Reckless driver rams police cruiser before arrest - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Reckless driver rams police cruiser before arrest

SPOKANE, Wash. - Police have a driver in custody after he led them on a high speed chase throughout Spokane Monday night.

Police say the pursuit started at 10:48 p.m. when an officer attempted to pull over a Mercedes Benz near the intersection of N. Addison Street and Walton Avenue, and the driver took off.

The high speed chase went for about 2 miles throughout north central Spokane and lasted nearly 5 minutes. The driver first headed east and then south near Spokane Community College and then west on Illinois back toward central Spokane.

Police deployed spike strips at E. Illinois Avenue and N. Perry Street, but say it did not do much damage to the fleeing driver's vehicle.

The pursuit ended near Gonzaga University at the intersection of N. Boone Avenue and Pearl Street, when a pursuing officer used the PIT maneuver on the suspect's vehicle. The PIT maneuver is a method used by law enforcement by which one car pursuing another can force the pursued vehicle to abruptly turn sideways to the direction of travel, causing the driver to lose control and stop.

After the officer stopped the vehicle, the driver hit the front of the police cruiser with the Mercedes. Officers then approached the driver's door and got him to surrender without further struggle.

Police arrested 31-year-old Aleksey Solodyankin and charged 2nd degree assault and attempt to elude. Solodyankin had a female passenger in his vehicle who he refused to allow to leave during the pursuit, so he is also being charged with unlawful imprisonment.

Police say Solodyankin is the newest repeat offender to be added to their Top-10 Active Offenders.  Since December 1st, 2009, Solodyankin has been arrested seven times.  Many of those arrests have involved him being in possession of a stolen vehicle, and each time he eludes officers, placing untold persons at risk. 

A police spokesperson says one of Chief Kirkpatrick's goals for 2010 is to target Repeat Offenders Program (ROP).  These repeat offenders are being released from jail and reoffending; which ties up valuable patrol resources.  At least a dozen officers were involved in the pursuit with Solodyankin Monday night, when they could have been responding to calls for service.

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