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The original item was published from 11/28/2022 4:22:41 PM to 12/13/2022 12:00:02 AM.

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Sheriff's Office

Posted on: November 28, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Wanted Suspect Captured and Arrested After Ramming Patrol Cars and a Pursuit

 

 

Wanted Suspect Captured and Arrested After Ramming Patrol Cars and a Pursuit 

 

Spokane Valley Deputies attempted to stop a suspect vehicle believed to have fled several times before.  The registered owner was the suspected driver and was also a suspect in a burglary and theft case.  While attempting to initiate a traffic stop in a parking lot, 15727 E. Broadway, the suspect rammed a fully marked patrol car with a Deputy inside and struck another fully marked patrol car while attempting to flee.  A pursuit was initiated, spike strips were successfully deployed, and a PIT maneuver ended the pursuit near Pines and Valley Way.  The adult male driver and an adult female passenger were successfully detained.  The suspect was charged with multiple felony/misdemeanor charges.  The passenger was released at the scene without being charged.  

 

The suspect’s vehicle was seized pending a search warrant.  No one was injured during this incident.  However, five patrol cars were damaged, with two needing to be towed back to the Spokane Valley Precinct to be repaired and inspected prior to being put back into service.  

 

*** (Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) - A low-speed maneuver (no more than 45 mph) designed to cause the suspect vehicle to spin out, stall and come to a stop.  PIT is NOT Ramming) *** 

 

On November 27, 2022, at approximately 11:00 pm., Spokane Valley Deputy E. Jones observed a silver Chrysler 300, with a dark-colored roof and hood, parked in the parking lot at 15727 E. Broadway.  Deputy E. Jones noted a vehicle matching this description had been involved in multiple (three or more) recent eluding incidents where the driver recklessly fled without regard for the safety of the public, himself, or Deputies.  The vehicle was registered to 28-year-old Dylan J. Cassotta, and he was suspected of being the driver during these incidents and committing a burglary and theft 2nd Degree.  During these incidents, Cassotta’s actions were extremely dangerous and reckless as he drove into oncoming travel lanes, creating a substantial risk to the public, and pursuits were not authorized due to the limitations set forth by Washington State law. 

 

Deputy E. Jones called for additional patrol units to assist while waiting from a distance and observing.  As Deputies formulated a plan to safely contact Cassotta, with the goal of eliminating his ability to flee in the vehicle placing the public in danger, the Chrysler began to drive toward a parking lot exit.   Deputies quickly moved in with their emergency lights activated.  Cassotta stopped momentarily as the patrol cars converged, working on cutting off any avenues of escape.  

 

One patrol car moved in behind the Chrysler and made contact with the bumper with the intent to stop Cassotta from backing away from the patrol cars approaching from the front of his vehicle.  Cassotta put the vehicle in reverse and attempted to back up but was unable.  Then he placed the car in drive and accelerated forward, violently striking the front of Deputy K. Smith’s marked patrol car.  He then put the vehicle in reverse and backed up again, striking Deputy E. Jones’ marked patrol car.  

 

With probable cause to charge Cassotta with Assault 2nd Degree, a violent felony allowing a pursuit to be conducted by state law, Deputies pursued Cassotta as he fled.  Cassotta fled west on Broadway as a supervisor authorized the pursuit, including the use of PIT and spike strips.  With traffic being light, the pursuit was allowed to be continued as supervisors continued to monitor and evaluate it.  Deputy Ball successfully deployed spike strips, hitting one of the Chrysler’s tires near Broadway and University.  Sergeant Palmer advised pursuing Deputies to give Cassotta space to allow his tire to deflate, hoping he would slow down or stop his reckless behavior.      

 

Cassotta turned on University, heading south toward Sprague.  Sergeant Palmer, positioned at the intersection of University and Sprague, observed Cassotta approaching without any Deputies behind him.  Cassotta blew through the red light at an estimated 60 mph and continued south on University Road.  With Cassotta’s continued reckless behavior and his apparent lack for the safety of the public, Sergeant Palmer pulled in behind Cassotta, activated his emergency lights, and reinitiated the pursuit while Sergeant Depriest took control of monitoring the pursuit.  

 

Cassotta drove into oncoming travel lanes and through the red light at 4th Avenue.  With no traffic in the intersection, they continued to 8th Avenue and turned east at approximately 20 mph.   On 8th Avenue, Sergeant Palmer noted it appeared Cassotta turned off his lights as the rear lights of the Chrysler were now off.  Cassotta weaved through vehicles at Bowdish while traveling 10-15 mph and turned north, accelerating rapidly.  As they approached Bowdish and Sprague, patrol cars were positioned to hold traffic at the intersection to avoid a possible collision.  

 

Cassotta turned east on Sprague and immediately moved into the westbound lanes of travel.  With light traffic in the distance, Sergeant Palmer moved his patrol car into position to attempt a PIT maneuver, but Cassotta accelerated to approximately 70 mph, eliminating the ability to use PIT.  

 

With traffic yielding to the oncoming emergency lights, Cassotta continued to Pines Road without his lights on.  He slowed to approximately 20 mph and turned into the parking lot located on the northwest corner of Sprague and Pines before traveling north on Pines in the southbound lanes of travel.  Sergeant Palmer could not see if any vehicles were approaching in the southbound lanes due to the slight hill.  Concerned traffic could be coming on this highly traveled roadway, and knowing they would be unable to see nor predict Cassotta was traveling north in the southbound lanes without headlights, Sergeant Palmer quickly positioned his patrol car to attempt a PIT maneuver.  The attempt was successful, and Cassotta’s vehicle spun over a small curbed median, but he was able to regain control and attempted to drive away.   Sergeant Palmer again positioned himself to attempt another PIT, but Cassotta turned into the PIT trying to defeat it, which caused his vehicle to be pushed into the curb and stop, ending the pursuit.  

 

Multiple Deputies converged on the scene, surrounding Cassotta’s vehicle.  After numerous commands were given, Cassotta and the adult female passenger were safely taken into custody.  

 

After being advised of her rights, the female said she told Cassotta to stop multiple times.  Cassotta, also advised of his rights, stated he tried to run because he was scared and that the female told him to stop several times.  He and the female have a child in common. 

 

Thankfully, no uninvolved member of the public, Cassotta, his passenger, or any Deputies were injured despite Cassotta’s actions during this incident.  However, five patrol cars received damage, with two needing to be towed and taken out of service until they could be inspected for safety.  

 

Cassotta’s vehicle was seized pending a search warrant.   Cassotta was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Assault 2nd Degree, Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, two counts of felony Malicious Mischief 2nd Degree, misdemeanor Criminal Trespass 2nd Degree, and misdemeanor Reckless Endangerment 2nd Degree (DV).  

 

An unrelated felony charge of Theft 2nd Degree was added this morning.  Cassotta’s vehicle was seized pending a search warrant.  Additional charges are possible pending the outcome of these investigations.   


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