When do police call off a high-speed chase? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

When do police call off a high-speed chase?

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

They put every single one of our lives at risk. That's what deputies say of drivers who flee from law enforcement. But they can't just let them go, or can they? KHQ investigated when pursuits are suspended and when they are allowed to continue.

Last week, deputies responded to an erratic driver of a stolen Wal-Mart trailer. They began to chase the driver, now identified as Daren Suiter, but then abandoned the chase when things got too treacherous. Records show Suiter still crashed through a fence, causing thousands of dollars' worth of damage. Despite the very tense situation, no one was hurt.

Deputy Mark Gregory said the main factors they consider when debating to abandon a chase are traffic, weather, the crime the suspect is wanted for, and finally if the suspect has been identified yet or not. If they have, and can be taken into custody in a less dangerous situation late on, that’s what Gregory said they will work to do. He added that every single pursuit is different, and must be treated that way.

"Every situation is being evaluated by multiple people," he said.

Gregory said the most frustrating part of pursuits is they frequently see the same faces over and over again.

"Usually the criminals that run from us are those that continue to prey on the community, and they just hope that we will not chase them," he said.

Gregory said they hold out hope for stricter penalties for crimes like car theft and fleeing from law enforcement. He advises anyone upset over this to contact our state lawmakers to push for change.

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