Wanted Suspect Resists Arrest
A suspect, wanted on Assault 4 (DV) and Obstructing charges, failed to follow numerous commands and physically resisted arrest as the lone Deputy tried to take him into custody. After requesting emergency assistance, the suspect was eventually placed in handcuffs once additional help arrived.
On August 18, 2022, at approximately 6:15 pm., a Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy contacted a male believed to have an active warrant for his arrest. The male suspect, 26-year-old Owen J. Ennis, was walking from his car toward the front of Safeway, 902 W. Francis. He answered to “Owen”, turned around, and walked back to the Deputy.
Ennis was told there was an unconfirmed warrant for his arrest and provided his identification to the Deputy. Ennis’ information was a match for an active misdemeanor warrant (Assault 4th Degree (DV) & Obstructing Law Enforcement). As the Deputy waited for a backup Deputy to arrive, Ennis sat on the curb and talked. Ennis, wearing coveralls, and a hard hat, with his pockets appearing to be full of items, then decided he was going to call his mom and began reaching into his right front pocket. Not knowing if Ennis was armed or if his pockets contained tools or knives, the Deputy told Ennis to keep his hands out of his pockets and to wait.
It is common not to allow detained/arrested people to reach in pockets/bags that have not been searched or to make calls that could bring additional people to an unsecured scene for obvious safety reasons.
Ennis ignored commands not to reach into his pockets or attempt to make calls, and he chose to continue reaching, saying he was going to call his mom. Presented with this safety concern, and with Ennis no longer being compliant, the Deputy moved forward, grabbed Ennis’ right arm, and told him that he was under arrest and needed to stand up. Ennis said no, that he wanted to call his mom, ignoring multiple commands to place his hand behind his back.
Ennis began to tense his muscles, but the Deputy overcame the resistance as he moved Ennis’ right arm behind his back. Ennis remained seated, but as soon as his arm was placed behind his back, Ennis quickly pulled it forward, causing the Deputy to lose control. The Deputy continued giving commands while trying to regain control. Ennis insisted that he wanted to call his mom and tensed up while pulling his arm away.
Although concerned with Ennis’ continued resistive behavior while not knowing if he was armed, the Deputy repeatedly tried to deescalate the tense situation. Suddenly, Ennis turned toward the Deputy and quickly tried to get to his feet.
With Ennis escalating his active resistance while trying to escape the Deputy, Ennis was again told he was under arrest and taken to the ground. The Deputy advised over his radio that he was “Code 6” and in need of emergency assistance.
Ennis continued to pull his arms toward his chest and under his body during this dangerous struggle. The Deputy delivered several strikes to Ennis’ torso in an attempt to gain compliance while ordering him to place his hand behind his back. The strikes were not effective. Ennis continued to resist arrest and yell that he wanted to call his mom.
Several people had noticed the situation and began to gather, appearing to record the incident instead of helping or calling 911. One person even approached the Deputy from the rear, closing the distance to within three or four feet.
With additional Deputies helping, Ennis was taken into custody as resources arrived to assist.
During a search following the arrest, a knife and several other items were found in Ennis’ pockets. Ennis remained defiant and would not sit down inside the patrol car. Eventually, Deputies gained his compliance.
A witness said he observed the Deputy contact Ennis who started to get aggressive while being questioned and began reaching into his pockets. He heard the Deputy tell Ennis he was under arrest and to place his hands behind his back, but Ennis refused, saying he wanted to call his mom. The witness could tell the “Wrestling match was on from there.” He explained he would have stepped in to help, but the Deputy appeared to have it under control, and the backup units arrived moments later.
Ennis was offered medical treatment, which he refused. Ennis consistently yelled at the Deputy during the transport to jail, saying he was a liar and a racist. Ennis was booked for a new charge of Resisting Arrest in addition to his warrant for Assault 4th (DV) and Obstructing Law Enforcement.
With only one witness staying behind to provide a statement and knowing several other witnesses were present, some of which may have recorded it, Investigators ask anyone willing to give a statement or provide additional evidence to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233, reference #10108576.