Mead Man Charged In Vehicle Theft And Pursuit - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mead Man Charged In Vehicle Theft And Pursuit

SPOKANE, Wash. - A 22-year-old Mead resident was arrested on a plethora of felony charges Thursday after he failed to elude pursuing deputies and officers in a truck he stole from a Medical Lake resident the previous evening.

Deputy Ray Miller booked Phillip J. Young into the Spokane County Jail on charges of Second-Degree Theft, Second-Degree Assault, Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle and Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle.

Young's passengers during the pursuit, 30-year-old Stephanie Louise Kupien of Newman Lake, and 42-year-old Charles W. Kerney of Spokane, were arrested as well.

Kupien was booked for Second-Degree Theft and Kerney was arrested on an outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant.

At about 11:45 a.m. Thursday, Deputy Bret Pierson took a vehicle theft report from a resident living in the 500 block of N. Martin in Medical Lake.  The resident there lost his 2002 Ford Ranger.

About the same time, Pierson also took a vehicle prowling report in the 900 block of North Minnie in which the resident had his wallet containing credit cards stolen.  The two incidents were about a block apart.

At about 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Airway Heights Police Detective Kelly Justice located the stolen Ranger parked in the Northern Quest Casino parking lot.  As deputies began responding, he saw a male get into the truck and start to drive away.

Deputies Miller and Damon Simmons attempted to block the pickup, but the driver accelerated directly at them.  They braked and avoided a head-on collision, but the pickup was able to get past and turned southbound on Hayford Road at high speed.

At the intersection of Highway 2, the truck ran the red light at high speed and went east a short distance.  The three occupants jumped from the now-slowing truck and ran.  The pickup continued a short distance and ran into a snow berm.

Deputy Miller chased the driver on foot behind a nearby bank.  He saw the driver digging into his pocket as he ran.  He ordered the man to stop at gunpoint, and Deputy Simmons removed a black pellet gun from the pocket.

Meanwhile, the two passengers had run northbound into the nearby Wal-Mart.  Civilian witnesses assisted in locating them and WSP Trooper Chris Stone arrested Kupien.  Airway Heights officers found Kerney inside and arrested him.

In addition to recovering the stolen truck, deputies found receipts for purchases made with the credit cards taken in the wallet theft.  They were able to tie Kupien to the use of a stolen card, as well as Young.

No one was injured during the pursuit or arrests.  Young told deputies that he had avoided capture by police in numerous pursuits by driving a high speeds through densely populated neighborhoods.  The police call off the pursuit all the time, he said.

 

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