Spokane Valley Deputy Tyler Kullman and his K9 partner Kahn located a stolen firearm believed to have been ditched by the passenger of a vehicle who fled on foot immediately after it was stopped by Deputy Joel Gorham.
On December 9, 2017, prior to 7:00 p.m., Spokane Valley Deputy Gorham stopped a vehicle with no visible rear license plate in the area of Sprague and Dearborn.
When the vehicle stopped the male passenger, later identified as 30-year-old Brent Baughman, bailed out and fled on foot. As Baughman ran, he appeared to keep one or both hands if the front pocket of his hoodie, which seemed to be weighed down by something. Deputy Gorham advised dispatch of the fleeing passenger before he contacted the driver of the vehicle.
The adult female driver stated she didn’t know who her passenger was and explained she had just picked him up at the auto parts store. A temporary tag was located in the rear window, but it could not be observed due to tinting and the angle of the glass. Deputy Gorham concluded the traffic stop and began to check the area of Baughman.
Soon after, Deputy Kullman, who had responded to the area to assist, advised he was contacted by a worker in the area. The witness advised a male ran past him in the parking lot and he provided a description of the male which matched the description of the suspect fleeing the traffic stop. The witness explained where he first observed the male and the point where he observed the suspect going south through the parking lot of McDonald’s located a Sprague and Havana.
Deputy Gorham located Baughman walking near Havana and 2nd. When Deputy Gorham contacted Baughman, he raised his hands in the air. When asked, Baughman initially acted like he wasn’t in the vehicle but later admitted he ran because he had a warrant for his arrest. Deputy Gorham asked if he ditched anything when he fled and Baughman said no.
A check of Baughman’s name confirmed he had active warrants for his arrest (felony WA DOC warrant for Escape Community Custody and a Spokane City misdemeanor warrant for Resisting Arrest/Malicious Mischief).
Deputy Gorham, Deputy Kullman and K9 Khan returned to the area Baughman initially fled the traffic stop while Baughman was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for his warrants by Deputy Nelson-Felvarg.
K9 Khan began a track from that location as they looked for any items Baughman may have discarded. K9 Khan worked slowly, his nose to the ground, as he approached a large clump of bushes approximately 30 feet east of where the witness first observed Baughman rounding the corner of the building. K9 Khan turned and worked back underneath the vegetation, next to a fence line and alerted (laid down). Knowing K9 Khan is trained to “down” when he locates something, Deputy Kullman looked into the bushes and observed the butt end of a black handgun. The firearm was retrieved and a check of the serial number revealed it was reported stolen during a vehicle prowl.
K9 Khan is not an explosive detection canine. He is a patrol dog trained to track and locate human odor. He would not alert on a gun due to the gun powder in/or on it, rather he would alert on residual human odor. Knowing the temperature was approximately 25 degrees, which is not a good environment for human odor to remain long, especially on a cold metal object, in addition to K9 Khan tracking from Baughman’s last seen location, to the location of the gun, which was just prior to the location the witness first observed Baughman, it is believed Baughman was in possession of the firearm and hid it in the bushes when he ran.
The handgun was collected as evidence to be checked for fingerprints and possibly DNA evidence to prove Baughman had it in his possession. Baughman could face additional charges of Possession of a Stolen Firearm and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (felon) depending on the results of the forensic examination.