Reported Impaired Driver, Passed Out in a Parking Lot, Flees as Deputies Arrive, Arrested in a Stolen Vehicle for Eluding and DUI Following a Pursuit
Spokane Valley Deputies pursued a suspect impaired driver after he failed to stop for emergency lights and siren. The pursuit ended on Argonne north of Maringo Drive after a Deputy successfully conducted a low-speed PIT (Pursuit Intervention Technique) maneuver, causing the suspect vehicle to spin and stop. The driver continued to disregard commands but was eventually taken into custody safely.
On May 15, 2023, at approximately 9:35 am, Spokane Valley Deputies responded to the report of a male, possibly DUI, passed out in a running vehicle in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 2700 block of N. Bowdish Road. The caller said the driver was slumped over, and he is known to have drug involvement. The vehicle was described as a white Suzuki parked in #5 on the west side of the building.
When Deputy J. Flaherty and Deputy P. Nelson arrived at the parking lot entrance, the Suzuki was just beginning to pull out of the parking spot. The car had no visible license plates, and the driver, later identified as 31-year-old Luis M. T. Moreno, went north through the parking lot.
In a fully marked patrol car, the Deputies activated their emergency lights and chirped the siren. Instead of stopping as required, Moreno chose to ignore the Deputies, exited the parking lot, and accelerated north on Bowdish. They activated their siren in conjunction with the emergency lights and followed. After Moreno accelerated well past the posted sped limit, drove recklessly, and began turning in a blatant attempt to elude the Deputies, they advised they were in pursuit of a suspected DUI drive, one of the few exceptions in Washington law that allows law enforcement to engage in a pursuit.
Moreno ignored emergency lights and sirens, exceeded speed limits, drove recklessly, and attempted to evade capture. Spokane Valley and Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies attempted to get ahead of the pursuit to deploy spike strips but were unable to do so.
Moreno turned south on Argonne from Upriver Drive, causing his speeds to slow enough to possibly attempt a PIT maneuver. With the area surveyed for safety risks, a PIT was tried but was unsuccessful. Moments later, Deputy C. Horton positioned her patrol vehicle and successfully conducted a PIT, causing the Suzuki to spin and come to a stop. Deputies quickly converged on the car to block any avenues of escape.
Obviously caught, Moreno remained defiant and would not follow commands. The vehicle's side window was removed, allowing Deputies to access Moreno, remove him from the car, and safely place him in handcuffs.
Moreno was advised of his rights and verbally identified himself. A check of his name showed an active felony Washington State Department of Corrections warrant for an original charge of Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, a warrant for a No Contact Order Violation, and that his driver’s license was Suspended/Revoked 2nd Degree. It also showed he is a five-time convicted felon (Burglary 2nd Degree, Theft 1st Degree, Residential Burglary, Theft of a Firearm, and Attempting to Elude).
During the continued investigation, Deputies observed the ignition switch had been removed, and a flathead screwdriver, believed to be used to start the vehicle, was observed on the driver’s side floorboard. Deputies also noted a stolen license plate, pills believed to contain Fentanyl, a bag containing a white substance, cash, multiple credit cards, Walmart cards, and other store cards, a social security card, and two driver’s licenses that did not belong to Moreno were recovered.
The vehicle was seized pending a search warrant, and this investigation continues with additional charges or arrests possible.
Moreno was evaluated for DUI, and at the conclusion, it was determined he showed indications of impairment. A blood sample for later testing was obtained after a search warrant was granted.
Moreno was medically cleared before being transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Possession of Stolen Property 3rd Degree, DUI, Driving while Suspended/Revoked, and for his valid warrants.