SPOKANE, Wash. – Retired K9 Laslo captured four suspects during one of his last shifts.
On Saturday, Corporal Jeff Thurman and K9 Laslo first observed a vehicle driving recklessly in a parking lot near East Trent Avenue and North Park Road. The vehicle accelerated rapidly and turned southbound on Park Road at a high rate of speed.
The driver of the vehicle, later identified at 53-year-old John M. Fay, failed to stop for Thurman’s lights and sirens as he tried to evade capture. Following a short pursuit, a large plume of smoke and oil poured from the vehicle as it began to slow down on North Dora Road.
Fay jumped from the vehicle, which was left in gear, and began to flee on foot. The vehicle came to rest when it rolled into the curb. Fay failed to follow commands to stop and continued to run after Thurman told him he was under arrest. Thurman warned Fay a K9 would be used to capture him.
Corporal Thurman released K9 Laslo who quickly caught up to Fay and brought him to the ground. Fay refused to show his hands and struggled to get free while trying to push and hit Laslo. Deputy Jeff Gretchell arrived to assist and Fay was taken into custody.
According to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Fay said he ran because he did not have a driver’s license and “should have stopped.” Fay was given medical treatment before being transported to the Spokane County Jail. He was booked for attempting to elude a law enforcement vehicle, resisting arrest, obstructing, driving while suspended and faces a misdemeanor warrant for driving while suspended.
During the second incident of the night, Corporal Thurman and K9 Laslo assisted Liberty Lake Police officers, Spokane Valley Police officers and Spokane County deputies apprehend three burglary suspects who fled from a stolen car.
A citizen reported the suspects trying to burglarize storage units in Post Falls and followed their vehicle into Washington. Liberty Lake Police arrived to assist after the vehicle got stuck in a ditch near Kalama and Cavalier. As the suspects fled on foot, officers and deputies quickly established a perimeter.
A Liberty Lake officer learned the vehicle was reported stolen and it appeared to be full of stolen property. Perimeter units gave K9 warnings, advising the suspects to surrender and the public to stay inside due to the working K9. Corporal Thurman and K9 Laslo then began to search.
K9 Laslo first found Michael T. Namet, 25, hiding behind a storage shed in the back yard of a nearby residence. As Namet began to follow commands and show his hands, Corporal Thurman heard a female scream. Corporal Thurman then called for immediate backup.
Thurman saw 33-year-old Teresa A. Rutter and 44-year-old David A. Kropp moving around and trying to conceal themselves around the corner of a shed. The pair failed to follow commands to surrender and show their hands. Rutter stood up in an attempt to flee but K9 Laslo quickly made contact and brought her to the ground. K9 Laslo then jumped on Kropp as Thurman continued to give commands to the pair.
Once Rutter and Kropp complied, Thurman called Laslo back to a guard position until two additional deputies arrived to assist.
All three suspects were taken into custody without further incident and provided medical treatment before they were transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail.
Namet was booked for possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Rutter was booked for possession of a stolen motor vehicle, Washington State Department of Corrections hold and making false statements. Kropp was booked for possession of a stolen motor vehicle and a Washington State Department of Corrections hold.