Misguided Valentine’s Day Wish Leads Wanted Felon to Jail
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brad Humphrey arrested 31-year-old Woodrow B. Bearchild after he lead deputies from the West Plains to Spokane during a pursuit. Bearchild was arrested for a felony Washington State DOC Escape Community Custody warrant and new charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance-Heroin, Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Vehicle and Driving while Suspended 3rd Degree.
On February 14, 2017 at approximately 9:25 p.m., Deputy Humphrey observed an occupied Dodge Caravan in the parking lot of Walmart on South Hayford Rd. in Airway Heights. He checked the vehicle’s license plate on his mobile computer and learned the registered owner of the vehicle had a warrant for his arrest.
Deputy Humphrey attempted to stop the vehicle which was now traveling northbound on Hayford Rd. but the driver, later identified as Bearchild, slowed and then rapidly accelerated. Deputy Humphrey could see Bearchild reaching down under the driver’s seat as Bearchild pulled into the north parking lot of Northern Quest Casino and continued his attempt to escape.
Bearchild, who chose to continue his reckless behavior by failing to stop for red lights and flee at excesive speeds, was now back on Hayford Rd. traveling southbound.
With light traffic and assistance from multiple agencies including, Spokane Valley Police, Airway Heights Police, Kalispel Tribal Police, Spokane Police and Washington State Patrol, throughout the pursuit, it continued on Highway 2 to eastbound I-90. In the area of I-90 and Division, the vehicle’s rear tire began to come apart. Bearchild exited I-90 at Altamont and continued east on 3rd to Freya and then north to Market; the rear wheels of the vehicle now smoking.
As the pursuit continued, assisting patrol units began blocking intersections to help warn motorists of the approaching fleeing vehicle. With the driver’s side tires completely shredded and off the vehicle, speeds slowed to approximately 25 mph as Bearchild continued his attempt to evade arrest near Buckeye west of Division.
Near the intersection of Jackson Rd. and Washington, Corporal Jeff Thurman, who had joined in the pursuit to assist with his K9 partner Laslo, moved in to attempt a PIT maneuver and safely end the pursuit. After observing no vehicle or pedestrian traffic, Corporal Thurman successfully conducted the maneuver causing Bearchild’s vehicle to slide and come to rest next to a snowbank. With his avenues of escape gone, Bearchild followed commands and was safely taken into custody.
Although Bearchild was not the wanted registered owner, he also had an active felony DOC Escape Community Custody warrant for his arrest. During an inventory search of the vehicle, a hard shell case for glasses was located under the driver’s seat. The case contained 12 hypodermic needles (1 filled with a brown liquid), a burnt spoon, a lighter, cotton swabs and two small baggies containing a brown residue. The substance was later field tested and showed a presumptive positive result for heroin.
After being advised of his rights, Bearchild told Deputy Humphrey he ran because he knew he had a warrant for his arrest. He was driving recklessly to avoid capture and to work on his “driving skills”. He also didn’t want to go to jail because he wanted to spend more time with his girlfriend because “It’s Valentine’s Day.”
Bearchild was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for felony charges of Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Vehicle, Possession of a Controlled Substance-Heroin and the DOC warrant. He was also charged with Driving while Suspended 3rd Degree, a misdemeanor.