K9 Gunnar takes down vehicle prowler after early morning car cha - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

K9 Gunnar takes down vehicle prowler after early morning car chase

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SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -

Spokane County sheriff's deputies report two people have been arrested after an early morning pursuit on Wednesday.The driver of a stolen vehicle lost control and crashed into a guardrail before taking off on foot. Then K9 Gunnar and Deputy Hunt tracked down the driver and took him and the female passenger into custody.

It started just before 4 a.m. Spokane County deputies responded to a report of a vehicle prowler in the area of the 3000 block of Spangle Waverly Road.

The victim told deputies he was sleeping in the backseat of his car when a suspect entered his car and stole his keys before leaving the parking lot in a different vehicle. The victim also said the suspect had returned to the lot later and parked. The victim said he retrieved his keys and gave deputies a description of the man he thought might be high on meth, and a woman.

When Deputy Skye Ortiz arrived, he saw the victim's vehicle and what appeared to be the suspect vehicle, an older 4-door Lincoln, but no one appeared to be inside. As he drove toward the victim's car, the victim got out of his car and started pointing toward the Lincoln. Then the Lincoln pulled out of the parking lot.

Ortiz activated his lights and sirens and tried to catch up to the Lincoln, which was picking up speed as it traveled down Spangle Waverly Road. The driver, later identified as 27-year-old Dustin D. Wegleitner, looked back at the patrol car and did not stop. He continued to drive southbound on Old US Highway 195. Deputy Ortiz reported seeing the driver and his passenger, later identified as 31-year-old Amber L. Donnelly, reaching around inside the car and under the seats. Wegleitner began swerving back and forth and they approached Davis Road. Deputies say that during the pursuit, speeds were over 100 mph.

North of Prairie View Road, Wegleitner lost control of the car and hit a guard rail, went on top of it and slid before coming to rest. Both driver and passenger got out of the car and took off on foot through a field, ignoring commands to stop.

Donnelly eventually stopped running and walked back toward Deputy Ortiz's patrol car, where she was taken into custody. Deputy Jason Hunt and K9 Gunnar, as well as additional deputies arrived on scene to assist with capturing the driver of the Lincoln. Not knowing if Wegleitner was armed, several K9 announcements were made as Deputy Hunt and Gunnar started to track him. Gunnar found Wegleitner about an hour later hiding in some bushes. Wegleitner punched K9 Gunnar and tried to run but was eventually taken into custody. K9 Gunnar was not injured.

Deputy Ortiz read Wegleitner his rights and Wegnleitner told the deputy he took the keys out of the victim's vehicle. He returned to the vehicle to take stuff out of it, but was confronted by the victim and gave the keys back. He told deputies he ran because the Lincoln he was driving was stolen and he had meth on him, which he said he ripped open and tried to swallow during the pursuit. 

Wegleitner received medical attention and then was taken to Spokane County Jail and booked for possession of a stolen vehicle, attempting to elude a police vehicle, 2nd degree vehicle prowling, harming a police dog, hit and run - property damage, and obstructing.

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