Suspect Flees after Pushing Passenger from Moving Vehicle
Last night, Spokane Valley Deputies arrested 47-year-old Kevin J. Choate after he pushed a male from his moving vehicle as a deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Choate fled and eventually crashed his vehicle near Trent and Pines in Spokane Valley. Choate was booked into jail for several felony and misdemeanor charges after K9 Laslo ended a short foot pursuit.
On February 7, 2017, at approximately 11:10 p.m., Spokane Valley Deputy Travis West observed a Dodge pickup without a rear license plate as it turn south on Pierce Road from 16th. Deputy West activated his emergency lights and attempted to stop the truck but the driver, later identified as Choate, refused to pull over.
After Choate turned east on 17th, Deputy West observed the passenger side door open and Choate physically push the adult male passenger out of the moving vehicle as it approached a residence well known to deputies. The male narrowly escaped being hit by the rear tire of the truck and rolled across the ice and pavement. Deputy West broadcast the information regarding the fleeing vehicle and stopped to check on the male’s condition.
The male stated he was uninjured, did not need medics, and did not want to pursue charges against Choate. He told Deputy West Choate yelled at him “Get out, I’m taking off!” before pushing him from the vehicle.
A few minutes later, Deputy Justin Palmer noticed a truck matching the description parked on 22nd near University with its lights off. When Deputy Palmer turned around to investigate, the truck, still with no lights, ran over a curb, failed to stop at the stop sign and fled southbound on University. Deputy Palmer advised via his radio he was in pursuit after activating his lights and siren.
Due to Choate’s extremely dangerous and reckless behavior and little to no traffic, the pursuit continued. Additional patrol units began blocking intersections to warn other motorists while others attempted to get ahead of the pursuit to deploy spike strips to safely end it.
At one point, Deputy Palmer moved into position to attempt a PIT maneuver but Choate swerved toward his vehicle causing him to slam on his brakes to avoid a collision.
In the area of Broadway and University, Sergeant Brad Gilbert successfully deployed spike strips, causing the truck’s front tire to slowly deflate as Choate continued his attempt to escape.
Going northbound on Pines, approaching Trent, Choate attempted to turn but lost control. The truck veered of the roadway, struck a snow berm and a light pole before it came to rest in the middle of Trent.
Choate remained defiant as he jumped out of the vehicle and began to flee on foot. Corporal Jeff Thurman, who had joined the pursuit with his partner K9 Laslo, exited his patrol vehicle and ordered Choate to stop and that he was under arrest. Choate refused to follow commands and continued to run while digging in his front pocket.
Corporal Thurman popped the rear door of his patrol car open deploying K9 Laslo who rapidly closed the distance, making contact with Choate. Although firmly in Laslo’s grasp, Choate continued to struggle, reach in his pockets, and failed to follow commands. Not knowing if he was attempting to retrieve a weapon, deputies, with their firearms drawn, continued to give commands for Choate to show his hands and stop resisting. He continued to struggle and was observed throwing a baggie containing a white substance before he fell to the ground. Deputies eventually gained control of Choate even though he continued resist.
Deputies located a pocket knife and additional substances, believed to be heroin, in Choate’s pockets after his arrest. The substances, including the substance in the baggie he threw, were field tested which showed presumptive positive results for Methamphetamine and Heroin.
Choate was provided medical attention before being transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Attempting to Elude, Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine, Possession of a Controlled Substance-Heroin, Obstructing, Resisting Arrest, Hit and Run Property Damage and Driving while Suspended.
Deputy Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer