Spokane Valley deputies arrested a man who pushed his passenger from a moving vehicle Tuesday night, as a deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop.
It happened just after 11 p.m. Deputy Travis West observed a Dodge pickup without a rear license plate as it turned south on Pierce Road from 16th. Deputy West activated his lights and tried to stop the truck, but the driver, later identified as 47-year-old Kevin J. Choate, refused to pull over.
After Choate turned east on 17th, Deputy West saw the passenger door of the truck open and Choate physically push a man out of the moving truck as it approached a house well-known to deputies. The man pushed out narrowly escaped being hit by the rear tire of the truck and rolled across the ice and pavement. Deputy West broadcast the information on his radio and stopped to check on the man's condition.
The passenger told deputies he was not injured, didn't need medical attention and didn't want to press charges against Choate. He told Deputy West that Choate yelled at him, "Get out, I'm taking off!" before pushing him out of the truck.
A few minutes later, Deputy Justin Palmer noticed a truck matching the description parked on 22nd near University with its lights off. When Deputy Palmer turned around to investigate, the truck hopped a curb, failed to stop at a stop sign and took off southbound on University, still with no lights on. Deputy Palmer gave chase. Additional units began blocking intersections and warning other drivers on the road, while other deputies attempted to get ahead of the chase to deploy spike strips and end the pursuit.
At one point, Deputy Palmer moved into position to conduct a PIT maneuver, but Choate swerved and slammed on his brakes and avoided the maneuver.
In the area of Broadway and University, Sergeant Brad Gilbert successfully deployed spike strips, causing the truck's front tire to slowly deflate as Choate continued to flee.
Going northbound on Pines, approaching Trent, Choate attempted to turn but lost control. The truck veered off the road and hit a snow berm and a light pole before it came to rest in the middle of Trent.
Choate jumped out of the vehicle and ran off on foot. Corporal Jeff Thurman and K9 officer Laslo joined the pursuit and gave chase on foot. K9 Laslo made contact with Choate, and although firmly in Laslo's grasp, Choate continued to struggle, reach in his his pockets and failed to follow commands. Deputies, not knowing if Choate was reaching for a weapon, drew their guns and continued to tell Choate to stop resisting. They eventually gained control of Choate even though he continued to resist.
Deputies located a pocket knife and a substance believed to be heroin in his pocket after his arrest. He also threw another baggie while running away. Both substances were field tested and showed positive results for meth and heroin.
Choate was given medical attention before being booked into the Spokane County Jail for Attempting to Elude, Obstructing, Resisting Arrest, Hit and Run property damage and drug related charges.
(story: Matt Pusatory, KHQ Local News Web Producer, KHQ.com; photo: Washington DOC)