLPD searched the area for Leach, but he was not located, and the truck was impounded.
At approximately 11:20 pm., LLPD Officer Sowell noticed a vehicle with no license plate and conducted a traffic stop on E. Mission and N. Harmony Lane. Having already viewed a picture of Leach, Officer Sowell noticed the rear passenger of the vehicle appeared to be Leach, and he was detained.
Deputy Figueroa responded to the stop, positively identified Leach, informed him that he was under arrest, and advised him of his rights.
Leach said he was being “stupid,” and he had some bad information and thought, “They won’t chase you anymore.” Leach did not show any local arrest history.
Leach was processed for the suspicion of DUI. Afterward, he was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, a felony, and DUI.
Washington RCW 10.116.060 Vehicular pursuit. (https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=10.116.060)
(1) A peace officer may not engage in a vehicular pursuit, unless:
(a)(i) There is probable cause to believe that a person in the vehicle has committed or is committing a violent offense or sex offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030, or an escape under chapter 9A.76 RCW; or
(ii) There is reasonable suspicion a person in the vehicle has committed or is committing a driving under the influence offense under RCW 46.61.502;
(b) The pursuit is necessary for the purpose of identifying or apprehending the person;
(c) The person poses an imminent threat to the safety of others and the safety risks of failing to apprehend or identify the person are considered to be greater than the safety risks of the vehicular pursuit under the circumstances; and
(d)(i) Except as provided in (d)(ii) of this subsection, the officer has received authorization to engage in the pursuit from a supervising officer and there is supervisory control of the pursuit. The officer in consultation with the supervising officer must consider alternatives to the vehicular pursuit. The supervisor must consider the justification for the vehicular pursuit and other safety considerations, including but not limited to speed, weather, traffic, road conditions, and the known presence of minors in the vehicle, and the vehicular pursuit must be terminated if any of the requirements of this subsection are not met;
(ii) For those jurisdictions with fewer than 10 commissioned officers, if a supervisor is not on duty at the time, the officer will request the on-call supervisor be notified of the pursuit according to the agency's procedures. The officer must consider alternatives to the vehicular pursuit, the justification for the vehicular pursuit, and other safety considerations, including but not limited to speed, weather, traffic, road conditions, and the known presence of minors in the vehicle. The officer must terminate the vehicular pursuit if any of the requirements of this subsection are not met.
(2) A pursuing officer shall comply with any agency procedures for designating the primary pursuit vehicle and determining the appropriate number of vehicles permitted to participate in the vehicular pursuit and comply with any agency procedures for coordinating operations with other jurisdictions, including available tribal police departments when applicable.
(3) A peace officer may not fire a weapon upon a moving vehicle unless necessary to protect against an imminent threat of serious physical harm resulting from the operator's or a passenger's use of a deadly weapon. For the purposes of this subsection, a vehicle is not considered a deadly weapon unless the operator is using the vehicle as a deadly weapon and no other reasonable means to avoid potential serious harm are immediately available to the officer.
(4) For purposes of this section, "vehicular pursuit" means an attempt by a uniformed peace officer in a vehicle equipped with emergency lights and a siren to stop a moving vehicle where the operator of the moving vehicle appears to be aware that the officer is signaling the operator to stop the vehicle and the operator of the moving vehicle appears to be willfully resisting or ignoring the officer's attempt to stop the vehicle by increasing vehicle speed, making evasive maneuvers, or operating the vehicle in a reckless manner that endangers the safety of the community or the officer.