Spokane Valley man arrested after carjacking, chase - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Valley man arrested after carjacking, chase

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SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -

Spokane Valley deputies arrested a 22-year-old man over the weekend and charged with robbery, attempting to elude a law enforcement vehicle and two counts of assault after a victim reported his vehicle had been stolen at gunpoint.

Around 1:15 a.m. on Saturday, deputies responded to a report of a man's car being stolen at gunpoint from the parking lot at East Valley High School. While responding to the call, Deputy Keys saw a vehicle matching the description given by the victim in the area of Trent and Pines.

Deputy Keys turned around to check on the vehicle, and the car sped off. The driver, later identified as Tyler J. Thomas, continued to try to evade the deputy near University, the vehicle suddenly slid sideways in front of oncoming traffic and started heading eastbound right past the deputy's car.

During the pursuit, Thomas drove into the oncoming lane and continued to drive erratically. Each time a PIT maneuver was attempted, Thomas would intentionally swerve toward the patrol cars, causing deputies to take extreme evasive action to avoid being hit. Thomas swerved across multiple lanes of traffic causing westbound cars to swerve off the road to avoid a collision.

Thomas eventually drove into the parking lot of the Valley Bar and Grill after losing control as he turned north on Cement and Trent. With the business still open, and with customers and citizens in the area, Thomas drove directly toward Deputy Keys' vehicle, appearing to try to hit him on purpose.

Thomas left the parking lot and continued his reckless speeding as he headed westbound on Trent. Deputies ahead of the pursuit attempted to block intersections and warn other drivers in the area.

Just north of Trent on Fancher, Thomas lost control again, spun and ended up facing south, and sitting partially on a raised concrete divider. 

Fearing for the safety of the public and other deputies, as well as the belief that Thomas was armed and dangerous, Sergean Elliott hit the vehicle in the driver's door area in an attempt to disable Thomas' Mustang. Due to the low speed of the impact, Thomas was able to accelerate and keep fleeing deputies.

Deputy Eaton attempted another PIT maneuver, but was unsuccessful. Other deputies arrived and were able to box Thomas in and bring him to a stop.

Thomas complied with commands and was safely taken into custody. A search of the car didn't find the fire arm reportedly used during the robbery, but later in the day a citizen reported finding a pistol on East Trent. The weapon was recovered and booked into evidence.

The victim of the robbery, a juvenile, told deputies he thought a vehicle was following him as he drove North on Sullivan. He turned east on Wellesley and then into the high school parking lot and noticed the vehicle still behind him. The vehicle, believed to be a white Ford pickup, sped up and cut him off. A person got out of the pickup and pointed a gun at the victim. After taking his cell phone, the suspect told the victim to walk into the soccer fields. The truck, and the stolen car, sped off.

The second suspect, believed to be driving the Ford truck, has not yet been identified.

Thomas was booked into Spokane County Jail for first degree robbery charges as well as two counts of assault and attempting to elude law enforcement.

Two patrol cars were damaged so heavily they had to be taken out of service to be repaired. No deputies or citizens were injured.

Anyone with information regarding the incident, or if you can help identify the driver of the Ford truck, your urged to call Det. Marc Melville at 509-477-3325

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