Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responding to a suspicious vehicle call were shocked when the male passenger pulled out a folding knife, opened it and stabbed himself in the chest three times. Fearing for the safety of the female driver, she was quickly pulled from the car. Deputies immediately provided first aid to the male who was later transported to the hospital where he remains in satisfactory condition.
On April 7, 2019, at approximately 1:40 p.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Smith and Deputy Jerry Moffett responded to a suspicious vehicle call in the 5400 block of E. Mercer Lane. An area resident reported a Silver Malibu parked on the side of a private drive, and it appeared someone was passed out or sleeping inside.
When Deputies arrived, they observed an adult female in the driver’s seat and an adult male in the passenger’s seat; both appeared to be sleeping.
Deputy Smith tapped on the driver’s window. The female woke up and rolled her window down. The male opened his eyes, looked at Deputy Smith and then immediately closed his eyes, pretending he was still asleep.
The female said she became tired and pulled over to sleep. This seemed odd since the residence where she lives was only a few minutes from the location. She stated she didn’t see the ‘Private Drive’ or the “No Trespassing’ signs when she turned off Mercer.
During the conversation with the driver, the male continued to act like he was sleeping and Deputy Smith could see the artery in his neck visibly pounding. Finally gaining his attention, the male provided what was later found to be a false name and date of birth. A check of the information showed the male was hiding his true identity. When confronted with his false statements, the male sat up and ran his hands through his hair. When asked if he was lying because he had a warrant for his arrest, he nodded his head yes and said, “I hate jail.” as he appeared to become angry. He was asked to exit the vehicle, but instead of doing so, he reached over and activated the door locks as the female looked up at Deputy Smith with concern on her face. Deputy Moffett maintained his cover position on the passenger’s side of the vehicle and was unable to make contact since the window glass was broken and taped together.
Deputy Smith ordered the male out of the vehicle. The male reached toward the door handle, appearing to comply when Deputy Smith observed a small folding knife clipped to the sleeve of his jacket. Deputy Smith told him to drop the knife before he exited the vehicle. The male looked down at the floorboard and said, “Oh, I thought you meant this knife.” as he picked up a larger one from the floor. The male took a deep breath as Deputy Smith yelled, “Drop it!” The male opened the knife and quickly and forcefully plunged it into his chest three times.
As this occurred, Deputy Smith and Deputy Moffitt drew their weapons. Fearing for the female’s safety and not knowing what the male planned to do next, Deputy Smith reached through the half-opened driver’s window, unlocked the door and rapidly pulled the now screaming driver to safety while maintaining safe control of his sidearm.
The male, still holding the knife, started to scream as blood began to pool in his lap. Deputy Smith again ordered him to drop the knife, and when he didn’t comply, Deputy Smith deployed a short burst of OC spray to the man’s face causing him to drop the knife and put his hands to his face. The Deputies removed him from the vehicle and detained him. Immediate medical assistance was requested as they began to provide first aid. Deputy Moffett applied Quick Clot to the large wound in the center of the man’s chest.
As medical assistance responded to the scene, the male provided his true name. When asked why he did this to himself, he yelled, “I’m not going back!” His speech began to slur, and it appeared he could lose consciousness at any moment.
Medics arrived and took over his care. He was transported to the hospital for emergency treatment for his wounds and as of this morning, he was listed in satisfactory condition.
The female was very shaken but uninjured. She thanked Deputy Smith multiple times for pulling her to safety, saying, “He could have stabbed me!” She said she had just met the male that evening when he asked her for a ride. After a short time, she calmed down and was released at the scene.
Later, a check of the male’s name revealed an active warrant for his arrest but due to his medical condition and attempted suicide; he was not arrested.
Corporal Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer