Uncooperative Driver with Several Warrants and a Suspected Driver’s License Arrested, also in Possession of Suspected Meth
During a traffic stop for failing to stop at a stop sign and other violations, the driver became confrontational, explaining he was “traveling,” not driving, and refused to identify himself or provide information as required by Washington State law. The driver was later identified and arrested on several valid warrants and additional new charges, including possession of a controlled substance.
On November 2, 2023, at approximately 5:30 pm, a Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy observed a black Dodge Ram near the intersection of S. Hallett Street and E. Campbell Street in Medical Lake. The driver, later identified as 38-year-old Christopher R. Baker, failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection.
A traffic stop of the vehicle was conducted in the area of E. Herb Street and S. Stanley Street. The Deputy also noted the truck's headlights were inoperable, although the rear taillights and side marker lights were functioning.
When Baker was contacted and advised why he was stopped, he immediately became confrontational, stating he was “traveling” and not driving. (A common tactic/belief of people, often self-identified as sovereign citizens, to not identify themselves or have valid driver’s licenses, registrations, etc.)
The Deputy explained to Baker that he was lawfully being stopped for traffic violations and was required (RCW 46.61.020) to provide the requested information, but Baker still refused. With the assistance of Spokane Regional Emergency Communications (SREC) personnel, previous contacts with the vehicle showed a male (Baker) had been contacted and displayed the same uncooperative demeanor. The check also revealed several valid misdemeanor arrest warrants.
Once two Washington State Troopers arrived to assist, Baker was advised he was under arrest and needed to exit the vehicle. Although remaining uncooperative, eventually Baker was safely taken into custody.
During a search of his person, a small clear bag containing a white/brown crystal-like substance, believed to be methamphetamine, was found in his pants pocket. A field test of the contents showed a presumptive positive result.
Baker’s driver’s license showed suspended and that he was required to have an ignition interlock device installed on his vehicle. The Deputy confirmed an interlock device was not installed in the truck as required.
Baker was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for new charges of Driving While Suspended 3rd Degree, Operating a Vehicle w/o an Interlock, and Operator Refuse to Identify. He was also booked on his warrants for charges of Operating a Vehicle w/o an Interlock, No Valid Operator’s License 1st Degree, Failure to Transfer Title within 45 Days, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.
He was also issued notice of infractions (tickets) for Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign, Expired Registration, and Defective Headlights.
After being booked, Baker was immediately released (under 30 minutes) on his own recognizance.