SPOKANE, Wash. -- A car slammed into the Army Surplus store on Division and Buckeye Tuesday night.
Police said the driver of the car, Michael C. Painter, 27, was trying to elude police before crashing into the shop. According to authorities, Painter took off when officers tried to pull him over for reckless driving near Ruby and Jackson.
During the chase, the vehicle reportedly drove up and over a sidewalk to avoid traffic and then through the intersection of Division and Buckeye against the red light. The suspect’s vehicle struck another car and the force of the impact threw the suspect’s car into the Army Surplus store, investigators said.
The owner of the store, David Arnold, said this is the fourth time in ten years someone has opened a hole in the store with a vehicle. Arnold said the crashes generally happened as a result of drivers speeding and trying to run the red light at the intersection.
Arnold said he has offered to put up a barrier in front of the store to prevent damage to Army Surplus.
“I offered three times to pay for it myself but [the city] said no,” he added.
Painter, a convicted felon, faced multiple charges of Attempting to Elude Police Officers, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the first degree, and Possession of a Stolen Firearm. This was Painter’s third arrest this year for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. Officers said they found two firearms in Painter’s vehicle after Tuesday’s crash and one of them had been reported stolen.
Painter was taken to the hospital after the crash before being booked into the Spokane County Jail.