Armed Suspect Threatens Family, Attempts to Flee on Foot, Tries to take Deputy’s Taser, and Fights with Deputies during Arrest
Spokane Valley Deputies located a reportedly armed suspect after he was involved in a confrontation with a family and later fled on foot when Deputies attempted to contact him. Deputies caught up to him, and the suspect fought; at one point grabbed a Deputy’s Taser and tried to take it. He was later booked into jail for Assault 2nd Degree, Assault 3rd Degree, and Obstructing Law Enforcement.
Thankfully, the victim nor his family were injured.
On March 21, 2023, at approximately 1:35 pm, Spokane Valley Deputies responded to a report of a person with a weapon in the 15500 block of E. Sprague. The caller reported a male, armed with a knife, was threatening him and his family.
As Deputies arrived in the area, Deputy C. Kyle observed a male in the 500 block of S. Sullivan Road who matched the suspect's description. Deputy Kyle stopped his fully marked patrol car, activated his emergency lights, exited, and identified himself while telling the male to step in front of his patrol vehicle. The male, later identified as 43-year-old Garth I. Mazzeo, did not follow the command stating he didn’t do anything and wasn’t stopping. Deputy Kyle repeated the command, informing Mazzeo he was detained and not free to leave. Mazzeo again ignored the Deputy, saying he didn’t do anything.
Mazzeo looked to his right and then began to flee to the west, toward Sullivan. Deputy Kyle gave chase, ordering Mazzeo to stop. Deputy K. Horton, just arriving, pulled her fully marked patrol car in the path of Mazzeo, blocking his escape. As she did, Deputy Kyle caught Mazzeo, causing him to collide with the rear door of Deputy Horton’s patrol car and fall to the ground.
As the Deputies attempted to take Mazzeo into custody, he fought their attempts to place him in handcuffs despite commands to stop resisting/fighting and that he was under arrest. Deputy N. Woolard arrived and joined the fray in the roadway. Although continual orders to stop fighting/resisting were given as the Deputies worked to place Mazzeo’s hands behind his back, Mazzeo continued to fight, incoherently screaming as he reached toward a large fixed-blade knife in a sheath on his hip.
When a Deputy pulled a Taser in an attempt to end the struggle, Mazzeo grabbed ahold of the Taser. Deputies quickly controlled Mazzeo’s arm and removed the Taser from his grasp. Although pinned to the ground, Mazzeo continuously tried to avoid being handcuffed while reaching toward the knife. A Taser was introduced a second time, and Mazzeo tried to grab it but failed.
Eventually, Mazzeo was subdued, placed in handcuffs, and provided medical aid for a cut on his forehead. Once medically cleared, he was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Assault 2nd Degree, Assault 3rd Degree, and Obstructing Law Enforcement.
Witnesses to the incident stated they clearly heard Deputies give commands for Mazzeo to stop and warnings that he would be Tased. They also witnessed Deputies struggle with Mazzeo while attempting to take him into custody.
The victim stated he was walking with his girlfriend, and they had their two children in a stroller. They had an issue with Mazzeo in the area before, but this time it escalated further. Mazzeo was aggressive, shoulder-bumping the victim and asking what he would do about it. That’s when Mazzeo pulled out the large fixed-blade knife, pointed it at him, and repeatedly said he would cut the victim. The victim said he tried to de-escalate things during the incident, but once Mazzeo pulled the knife, he took a defensive stance and prepared to defend himself and his family.
The victim’s girlfriend confirmed what occurred and that they tried to stay away from Mazzeo because he became aggressive with them two weeks earlier at the bus stop, but Mazzeo escalated, became more aggressive, and was kicked off the bus. This time, they tried to avoid Mazzeo completely, but he said something to them as they walked past. They continued past Mazzeo without replying, which appeared to make Mazzeo extremely upset. That’s when Mazzeo got up and pushed the victim, and that’s when she noticed Mazzeo was holding the large knife in his hand.
While at the jail, Mazzeo was also booked for a misdemeanor warrant for Disorderly Conduct. His total bond has been set at $5,500.