Pool Evacuated With Standoff in Liberty Park

Julie Humphreys, Public Safety Communication Manager, 509.625.5868

Friday, August 6, 2021 at 4:04 p.m.

Suspect arrested after running in and out of traffic, trying to light fires, tearing up sprinklers and swinging rebar in a park where children were present – causing an evacuation of a public pool.

This morning SPD officers became involved in a standoff at the Liberty Park softball field in East Central Spokane after numerous reports of a man posing threats in several scenarios.

The first call came in around 6:30am regarding a man running through traffic on I-90. A second call reported a man trying to light fires near 5th and Hartson. A third call revealed a man ripping up sprinklers at an apartment complex in the 1200 block of Newark.

SPD developed probable cause to arrest Edmon Ling based on his imminent threat to the community and criminal activity, also violation of a domestic violence protection order.

When officers arrived at the park, Ling was swinging rebar at trees. He then ran and scaled a fence around the softball field and and would not adhere to officers’ directions to come down and surrender. SPD Hostage and K9 Units were called in. Negotiators gave Ling every opportunity to comply - exhausting resources and options for Ling to surrender. The park was busy with families and children, including a nearby full swimming pool which was evacuated for an hour and a half with SPD’s call to shelter in place. Eventually Ling climbed down from the fence and sat on a park bench. Officers approached him but he ran back toward the fence and started to climb it again at which time a K9 was deployed contacting Ling and allowing officers to successfully arrest him.

Ling was taken into custody after receiving medical treatment for a contact to the ankle. Ling is charged with 3rd degree malicious mischief, reckless burning, and violation of a DV protection order.

Ling has had numerous encounters with SPD involving standoffs where he attempted to light fires and refused to surrender. He has 3 felony convictions including two 3rd degree assaults and one harassment/threat to kill. He also has a prior gross misdemeanor conviction for reckless burning.

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Julie Humphreys