Video: Reckless Driver Risks Safety of Public, Air 1 Directs Deputies to Suspect’s Location for Arrest - Options to Stop Reckless Driver Hampered by State Law
Spokane Regional Air Support Unit (SRASU) Air 1 was on a scheduled patrol flight on Tuesday when a Spokane Valley Deputy attempted to contact an occupied vehicle in a parking lot in the 5000 block of E. Sprague. The driver fled recklessly, swerving through the parking lot at a high rate of speed. Per Washington State law, Deputies were unable to pursue or even get close enough to attempt a PIT Maneuver to stop the suspect’s reckless actions for the safety of the public.
Air 1 quickly located the vehicle and provided its real-time location to Patrol Deputies, who followed at a safe distance, without lights or sirens, and well out of sight. One Deputy got into position and successfully deployed spikes trips which caused at least one tire to deflate.
During the approximately 30-minute incident, the suspect drove erratically into oncoming lanes and disobeyed red lights and stop signs during the busy evening commute. Once he and his passenger parked and began to walk away, Air 1 guided Deputies to their location.
On February 14, 2023, at approximately 5:30 pm., Spokane Valley Deputy E. Jones noticed a green Honda running and backed into a parking stall in the 5000 block of E. Sprague. A check of the vehicle’s license plate returned to a 2018 Kia Sportage.
Deputy Jones pulled his fully marked patrol car and noticed an adult male driver, later identified as 36-year-old Allen K. York (Jr), and an adult female passenger sitting inside as he approached. York accelerated rapidly despite commands to stop. York recklessly drove east through the parking lot at a high rate of speed, almost striking another vehicle. York turned onto Sprague and continued to flee without Deputy Jones pursuing. (Washington RCW 10.116.060)
Within minutes Air 1 spotted the Honda traveling east on Broadway near N. Thierman Road. With Deputies converging toward the car and attempting to follow at a safe distance without lights or sirens activated, Air 1 continually updated information for over 30 minutes.
During this time, York’s driving was erratic, ranging from generally going the speed limit and obeying traffic control devices to driving in a highly reckless and dangerous manner, risking the public's safety during the height of the evening commute without Deputies pursuing.
York drove through residential streets and parking lots and swerved into oncoming lanes, running red lights at excess speeds, nearly causing multiple collisions.
At N. Division Street and E. Sharpe Avenue, Deputy A. Johnson successfully deployed spike strips, causing at least one tire to deflate.
Eventually, York parked in the 1300 block of W. Montgomery Avenue and exited. Air 1 guided Deputies to the exact location where York was arrested and the female passenger was detained.
York was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, a felony, and Reckless Endangerment 2nd Degree, a misdemeanor. He remains in custody with a total bond set at $5,000.
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.