A Ride-Along with Spokane Valley Police | Crime
I spent my Thursday evening with Deputy Juan Rodriguez as we patrolled Spokane Valley from Pines to Sullivan and Sprague to 32nd. As the sun went down, the incidents we responded to were getting darker. From vicarious dirt bikes to bickering neighbors, we responded to all sorts of incidents.
During the eight and a half hour ride-along, we responded to 11 incidents including two malicious mischiefs, three traffic stops, one bicycle accident, one missing child, one citizen contact, one alleged assault and one reckless driver.
Deputies arrested five people during the ride-along. We made two trips to Spokane County Jail.
Below is a timeline of events as they happened. We were tweeting the incidents last night as well. To read the tweets as they happened, read out Storify for “Tweet-Cap: A Ride-Along with Spokane Valley Police”.
5:24 p.m. - Arrival at Spokane Valley Police Station located at 12710 East Sprague Ave. Roll call is short and practically non-existent. There’s so much to do that deputies arrived to work, got into their cars and started heading out to calls. My deputy for the evening was Juan Rodriguez, a seven-year veteran with the Sheriff’s Office. He’s been on COPS three times.
6:05 p.m. - Patrol begins.
6:19 p.m. - Deputy Rodriguez says malicious mischief is huge in his patrol area. Guess what! That was our first call. Complainant says he heard seven gunshots near 2nd and Sullivan.
When we arrived to the scene, he pointed to some boys beyond the fence. We found the boys on their way out of the scene. They say they were shooting pop cans with their BB gun. Rodriguez found the fireworks and BB gun inside.They were let go, but their fireworks was confiscated. They got to keep the BB gun.
6:34 p.m. - We were about to respond to a stolen vehicle incident, but the complainant called back to say he simply forgot where he parked his new car. He found it.
6:45 p.m. - We pull over a man for a broken taillight along 4th near Adams. The driver, Justin W. Herter, 28, was driving with a suspended license. Rodriguez cited him and released him with a set court date.
7:03 p.m. - We had to rush to the scene where a child riding his bike was hit by a car inside his apartment complex near 3rd and Havana. The driver was going about 30mph and the child only had minor injuries.
7:36 p.m. - A grandmother didn’t know where her 11-year-old granddaughter was. She had been missing for two hours. She called police after she tried calling her friends. Another deputy found her down the street. She was walking home from a different friend’s house. Deputy Rodriguez told her to keep in contact with her grandmother and he referenced the Kala Williams incident as a warning for wandering off.
“Was just a bit older than you. She started walking the streets,” Rodriguez said regarding Williams. “The police found her.”
The police found her in plastic bags.
8:00 p.m. - A very young boy crossing the street with his family waved at Deputy Rodriguez.
8:10 p.m. - Deputy Rodriguez assisted another deputy who had made a traffic stop on a vehicle outside Golden Rule Brakes along Pines. As he pulled them over, they made unknown movements toward the bottom of the car. Rodriguez says that can sometimes mean drugs or weapons, but there’s no way to know. He says law enforcement can see when you reach down in your car when they pull you over based on the shift of your shoulders.
A dog jumped out of the car and the female passenger quickly took off her belt to make a collar for the dog.
The vehicle occupants were let go.
8:45 p.m. - We drove up to two mean fiddling with a small bike and two ukuleles along Valleyway and University. After speaking with them, Rodriguez learned they each had warrants for their arrest ranging from stolen vehicles, suspended licenses, etc. This led them to another guy who had a warrant for an arrest up the street. Six patrol vehicles were present at this point. Three guys were transported to Spokane County Jail.
10:02 p.m. - A neighbor says a woman was apparently beaten by a man with a belt. When we arrived, we found the man walking home. He had a bloodied fist. A woman was crying. Alcohol was involved. It was determined no crime was committed. The couple, both neighbors, had been arguing over fidelity.
10:52 p.m. - We were on the lookout for a vehicle prowler, but it turns out it was just a 14-year-old boy causing trouble at home. The aunt says he walked off. We found him walking a few blocks away.
Deputy Rodriguez and a few Washington State Patrol officers had a chat with him. The boy said he hated school, but Rodriguez offered him some advice.
“You have to like it a little so you can go to college and find a good job. Then you can pay your rent,” Rodriguez said.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Rodriguez asked him. The boy didn’t know and just shrugged. He said he didn’t really have any hobbies except maybe shooting.
“Then be a cop or go into the military,” Rodriguez offered a way to inspire the boy into having dreams.
The boy was returned home to his Aunt. He was sent up to Spokane Valley by his mother in California who didn’t want him getting into trouble down there.
11:54 p.m. - As we were about to head into a break, we spotted a dirt bike driver with passenger driving on the sidewalk with no headlights. We turned on our lights and sirens and starting following the driver, but he failed to pull over and started speeding up through the Pines and Main area, a neighborhood.
Deputy Rodriguez got on the loudspeaker and said: “This is the police. Stop before you get into a wreck.”
The driver continued. They slowed down into a cul de sac. The dirt bike puttered out and Rodriguez jumped out of the car and shouted: “Get on the ground right now!”
They were tackled and arrested for a series of charges including suspended license, lack of motorcycle endorsement, driving a non-street legal vehicle, not following officer orders, etc.
The passenger was let go. The driver was taken to Spokane County Jail.
1:50 a.m. - End ride-along.