Reckless Driver Digs Around in Trunk During Traffic Stop, Resists Arrest
A Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped a vehicle for driving at a high rate of speed early this morning. After pulling over, the driver activated the truck release and suddenly exited the driver’s door. He walked quickly to the truck and began digging inside. He became argumentative and physically resisted when the Deputy attempted to detain him in handcuffs. Eventually, the Deputy gained control of the driver, who was later charged with Reckless Driving, Resisting Arrest, and Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs.
On May 20, 2021, just before 1:00 am., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Nelson-Felvarg was conducting traffic enforcement in the area of Copper River Lane and State Hwy. 27, when he observed a white Chevrolet Lumina traveling south at high speed. Deputy Nelson-Felvarg visually estimated the vehicle’s speed at over 100 mph. in a posted 45 mph. zone.
Deputy Nelson-Felvarg turned onto Hwy. 27 to conduct a traffic stop for Reckless Driving. As he began to catch up to the Lumina, the driver, later identified as 21-year-old Ahmaud McGuffey, suddenly applied his brakes, slowed, and pulled onto the shoulder of Hwy. 27, near 46th Avenue.
Deputy Nelson-Felvarg activated his emergency lights and pulled in behind the Lumina. Deputy Nelson-Felvarg noticed the trunk pop open slightly, and McGuffey suddenly exited the driver’s door of the car. He walked briskly to the trunk, opened it completely, and began to reach inside as Deputy Nelson-Felvarg exited his patrol car.
Witnessing the highly unusual behavior of a driver and knowing people keep weapons on their person, in their vehicles and their trunks, Deputy Nelson-Felvarg gave loud and clear commands for McGuffey to stop and place his hands on his head.
Instead of complying, McGuffey chose to become argumentative and did not place his hands on his head, but he did stop digging around in his trunk. Again, Deputy Nelson-Felvarg instructed McGuffey to put his hands on his head. Reluctantly, McGuffey complied but remained argumentative. Deputy Nelson-Felvarg approached, grabbed ahold of McGuffey’s hands, and explained he was being detained. As McGuffey spoke, Deputy Nelson-Felvarg noted smelling a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from McGuffey.
Deputy Nelson-Felvarg brought McGuffey’s hands behind his back, but McGuffey suddenly pulled both hands toward his front waistband. Trying to maintain control of McGuffey’s hands and fearing he might be trying to access a weapon, Deputy Nelson-Felvarg took McGuffey to the ground on the side of the road. McGuffey began shouting as Deputy Nelson-Felvarg told him he was under arrest, ordered him to stop resisting, and to place his hands behind his back. McGuffey ignored the commands and continued to reach toward his front waistband as Deputy Nelson-Felvarg struggled to maintain control of McGuffey’s hands.
Deputy Nelson-Felvarg used his radio and to quickly advise he was fighting with McGuffey. Spokane Regional Emergency Communication (SREC) Dispatchers secured the radio channel for emergency traffic, and additional Deputies began to respond.
McGuffey was able to pull his right hand free and again reached under his body, toward his waistband, and shouted something about having a gun.
With McGuffey physically resisting arrest, his erratic/unusual behavior, and continued refusal to obey multiple lawful commands while reaching toward his waistband, shouting about a gun, Deputy Nelson-Felvarg attempted to end this fight and gain compliance by delivering two strikes. The strikes did not stop McGuffey from resisting, but they appeared to distract him momentarily, allowing Deputy Nelson-Felvarg to pull both of McGuffey’s hands behind his back.
Believing he might have the opportunity to place McGuffey in cuffs finally, Deputy Nelson-Felvarg removed a set from his belt. Unfortunately, McGuffey decided to shift his body violently and again pulled his arms free and reached for his front waistband.
Deputy Nelson-Felvarg delivered one knee strike to McGuffey’s side to regain control, but again, it had little to no effect because McGuffey refused to comply or allow himself to be handcuffed. Now sliding down the slope on the side of the roadway, McGuffey continued to struggle and resist. Deputy Nelson-Felvarg removed his Taser and advised McGuffey it would be used if he didn’t comply. Before actually using the Taser, Deputy Nelson-Felvarg hit the arch button, causing it to spark, making a loud audible and visible warning.
Hearing and seeing this, McGuffey quickly made the choice to surrender, saying, “Ok, please don’t Taser me.”, and placed his hands behind his back where he was placed in handcuffs.
Although constrained, McGuffey continued to belligerently shout obscenities and yell racial slurs at Deputy Nelson-Felvarg searched and secured McGuffey in the back of his patrol car while additional patrol units began to arrive.
McGuffey said he owned a gun but didn’t have it with him. He refused field sobriety evaluation and would not provide a breath sample to determine his blood alcohol content. An open can of “Cryo Stash” beer was found on the passenger’s side floorboard, and an open container of what appeared to be Skyy vodka was located partially under the driver’s seat on the rear floorboard.
McGuffey was transported to the Spokane County Jail for charges of Reckless Driving, Resisting Arrest, and Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs. Deputy Nelson-Felvarg applied for and received a search warrant to obtain a blood sample. However, McGuffey would not allow for a sample of his blood to be drawn, forcing Deputy Nelson-Felvarg to transport him to the hospital to gain the sample. With McGuffey’s combative behavior and willingness to fight and resist, additional Deputies were pulled from their patrol duties to assist.
During the transport to the hospital, McGuffey said, “You’re lucky I didn’t have my gun. I would have been shootin!” McGuffey continued to be verbally abusive, yelling more obscenities and other inappropriate comments. With the help of three additional Deputies and hospital staff, the blood sample was finally obtained.
McGuffey was transported back to the jail and booked for DUI, Resisting Arrest, and Reckless Driving. After his first appearance, McGuffey was released on his own recognizance by the court.
Drivers, please do not exit your car during a traffic stop unless you’re asked to do so by the Deputy/Officer/Trooper, keep your hands visible, and do not start digging around inside the vehicle. This helps keep you safe with the protection provided by your vehicle and the patrol car parked behind you on the side of the road. It also allows law enforcement to safely make contact and calmly communicate the reason for the stop. Thank you.