Citizens Assist Deputies as Suspect Fights after a Crash


Citizens Assist Deputies as Suspect Fights after a Crash


On Sunday September 13th, 2015, at approximately 9:10 a.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Ruff and Deputy Jennifer Sutter were working together as a two-person patrol car in North Spokane County.  They were parked in the parking lot of the North SCOPE Station located at 9435 N. Newport completing paperwork when Deputy Ruff noticed a 1999 Ford Taurus travelling through the Rosauers parking lot at a high rate of speed.   As the vehicle passed their location, they noticed the vehicle had no license plate on the rear of the vehicle before it turned onto Holland.

As they attempted to catch up to the vehicle, they observed the driver commit several traffic violations as he continued to drive in a very reckless and unsafe manner.  As they approached the vehicle near Hoerner Avenue on Colton Street, they observed the vehicle travel into the northbound lane to pass a vehicle travelling south.  Fearing for the safety of other motorists, pedestrians and the occupants in the vehicle, Deputy Ruff activated his emergency lights and siren in an attempt to slow and ultimately get the driver to stop.

The driver of the vehicle, later identified as 24-year-old Christopher L. Wallin, failed to stop and instead accelerated to approximately 50 mph in a posted 25 mph zone.  Wallin continued driving recklessly as he attempted to elude the deputies.  As they travelled south on Nevada and approached the intersection of Lincoln, Deputy Ruff noticed Wallin began to slow before swerving into the northbound lane and  then begin to accelerate.  Seeing the light at the intersection was red, and southbound traffic was stopped, blocking the lanes of travel, Deputy Ruff began to slow his vehicle to terminate the pursuit as Wallin continued to speed toward the intersection.  A little over a minute after the deputies observed Wallin driving recklessly, Wallin drove into the intersection.  He was able to miss one vehicle but collided with a second vehicle.  After the collision, Wallin veered off and continued into a field on the southeast corner of Nevada and Lincoln.

Deputy Ruff and Deputy Sutter pulled in behind the Taurus in the field.  Wallin and the front passenger, 21-year-old Sabrrinna M Burya, jumped out of the vehicle.  Wallin and Burya would not follow commands to get on the ground, but the two additional passengers in the backseat did comply.  Deputy Sutter repeated the command for Burya to get on the ground but she refused while Wallin started walking toward Deputy Sutter yelling, “Police brutality!” completely ignoring Deputy Ruff’s commands.  Burya eventually knelt but would not follow commands to go down to the ground.  Deputy Sutter grabbed Burya’s arm and brought her to the ground and Wallin finally knelt down to his knees.  Deputy Ruff told Wallin he was under arrest and to lay flat on the ground but he refused to do so.  As Deputy Sutter tried to restrain Burya and keep control of the 2 passengers, who were not restrained, Deputy Ruff approached Wallin to place him in handcuffs.  When he approached, Wallin, who was still kneeling raised his fists, yelled “Police brutality!” and began to stand up.

Deputy Sutter observed Deputy Ruff was now in a physical fight with Wallin as he tried to take him into custody and went to assist, which left the 3 passengers unattended.  They brought Wallin to the ground, where he continued to violently resist their efforts to place him in handcuffs.  Burya continued her defiance and stood back up, causing Deputy Sutter to focus her attention back on Burya while she continued to assist Deputy Ruff with Wallin.  She ordered Burya several times to stay back and to get back on the ground but Burya failed to follow the commands.

Seeing the deputies fighting with Wallin, and struggling to verbally maintain control of Burya, 2 citizens ran over to help the deputies.

The first citizen helped the deputies gain control of Wallin by pinning his lower torso and legs to the ground, which enabled the deputies to place handcuffs on him.  The second citizen stood between Burya and the deputies to prevent her from approaching further or assaulting the deputies.

With Wallin in handcuffs, Deputy Ruff, with the assistance of the citizen, maintained control until additional units arrived.  Deputy Sutter contacted Burya, who still would not follow commands, placed her in handcuffs and then secured her in the backseat of the patrol car.

Additional deputies, Washington State Troopers, Spokane Police Officers, County Parks Deputy and medical personnel arrived to assist.

Burya stated she was trying to “protect her man” and she claimed she didn’t know she needed to obey commands of law enforcement during an incident like this.  She was arrested, transported and booked in the Spokane County Jail for Obstructing a Peace Officer.

Wallin was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, Assault 3rd Degree, 3 counts of Reckless Endangerment and Resisting Arrest.

The juvenile male and female passengers in the vehicle were not charged and later released to their parents.

The citizens who assisted Deputy Ruff with Wallin unfortunately left the scene prior to being identified.

Because these citizens selflessly placing themselves in danger to assist our deputies gain control of a very volatile and chaotic scene, they only received minor injuries.  Both deputies were very thankful and appreciative of the assistance they received.

Sheriff Knezovich said, “This was a very dangerous situation and I am extremely thankful they (citizens) stopped to help our deputies.  If they hadn’t, this situation could have had a very different and tragic outcome.”

Deputy Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Public Information Office

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