Public Streets are NOT Race Tracks – Driver’s Attempt to Flee Unsuccessful
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputies located and arrested the driver of a vehicle after he Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle. The Deputy observed the car driving recklessly at a high rate of speed and attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver would not yield. With the assistance Cheney Police Officers and additional Deputies, the unoccupied vehicle was located at the Fish Lake Trail parking area. The driver and passenger were found a short time later.
On June 27, 2019, at approximately 8:15 p.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Hairston was conducting a traffic stop in the area of Geiger and Grove when he observed a blue Subaru WRX without a front license plate drive by his location. The driver, later identified as 28-year-old Joshua M. Bader, made a U-turn and drove past Deputy Hairston again.
Approximately 10 minutes later, after Deputy Hairston cleared the traffic stop he was on, he observed the Subaru, also noting it had a loud and distinctive sounding exhaust system, traveling south on Grove from Thorpe. As the vehicle cleared the intersection, Bader accelerated rapidly, shifting through several gears, and likely well beyond the posted speed limit.
Southbound on Grove, attempting to catch up to the vehicle to conduct a traffic stop, Deputy Hairston approached a Ford pickup traveling in the same direction near 53rd Avenue. The driver of the truck had his arm out the window, waiving Deputy Hairston by, as he slowed and pulled over to the side of the road. Once he passed the truck, Deputy Hairston observed the Subaru, still traveling at what appeared to be a high rate of speed, approaching Hallett. Deputy Hairston’s radar showed the Subaru was decelerating from 86 mph. Bader continued to slow but failed to come to a complete stop for the stop sign at Hallett before continuing southbound.
Deputy Hairston activated his emergency lights and siren in an attempt to get Bader to pull over, but he again accelerated rapidly from the intersection, reaching speeds of 90 to 100 mph. Deputy Hairston lost sight of the Subaru near Cheney-Spokane Rd. A short time later, he observed the Subaru southbound on Cheney-Spokane Rd. near Scribner traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph.
Near the 11900 block of S. Cheney-Spokane Rd., Deputy Hairston noticed fresh tire marks off the southbound dirt shoulder of a left-hand curve and a cloud of dust. Believe the Subaru may have wrecked, Deputy Hairston slowed and checked the area but did not locate the car. Deputy Hairston continued to look for the vehicle and soon met Cheney Police vehicles responding to assist. Knowing Bader hadn’t passed the patrol cars, he believed Bader turned off.
A short time later, Cheney Officers located the unoccupied Subaru parked in the Fish Lake Trail parking area. Deputy Hairston began giving K9 announcement over his PA system and requested the assistance of a K9 Unit. Soon after, Bader emerged from the trail area with his hands raised in the air, and he was detained. Bader identified a male sitting on bench approximately 100 yards away as the passenger observed in Bader’s car and he was detained.
After being advised of his rights, Bader admitted seeing Deputy Hairston conducting a traffic stop. He said he was nervous because he knew his exhaust was loud. Bader explained the passenger planned to video Bader accelerating rapidly in his Subaru. He said he planned to use the video of these rapids accelerations for marketing purposes.
The passenger, also advised of his rights, explained Bader had just completed building the car, and he planned to videotape Bader as he accelerated rapidly, testing the performance of the vehicle. They didn’t know Deputy Hairston was behind them until they pulled on to Cheney-Spokane Rd. and Bader shouted, “Oh shit, cops!” as he continued to accelerate. As they continued at high speeds, the car shut off and Bader almost wrecked due to the loss of power steering. Bader eventually restarted the vehicle, and they continued to the Fish Lake Trail parking area.
After being confronted with the entire story, Bader admitted while he was trying to flee the car died, and he almost lost control. He regained control, restarted the car and continued to Fish Lake. He apologized several times for his actions, even saying, “I’m sorry, I panicked.”
Bader was arrested and transported to the Spokane County Jail where he was booked for Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle (felony) and Reckless Driving (misdemeanor).
The passenger was released without charges.
Corporal Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer