NEWS RELEASE FROM THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE: A 56-year-old Spokane Valley man was arrested on a felony assault charge Tuesday night after he attempted to ram a sheriff's patrol car several times with the large motor home he was driving.
Sheriff's Sergeant Doug Marske had pulled to the side of Willow Road to read a computer message about 10 p.m. when he saw headlights approaching from behind at a high rate of speed.
Fearing he would be rear-ended, he quickly accelerated forward and off the roadway as far as he could go.
The vehicle did not hit the patrol car, but pulled forward and stopped blocking Marske's patrol car. The sergeant exited his car and began to approach the motor home, but the driver began backing the rig toward Marske while staring directly at him.
After a tense several seconds to the two watching each other, the motor home took off southbound on Willow. Marske activated his emergency lights and caught up to the suspect who was now stopped at Willow and Appleway.
Marske was preparing to exit his car to confront the driver a second time when he saw the motor home's backup lights come on and it began accelerating rapidly backward at the patrol car.
The sergeant again was able to move his car to avoid the collision and alerted other officers in the area that he needed emergency assistance.
The suspect took off again driving erratically eastbound at an unsafe speed, given the size of the motor home.
It turned southbound on Farr Road and turned into a private drive and stopped for a second before pulling forward and into a yard.
Marske followed the rig and again used his spotlight to illuminate the driver. The suspect again backed toward the patrol car and the sergeant again had to retreat.
The suspect pulled forward next to a home, exited the motor home and walked into the home, refusing commands to stop.
Other officers arrived and surrounded the home. At one point the driver came to the back of the home armed with a baseball bat, and commanded his dog several times to "get ‘em" while gesturing toward officers.
After several minutes, the suspect invited officers into the home and Marske entered and arrested him for Second-Degree Assault. He identified the suspect as 56-year-old Michael Manuel Chavez.
It became apparently that Chavez was impaired – he had trouble standing, had slurred speech and smelled strongly of alcoholic beverage. Washington State Patrol Trooper Ethan Wynecoop arrived and processed the suspect for driving while under the influence.
Afterward, Officer Chuck Sciortino drove Chavez to the Spokane County Jail where he was booked on the felony assault count.
No one was injured during the incident and the motor home was secured and left at the residence.