SPD safely arrests pitchfork wielding assault suspect

Cpl. N. Briggs #1177

Monday, May 4, 2020 at 1:54 a.m.

SPD safely arrests pitchfork wielding assault suspect


On 05-03-2020 shortly before 9PM, SPD received a call from Sunset Grocery (1908 W Sunset Hwy) in Spokane’s Browne’s addition neighborhood, regarding an assault. In what appeared to be an unprovoked attack, a citizen was assaulted by an unknown subject who was armed with a pitchfork. The citizen had been struck in the chest by the pitchfork, but fortunately was not seriously wounded. The assailant was described by witnesses as appearing to be high or intoxicated.


SPD officers were finishing their investigation on scene when the suspect was spotted about a block away. The suspect, later identified as James McCormick (27), was immediately belligerent towards officers and was still armed with the pitchfork. McCormick threatened officers before leading pursuers in a foot chase for several blocks, all while McCormick still brandished the pitchfork.


At the 300 block of S Ash Officers were able to contain McCormick, who still threatened officers and expressed no intent of complying with officer directives. SPD utilized multiple less-lethal tools, including a Taser, and safely took McCormick into custody with minimal injuries to him, and no injuries to officers or citizens other than the original assault victim.


SPD’s priority is to protect the lives of the innocent public. In this case the suspect was armed with a weapon which could easily have inflicted significant physical damage, had already attacked a random person, and then fled from police towards the heavily populated downtown area. This is an example of a situation which could of easily turned into a lethal force encounter, and SPD is thankful the situation evolved in such a way we were able utilize our training and equipment to resolve the incident with minimal injuries to all parties involved.


McCormick was booked for assault 2nd degree (felony) and obstructing a law enforcement officer.  

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