Ofc. John O'Brien, PIO
Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 1:38 p.m.
Suspect arrested on warrant smashes head against SPD vehicle, says he will claim it was the officer that hit him with his car. Officer reminds him the entire incident is being recorded on body cam.
On May 13th, 2020 at about 10:30AM, Spokane Police were responding to the recovery of a stolen ATV on the south side of the Spokane River near Spokane Community College. While searching the area near the river for suspects, SPD officers located an unlawful homeless encampment. SPD contacted the individuals at the camp who identified themselves and it was determined none of them matched the description of the ATV thief. The individuals were advised they were camping illegally, as the “No Camping” signs posted around the area suggested, and were told to clean up their campsite.
As SPD was conducting name checks, one of the individuals, Saul Durkee (29) got up to leave and was detained in handcuffs on suspicion of illegal camping. Durkee’s name came back with a confirmed felony Department of Corrections warrant from an underlying charge of assault 2.
Durkee was walked over to a police car to be searched incident to his arrest. While standing on the driver's side of the car, Durkee suddenly and forcefully struck his forehead against the driver's side front quarter panel of the patrol car, causing a large dent. Durkee did not appear to suffer any injury from this impact. He then said he was going to say the officer hit him with the police car. He was then reminded the officer was wearing a body camera and his actions were being recorded.
Durkee was transported and booked into jail on his DOC warrant as well as malicious mischief 2nd degree for the amount of damage he had done to the police car by denting it with his head.
Officer John O'Brien