Cpl. Ronald Van Tassel
Monday, December 11, 2017 at 11:32 a.m.
Spokane Police Officers responded to an apartment complex to investigate a male acting Disorderly. The male was reportedly breaking items in the complex and smashing out windows in his room. When Officers arrived at the location they learned the male was possibly armed with a knife. The male confronted Officers and had the knife still in his hand. Less lethal weapons were used against the male. He was taken into custody with minimal injuries.
Friday, December 8, just after 5pm, Spokane Police Officers responded to an apartment complex at 217 E 2nd for a Disorderly male inside. People inside reported hearing a male breaking items and smashing out glass windows. They believed that he was inside his own apartment. When Officers arrived at the location, several people indicated seeing the male walking around with a large knife in his hands.
Due to this threat, Officers evacuated the area around the male’s room. Several other Officers arrived at the location and were able to provide less lethal weapons. Officers attempted to get verbal communication with the male by phone and did not have any luck. Officers then attempted to yell down the hallway and make contact that way. Officers attempted to make contact and de-escalate the situation for several minutes by asking the male to come out with his hands up so they could talk to him.
Suddenly and without warning, the male emerged into the hallway. He had a large knife raised over his head and was advancing on Officers. He was screaming for Officers to shoot him. Less lethal rounds were deployed and were immediately effective. The male dropped the knife and fell to the ground. He was then taken into custody and transported to the Hospital with minor injuries. He will remain there for a mental evaluation. The incident is still being investigated for potential criminal charges.
This call is an example of how quickly a situation can deteriorate in the matter of a couple seconds. This was a life threatening situation for the male and Officers. Thankfully, due to training and available tools for Officers onscene, this male gets a second chance at life and will hopefully get the help he needs.
Officer John O'Brien