Wanted Driver Reckless Attempts to Flee
Spokane Valley Deputies safely and successfully ended a pursuit after the driver fled from a traffic stop. The driver continued to drive recklessly after the pursuit was initially terminated. Due to the danger he posed to the public, Deputies reengaged the vehicle, successfully deployed spike strips slowing the vehicle, and attempted a PIT maneuver. The driver became more erratic during the PIT attempt and contacted the PIT bumper of the patrol car, ending with the same result. No one was injured during this incident. The frightened passenger in the vehicle was released at the scene without charges.
On October 9, 2019, at approximately 12:45 a.m., Spokane Valley Deputy Nathan Booth observed a black Infinity traveling at speeds too fast for the conditions and above the posted speed limit. A check of the license plate showed it was expired in 2018 and a company as the registered owner.
Deputy Booth activated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop at Valley Way and Argonne. As he approached the driver side of the vehicle, the driver, later identified as 33-year-old Kenney L. Rustad, accelerated rapidly. Deputy Booth advised radio the car was fleeing as he ran back to his patrol vehicle.
With little to no vehicle or pedestrian traffic, Deputy Booth pursued Rustad while additional Deputies responded to assist.
Rustad continued to recklessly try to evade the marked patrol car, choosing to endanger himself, the public, and the responding Deputies. Near Felts and Mission, due to Rustad’s increasingly dangerous behavior, Deputy Booth terminated the pursuit due to the risk to the public.
A short time later, Deputy Wallace observed the Infinity traveling south, at a high rate of speed, on University approaching Broadway. He prepared to position his patrol car to block any potential cross traffic at the intersection. Rustad went through the intersection at high speed, ignoring the red light and crossed over into oncoming lanes of travel without being pursued.
Even after Deputies tried to deescalate the situation by terminating the pursuit, it was apparent Rustad was willing to continue his dangerous actions, and Deputy Wallace reinitiated a pursuit.
Ahead of the pursuit, Deputy Getchell successfully deployed spike strips at the intersection of 4th and Bowdish.
With at least one tire slowly deflating, Deputy Wallace backed off from the vehicle but kept it in sight. Rustad continued east on 4th, demonstrating his unwillingness to stop, but slowed as he approached McDonald.
Deputy Wallace, wanting to end this pursuit safely and quickly, decided to attempt a PIT maneuver at the intersection of 4th and McDonald. With no vehicles or pedestrians in the area, Deputy Wallace moved his patrol car into position. Suddenly, Rustad violently swerved toward Deputy Wallace’s vehicle and slammed on his brakes. Deputy Wallace took evasive measures to avoid hitting Rustad’s vehicle, but it slammed into Deputy Wallace’s pit bumper. With Rustad’s violent and dangerous choice to further risk his, and Deputy Wallace’s safety, Deputy Wallace maintained contact with the rear of Rustad’s vehicle, causing a similar result. The Infinity starting to spin out and stall in some bushes on the side of the road.
Rustad unable to escape, followed commands and was taken into custody without further incident. The adult female passenger of the vehicle also followed commands and was detained.
While clearing the vehicle to ensure no one else was inside, Deputy Wallace noticed a clear plastic bag containing a white crystalline substance believed to be Methamphetamine on the driver’s seat. The vehicle was seized, pending a search warrant at a later time.
Deputy Booth contacted Rustad and advised him of his rights. Rustad said, “I knew I had a warrant. Dumb, dumb, dumb, I was hot rodding the car and saw the red and blue.” A check of Rustad’s name revealed a Washington State Department of Correction Escape Community Custody (original charge: possession of dangerous drugs) warrant for his arrest.
The female passenger said Rustad decided to run from the Deputy because he knew he had a warrant, and he wasn’t going back to jail. She asked Rustad multiple times to pull over and let her out because she was afraid for her life. Rustad said he’d let her out when he lost the cops. As a victim of this incident, she was released without charges.
Rustad was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, Reckless Endangerment, and his felony warrant.