No charges against officer who shot man after chase in November - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

No charges against officer who shot man after chase in November 2014

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Officer Mike Roberge was identified by Spokane Police as the officer who shot domestic violence suspect Joseph E. Hensz Officer Mike Roberge was identified by Spokane Police as the officer who shot domestic violence suspect Joseph E. Hensz
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office has found that Spokane Police officer Michael Roberge was justified in his use of deadly force while attempting to take Joseph Hensz into custody on November 8, 2014.

On that day police received several 911 calls that Hensz was stalking and harassing his ex-girlfriend, who lived in the 200 block of West Knox in Spokane. Hensz was reportedly driving a stolen red 2002 Chevy Monte Carlo with Washington plates and either sitting in front of the woman's house or circling it over and over. Police say at one point he got out of the car and threw something at the house.

Police tried to take Hensz into custody for stalking and domestic violence stalking, but he escaped police by leading them on a high-speed chase, which police eventually terminated for safety reasons.

Later that same evening Hensz was reported at the West Knox address again. When he left he sped away toward Montgomery Street at speeds over 100 mph, where officers Roberge and Woodyard spotted him and chased after him. The officers used their police car to try to slow down Hensz's Monte Carlo, hitting it in the back and causing both cars to come to a stop, with the police car coming to a stop against a tree. Officer Woodyard's door was pinned against the tree and he could not get out of the car, according to police.

Officer Roberge got out of the police car and told Hensz to get out of his car. Hensz instead revved his engine and turned his steering wheel toward the officer, then put the car in gear. Roberge moved out of the way of the car and was not hit. Roberge said he felt Hensz posed a lethal threat if he was not stopped.

Officer Roberge fired four shots at Hensz as he drove past. He hit Hensz once and he was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center and released. 

The Prosecutor's Office reports, under those circumstances, it was reasonable for Officer Roberge to use force. They say there is no indication the officer was acting out of malice and there will be no criminal charges filed against Roberge. 

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