Spokane Police officers were able to safely take a domestic violence suspect into custody early Monday after they say the suspect pointed a handgun at them.
Officers were called to a home near Driscoll and Francis in northwest Spokane after a woman called 911 crying and unable to answer questions freely. Officers were told by dispatch the woman sounded "terrified."
The woman was able to barricade herself and her children in the bathroom and through the use of yes or no questions, said she had been assaulted and guns were involved. The woman said there was another child in the basement of the house.
Officers were on scene within 3 minutes of the call and surrounded the home. Spokane Police Officer Chris Lesser positioned himself near a bedroom window and witnessed the suspect, 28-year-old Fred Ballestero, grab a gun from the bedroom as officers announced themselves at the front door.
"Ballestero then turned and point the gun directly at Ofc. Lesser," Spokane Police said in a press release Monday morning. "Ofc. Lesser ordered Ballestero to drop the firearm, which he did, but then he retreated back into the house ignoring additional commands to stay where he was."
Fearing for the safety of the people inside the house, officers forced the front door open and safely took Ballestero into custody.
Ballestero was booked into the Spokane County Jail on charges of 2nd Degree Assault, Unlawful Imprisonment Domestic Violence and 4th Degree Assault Domestic Violence.
The victim was treated and released at the scene.
"Domestic Violence calls are often the most dangerous calls officers respond to," Officer Teresa Fuller said. "In 2017, domestic disturbance calls were number one in the top ten causes of firearms related fatalities of law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, it tends to be the cycle of abuse, each incident compounding on the last, that makes domestic violence calls so dangerous for both the victims and the officers responding to those calls."