Cpl. Teresa Fuller
Monday, December 3, 2018 at 9:19 a.m.
Spokane Police Patrol Officers responding to the report of domestic violence in northwest Spokane last night, were able to safely take Fred A Ballestero (28) into custody after he retrieved a firearm from a closet and pointed at responding officers. Ballestero was booked into Spokane County Jail for 2nd Degree Assault, Unlawful Imprisonment Domestic Violence and 4th Degree Assault Domestic Violence.
Early this morning, December 3, 2018, at 12:30am, Spokane Police Officers responded to the report of domestic violence in the 6100 block of north Driscoll. The victim called 911 crying, unable to answer questions freely and, officers were advised by the 911 call taker, she sounded terrified. She had barricaded herself and her small children in the bathroom and was able to advise, using yes and no questions, that she’d been assaulted and guns were involved in the incident. There was also another child in the basement of the home. Officers were on scene within 3 minutes of being dispatched.
Once officers were on scene, they took up positions around the home. Ofc. Chris Lesser took up a position near a bedroom window at the northwest corner of the house. As he did this, he witnessed Ballestero, who demonstrated no change in behavior as officers knocked and announced themselves at the front door, walk to the bedroom closet and retrieve a handgun. Ballestero then turned and point the gun directly at Ofc. Lesser. This unfolded within seconds, and Ofc. Lesser quickly determined lethal force was justified due to imminent risk of death to him. As Ofc. Lesser reacted, he began giving commands for Ballestero to drop the firearm. Before deploying lethal force, Ofc. Lesser quickly surveyed the scene before deploying lethal force to ensure no innocent victims were in the crossfire, placing their safety over his. In the split-seconds all this was occurring Ballestero dropped the firearm, and Ofc. Lesser quickly reassessed and determined lethal force was no longer warranted. After relinquishing the firearm, Ballestero retreated back into the house ignoring additional commands to stay where he was. Fearing for the potential victims inside the home, officers forced the front door open and were able to safely take Ballestero into custody. The victim was treated and released at the scene.
Ballestero was booked into Spokane County Jail for the above charges and should be in court today at 1:30pm.
Domestic Violence calls are often the most dangerous calls officers respond to. 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. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, there is help. Go to https://ywcaspokane.org/programs/help-with-domestic-violence/ or call 509-326-CALL 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Officer John O'Brien