Woman detained after attempted break-in, sitting on 3rd story ledge

Cpl Briggs #1177

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at 2:08 a.m.

Woman safely detained after attempting to break into residence, sitting precariously on 3rd story ledge


On 07-13-21, SPD responded to an apartment building in the 200 block of S Wall St in Downtown Spokane. SPD was summoned for an attempted burglary. A tenant of the apartment building indicated that a female had tried to gain access to her residence by wedging a knife into her apartment door. When the complainant opened the door to see what was going on the female suspect attempted to push her way into the victim’s apartment.


As officers were investigating the incident, the female suspect emerged from a third story window of a different apartment. The female, who appeared to be exhibiting behavioral health issues, perched herself on the ledge of the window with her entire body outside the structure. The female yelled and sang incoherently, played guitar, and flailed around on the ledge making officers very fearful she would fall the approximately 30-40 feet to the sidewalk below.


Officers continuously tried to establish a rapport with the women, but she ignored all attempts at communication.

SFD and AMR Medics were summoned in case the female fell. The area was contained, with Wall St closed to prevent any citizens from being hurt and allowing first responders quick access if an injury occurred. Mental health professionals were contacted to determine the history of the involved person, and requested to respond to the scene. SPD Crisis negotiators were also called in an attempt to establish communication.


After about a half hour the women retreated into the apartment but could be seen inside yelling and screaming while holding a knife. It was also determined that the female was occupying an apartment which was not hers, and it was unknown how she came to access that premise.


A team of officers inside the apartment building began the process of evacuating adjacent apartments in an attempt to protect uninvolved persons during this tumultuous event. As a neighbor was being escorted away from the involved unit, the female rapidly exited her apartment with an approximately 10” long knife in her hand. Officers quickly deployed less than lethal tools, including a Taser, and the female was taken into custody while incurring only minor injuries.


This is an example of a situation which SPD frequently responds to: behavioral health issues are occurring which not only jeopardize the individual experiencing the episode, but also threaten the safety of those in the community. In this incident the female had attempted to break into a stranger’s apartment, dangled herself precariously outside of a window, and emerged into the common hallway of the residential building armed with a knife when she heard a neighbor trying to escape the area.


In this incident SPD was successful in protecting the surrounding community members while also safely taking the person into custody using a minimal amount of force given the circumstances.


The female was transported to a local hospital for an evaluation and will also be charged with attempted residential burglary. The female will be referred for additional behavioral health treatment/evaluation. Criminal courts and the mental health sector work together, and the existence of criminal charges can sometimes mean an individual receives more prompt and effective treatment opportunities.


At the writing of this release Wall St has been re-opened.

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