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The original item was published from 2/24/2023 3:42:13 PM to 3/11/2023 12:00:07 AM.

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Sheriff's Office

Posted on: February 24, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Suspect in Mead Goes on Violent Crime Spree, Assaults a Woman, Steals a Work Truck, and Rams Car

Video Warning: Video contains images of a violent assault and language some may find disturbing or offensive.  Viewer discretion is advised.  All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The victim was consulted prior to the release of this video.  Her face has been blurred to protect her identity.   

PR 2023


Suspect in Mead Goes on Violent Crime Spree, Assaults a Woman, Steals a Work Truck, and Rams a Good Samaritan’s Car

 

Witnesses and Information Sought

 

A suspect violently assaulted a female office employee (early 70s) and attempted to steal her vehicle before fleeing was not done with his criminal acts.  A few minutes later, he stole a work truck, and a good Samaritan/victim who observed the theft followed the stolen vehicle.  When the suspect stopped to close the work boxes in the truck bed, the victim told him the police were responding.  The suspect returned to the truck, threw it in reverse, and rammed the victim’s Honda, causing significant damage.  

 

A Deputy responding to the calls noticed the stolen work truck and attempted to conduct a traffic stop with his fully marked patrol car.  The suspect ignored the emergency lights and siren, turned on the stolen truck’s flashers, and recklessly drove into oncoming traffic lanes at a high-speed rate as he escaped capture.  

 

Due to the lack of probable cause to believe that a person in the vehicle had committed or is committing a violent offense or sex offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030 known at the time, the Deputy could not legally pursue the stolen vehicle. 

 

Deputies investigated the incidents and determined the suspect, later identified as 29-year-old Robert J. Kelly, would face several felony and misdemeanor charges to include, Robbery 1st Degree, Assault 2nd Degree (2 counts), Theft of a Motor Vehicle (2 counts), Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, Vehicle Hit and Run with Injury, Malicious Mischief 1st Degree, Theft 3rd Degree (2 counts), and Malicious Mischief 3rd Degree.

 

The next day, Kelly was arrested by the Spokane Police Department for Robbery 1st Degree and Assault 2nd Degree after he attempted to steal an occupied motor vehicle.  

 

The owner of the business on N. Market, where the female victim was assaulted, viewed coverage of Kelly’s arrest by Spokane Police and, after reviewing the video of the assault of his employee, believed the suspect arrested by SPD (Kelly) was the same suspect who violently assaulted his employee the previous day.  He contacted the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Major Crime Unit and provided them with the information.  

 

Spokane County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Detective C. Ennis, continuing to investigate, contacted Kelly in the jail and added the listed slew of charges.   

 

Due to Kelly’s criminal actions on February 13th and February 14th, 2023, Investigators believe additional victims/witnesses may not have reported other incidents or been contacted by law enforcement.   Anyone with information regarding Kelly’s actions is urged to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233, reference #10021067.    

 

On February 13, 2023, at approximately 1:00 pm, a caller reported a female office employee (early 70s) was thrown to the ground and assaulted by an unknown male suspect at a business in the 10700 block of N. Market Street.  The suspect, later identified as 29-year-old Robert J. Kelly, fled the location.    

 

As Deputies responded to the Market location, a call was received stating that a white 2010 Dodge Ram work truck was stolen from the area of E. Hawthorne Road and N. Market Street.  

 

Moments later, a third call was received stating a good Samaritan observed the theft of the Dodge truck and began to follow it.  Kelley stopped the Dodge in the middle of the southbound lane of N. Market Street, south of E. Hawthorne Road.  The victim pulled behind the truck and called 911 as the suspect (Kelly) exited the Dodge to close some tool/accessory boxes.  The victim yelled that he was calling the police and that Kelly should pull over.  Instead, Kelly reentered the vehicle, put it into reverse, and accelerated rapidly, ramming the front of the victim’s Honda, disabling it.     

 

Another Deputy, responding to the calls in a fully marked patrol car, observed the stolen truck a short distance away and attempted to stop it.   Instead of pulling over, Kelly turned on the truck’s emergency flashers and drove into oncoming lanes of traffic at a high rate of speed.  The Deputy did not pursue Kelly because probable cause to believe that he had committed or is committing a violent offense or sex offense, as defined in RCW 9.94A.030, had not yet been established.

 

The Dodge truck was located a short time later, parked in an alley near E. Keirnan Avenue and N. Standard Street.  A search of the area was unsuccessful.  

 

During their investigation, Deputies learned the female victim sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries during the assault and was transported to the hospital for additional care.  A video from inside the business showed the victim being pushed to the ground as Kelley stood over her, demanding the keys to her vehicle while repeatedly punching her in the head/face.  After the violent assault, Kelly apologized, stole a bag of potato chips, and fled.   Deputies also located a vehicle next to the business with a broken window and a punched ignition, an apparent unsuccessful theft attempt.    

 

The driver of the Honda received a minor head injury, and due to the extensive damage, his vehicle was towed.   

 

On February 16, 2023, Detective C. Ennis, continuing to investigate, learned Spokane Police Officers arrested a suspect for attempting to steal a vehicle in the 900 block of W. 2nd Avenue on February 14, 2023.  The suspect of this case, Kelley, approached a male victim (40s) seated in the driver’s seat of his parked vehicle.  Kelly opened the driver’s door, grabbed the victim, and demanded his car while punching him.  The victim fought, and eventually, Kelly ran.  SPD Officers located Kelly a few blocks away, and after a short foot pursuit/struggle, Kelly was taken into custody.  Kelly, a 4-time convicted felon (Malicious Mischief 2nd Degree (2 counts), Residential Burglary, and Possession of a Controlled Substance), was booked into the Spokane County Jail for Robbery 1st Degree, Obstructing Law Enforcement, and Resisting Arrest.   

 

Detective C. Ennis viewed Kelly’s booking photo and compared it to the male suspect observed in the video of the assault on N. Market.  She noted they were remarkably similar in appearance and stature, and with the similarity of the criminal acts, Detective C. Ennis contacted Kelly at the jail.  Kelly refused to answer questions but questioned why the Detective wanted to speak with him.  After speaking with Kelly, Detective C. Ennis was confident Kelly was indeed the suspect due to his distinguishing features and similar speech pattern/tone.    

 

Kelly was advised he was being charged with Robbery 1st Degree, Assault 2nd Degree (2 counts), Theft of a Motor Vehicle (2 counts), Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, Vehicle Hit and Run with Injury, Malicious Mischief 1st Degree, Theft 3rd Degree (2 counts), and Malicious Mischief 3rd Degree.  Due to Kelly’s violent nature, disregard for public safety, and repeated criminal acts, a significant bond was requested.  Kelly’s total case bond was set at $550,000.   

 

Due to Kelly’s criminal actions on February 13th and February 14th, 2023, Investigators believe additional victims/witnesses may not have reported other incidents or been contacted by law enforcement.   Anyone with information regarding Kelly’s actions is urged to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233, reference #10021067.  
 

 


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