Police arrest self-proclaimed 'Spokane Spanker'

Update: Police tell KHQ that they have arrested self-proclaimed 'Spokane Spanker' Thursday evening. Jonathan Smith is now facing 11 counts of assault with sexual motivation in a string of Centennial Trail attacks.


Previous Coverage: In a five-minute video confession, 28-year-old Jonathan Smith showed remorse as he apologized to the dozens of women he says he attacked on the Centennial Trail last week.

The video gained a ton of traction online, with a lot of people asking the same question: Why wasn’t Smith arrested?

“It’s a reasonable frustration,” said Spokane Police Officer Shane Phillips. “To be honest we would love to do that, but at the end of the day it wouldn’t do good to arrest a person and have them walk.”

Officer Phillips says if they arrested Smith, he could have a right to a speedy trial and get out of jail if charges are not filed in time.

“Sadly there were a lot of victims,” said Phillips. “And each one of those people have to be individually interviewed.”

Officer Phillips says the investigation is taking longer then he’d like, and there is only one detective on the case.

“We’d love to have more cops on the street,” said Phillips. “But it’s the nature of the beast where we are right now.”

Officer Phillips says the build a strong case, the detective needs to interview all the victims and file paperwork for every interview before filing charging documents.

“Our goals is to arrest him [Smith] ASAP,” said Phillips. “That’s why we became cops.”

Officer Phillips did not say when they plan to arrest Smith, but hope to before the weekend.

Recommended for you