Video: Suspect Evades Deputies Who Can’t Pursue but Air 1, Flying Overhead, Guides Deputies to Him
Spokane Regional Air Support Unit (SRASU) Air 1 was on a scheduled patrol flight when they heard a Deputy attempt to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle with no visible license plates. The suspect failed to yield, obeying traffic laws, as Deputies followed behind with lights and siren activated. When the suspect began driving erratically and at higher speeds, the Deputies were told to terminate per Washington State law, prohibiting pursuits, with few exceptions (RCW 10.116.060).
Unfortunately for the suspect, SRASU’s Air 1 flew overhead and followed the suspect vehicle to an apartment complex, where it parked under a carport cover in an apparent attempt to hide. Deputies homed in on the location provided by SRASU flight crews and took the suspect into custody after a short foot pursuit. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail on two felonies and other charges.
On February 10, 2023, at approximately 10:12 pm., Spokane Regional Air Support Unit’s Air 1 was on a regularly scheduled patrol flight when they heard radio traffic that a Spokane County Deputy was attempting to stop a gold Chevrolet Trailblazer for not having visible license plates displayed on N. Nevada Street, approaching E. Francis Avenue. Deputy J. Brant called out the stop via her radio and activated the emergency lights of her fully marked patrol car.
The driver, later identified as 32-year-old Edward D. Ramsey, failed to yield to the emergency lights as required by Washington law. Deputy Brant activated her siren to gain Ramsey’s attention, hoping he would stop, but Ramsey continued at 25-30 mph and obeyed traffic control devices.
Deputy Brant was advised, via radio, that a similar vehicle had eluded law enforcement recently, and the driver was likely Ramsey. A check of Ramsey’s name showed his driver’s license was suspended 2nd degree for unpaid tickets and DUIs.
Air 1, already flying in the area, began following the Trailblazer from the air. Now driving south on N. Morton Street, Ramsey failed to stop at a stop sign at E. Empire Avenue and began to increase his speed. In accordance with Washington RCW 10.116.060, which severely limits pursuits, Deputies were advised to terminate by the shift sergeant, and they discontinued following Ramsey at approximately 10:17 pm.
Air 1 continued following the vehicle, using its overhead position and thermal camera to safely track the SUV as it recklessly fled. Air 1 continually provided real-time information on Ramsey’s location to Patrol Deputies on the ground who had lost sight of the vehicle after they terminated.
At approximately 10:23 pm, Air 1 advised the SUV pulled into an apartment complex at 211 E. Mission Avenue and parked under a carport roof in what appeared to be an attempt to hide.
Patrol Deputies converged on the location, and as Deputy T. Moser pulled into the parking lot, he observed a male dressed in all black walking away from where Air 1 advised the suspect vehicle parked. Deputy Moser exited his patrol car and yelled, stop, police, but Ramsey ran southbound. Deputy Moser and Deputy Brant, also now on scene, chased Ramsey a short distance before he finally followed their commands and got on the ground.
Ramsey was safely taken into custody without the need to use force. Ramsey was advised of his rights and agreed to answer questions. Ramsey said he failed to stop for Deputy Brant because he was tired of being harassed by law enforcement for not having a license plate on his vehicle, and he was tired of going to jail for driving with a suspended driver’s license.
Ramsey was searched after his arrest, and Deputies located several gift cards, two EBT cards, and a Costco membership card. Deputies learned the EBT and Costco cards had been reported as lost/stolen, and the victim was contacted. She stated her wallet, ID, and cards were lost/stolen, and multiple fraudulent changes were made to her account. She said no one had permission to have or use her wallet/cards, and she wanted to pursue charges.
Ramsey was transported and booked not the Spokane County Jail for Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, Possession of Stolen Property 2nd Degree, Possession of Stolen Property 3rd Degree, and Driving while Suspended. The following day, WSP charges of Driving while Suspended and Operating a Vehicle without an Interlock Device were added. Ramsey remains in the Spokane County Jail on these charges, with his total bond set at $7,750.
The attached video has been shortened for time.
About the Spokane Regional Air Support Unit
The Spokane Regional Air Support Unit is comprised of Volunteer Pilots, Tactical Flight Officers (TFOs) from local law enforcement agencies, and Helicopter Rescue Medics (HRMs), certified EMTs with Spokane Valley Fire Department.
TFOs: Deputies and Officers from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane Valley Police Department, Spokane Police Department, and the Liberty Lake Police Department.
Air 1 and Air 2: Two OH-58s equipped with a thermal imaging camera, which allows aircrews to detect heat on the ground. Thermal imaging can be used to locate both missing people and hiding fugitives. Air-1 and Air-2 are also equipped with a 30 million candle power searchlight, GPS moving map system, and the flight crews are equipped with night vision goggles. In addition, Air-1 is fitted with a downlink that transmits live video from the helicopter to the Mobile Command Vehicle. The microwave downlink allows police and fire staff to see real-time video from the helicopter and make timely decisions based on what they see.
Rescue 3: A Bell UH-1H Super Huey is equipped with a long line and hoist system for short-haul rescue missions. The long line and hoist system allow our Tactical Flight Medics and Tactical Flight Officers to be lowered from Rescue 3 to retrieve a citizen that is either injured or lost in remote areas. The primary mission for Rescue 3 is search and rescue.