Sgt. Terry Preuninger, PIO
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 9:27 a.m.
Reckless driver threatens fellow motorist before realizing the person he is threatening is a police officer. Gets arrested for DUI.
On August 15th, 2020 around 9:00AM a member of the SPD Patrol Anti-Crime Team was driving on N. Nevada St near E. Lacrosse Ave when the officer noticed a silver Toyota Tacoma swerving in and out of traffic in his rearview mirror, clearly driving at a high rate of speed passing vehicles. It was clear to the officer at this point that the driver of this Toyota, later identified as Charles Lebret (52), did not notice the vehicle in front of him was a Police Officer at the time because he got extremely close to the officer’s rear bumper, and began swerving back and forth, nearly hitting another vehicle that was in the lane next to him preventing him from passing. The officer changed lanes to let the Toyota pass so a traffic stop could be initiated for reckless driving.
Charles pulled his vehicle alongside the officer’s driver side and had his passenger side window down, which made identifying him later very easy. While alongside the officer’s vehicle Charles made a clear and distinct two finger gun (both pointer finger and middle finger made the barrel and his thumb made the hammer), pointed it at the officer, and then moved his thumb down as if firing this gun at the officer. It was clear at this point that Charles, who was travelling alongside the officer for multiple seconds looking at him, recognized the officer was law enforcement due to his exterior ballistic vest with Police patches, badge and radio visible above the window line. Charles facial expression changed from a look of menace, to a look of shock when he realized that he had just threatened a law enforcement officer. Charles was the sole occupant in the vehicle.
The SPD officer got behind the Toyota and initiated a traffic stop with lights and siren. Charles made a series of turns that took him around a block, making it clear he was not looking for a place to pull over. After eluding police in his vehicle for several minutes, Charles was eventually stopped and arrested near E. Rockwell Ave. and N. Crestline St. Charles had a strong odor of alcohol and was slurring his words.
Charles was transported to Spokane County Jail and processed for DUI and Reckless Driving.
Of note, prior to the initial attempted traffic stop Charles had been called in as a possible DUI. The caller gave the license plate) for the Toyota Tacoma and described the driver as a male who was tailgating, yelling and pointed a finger gun at him.
Officer John O'Brien