SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl gave an update on the officer who was placed on leave after a family member brought a kidnapping victim to his home. The officer then took her to the hospital.
Meidl said Officer John Arredondo went to his home around 1:00 a.m. while he was on duty. He said a family member and another man involved in the incident had brought the victim to his house. Officials said Arredondo saw the victim was injured, took her to the hospital in his patrol car and called his police supervisor.
Meidl said he was placed on leave to ensure the integrity and transparency of the criminal investigation. Another reason he was placed on leave, Meidl said, was because they do not know the extent of his involvement in the incident.
“This would be a normal protocol to remove him from the job for a couple different reasons. One of those being that we don’t' know the extent of his involvement in this and we won't know that until he's interviewed," Meidl said. "The second part of the equation is, if he has a family member involved in this that's not really someone we want out working the streets on patrol if his mind's not right, so also help him and ensure that he is disengaged from any enforcement, that's another reason we do it as well."
Arredondo has been with the department for 18 years and Meidl said it does not appear he has ever been placed on leave before.
According to court documents, Jamar Dickerson, 30, and Sherard Henderson aka "Rags", 44, were arrested on kidnapping charges. Documents said the men entered a home on East Courtland Avenue and removed the victim from the home. The victim told police they forced her into a Range Rover, where Ashley Arredondo, 31, and Alexia Arredondo were waiting. Meidl could not speak to what relation the two women have to the officer.
Court documents state that the suspects - Dickerson, Henderson and Ashley Arredondo - told her they were going to kill her because they thought she was involved in a robbery where drugs were taken from Dickerson’s home. The victim told police they took her to the Lowe’s parking lot where they drug her by her hair, struck her several times with a metal cooking pan and Ashley Arredondo stabbed her with a knife. She said she was also taken to an apartment on North Atlantic where they believed she had hidden stolen money. Court documents said she was then dragged back into the Range Rover where they continued to assault her. The victim said she eventually escaped the car.
The victim was taken to the hospital where officers saw wounds to her arms and legs. Court documents said she was stabbed in her left arm and had a fat lip.
Meidl said Dickerson and Henderson have lengthy criminal histories. Henderson has seven prior felonies, four misdemeanors and is currently on federal probation. The state has set his bond at $500,000. Dickerson has four prior felonies, four misdemeanors and is also on federal probation. His bond was also set at $500,000. At around 4:30 p.m. Friday, Ashley Arredondo was arrested for kidnapping and assault. Officials said they expect more charges to be filed. Her bond is at $500,000 as well. The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office said there is already witness tampering in this case.
Nowhere in the probable cause documents does it mention anything about Officer Arredondo’s interaction with the victim. During Meidl’s update on the case, he said it was not listed because it does not help establish that a crime was committed.
“Things that aren’t pertinent to the specific charge are not going to be included,” he said.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office was asked to assume the lead role in the investigation. Once the criminal investigation is finished, an Internal Affairs investigation will take place to determine if any policy or procedure was violated.