Wanted Felon’s Decision to Flee from Courtroom Brings New Charges After Assaulting a Detective and Prosecutor
A Spokane County Sexual Assault Unit Detective, attending a Spokane County Superior Court Hearing for an unrelated matter, found himself chasing and fighting a wanted felon who tried to escape after a Spokane County Superior Court Judge ordered his arrest. The wanted felon assaulted the Detective and a Spokane County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney during the physical and violent escape attempt.
On December 15, 2021, at approximately 4:00 pm., Spokane County Sheriff’s Sexual Assault Unit Detective Brad Humphrey went to a Spokane County Superior Court Room to contact a person in the courtroom. The contact was planned to be a voluntary conversation and was unrelated to any part of the hearing that was taking place.
Not wanting to interrupt, Detective Humphrey sat on a courtroom bench as Spokane County Superior Court Judge McKay presided over the warrant recall docket.
The defendant, 28-year-old Jordan A. McElwain, was in front of Judge McKay for a recall hearing on four outstanding felony warrants (Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (2 counts), Escape from Community Custody, and Attempt to Elude a Police Vehicle) and a new charge of felony Hit and Run.
McElwain was not in custody but was attending the hearing because he failed to appear for a recent hearing which instigated the issuance of the warrants. At the conclusion, Judge McKay ordered McElwain to be taken into custody and booked into the Spokane County Jail on these charges, pending a future hearing.
Suddenly, after hearing the Judge’s order for his arrest, McElwain turned and made the choice to flee and sprinted out of the courtroom.
Detective Humphrey immediately gave chase. In the hallway, Detective Humphrey identified himself as a law enforcement officer and told McElwain he was under arrest, but McElwain continued to run. Realizing the hallway he ran into was not an exit, McElwain turned and looked at the Detective, who again made his identity known.
Instead of surrendering, McElwain tried to run past Detective Humphrey. The Detective grabbed McElwain and told him he was under arrest again as he tried to sprint by. Detective Humphrey took McElwain to the ground despite McElwain’s efforts to resist. As Detective Humphrey attempted to place McElwain in handcuffs, McElwain appeared to surrender, stating, “Okay. Okay. I’m done.” But that seemed to be a ruse as he began resisting again and was able to get up from the ground.
As they continued to grapple, McElwain pulled away, causing both of them to tumble down a marble flight of stairs to the landing, where the fight continued with McElwain hitting Detective Humphrey in the back with his fists, trying to get free.
Spokane County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mark E. Lindsey attempted to assist Detective Humphrey just as McElwain broke free, violently pushing DPA Lindsey into the wall.
Detective Humphrey grabbed ahold of McElwain again, but McElwain pulled away, causing them both to fall down a second flight of marble stairs. McElwain got back on his feet and tried to run, but his pants began to fall, causing him to stumble. Using this opportunity, Detective Humphrey tackled McElwain and delivered hand strikes in an attempt to end the fight.
McElwain again stated that he was done, only to start resisting again. With McElwain now pinned to the ground, Detective Humphrey continued ordering him to stop resisting arrest.
With the assistance of a Spokane County Detention Services Corrections Officer who had just arrived, McElwain was subdued and placed in handcuffs.
McElwain was medically cleared before being booked into the Spokane County Jail for his four felony warrants in addition to new charges of Assault 3rd Degree (2 counts), Escape 2nd Degree, and Resisting Arrest. He also had a hold placed on him by the Washington State Department of Corrections.
Later, Detective Humphrey was advised that the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office would be upgrading one of the Assault 3rd charges to Assault 2nd Degree.
Thankfully, Detective Humphrey received only minor injuries from falling down the stairs and the physical altercation and was medically cleared. DPA Lindsey’s injuries appeared minor and consistent with being violently shoved into a wall.