UPDATE: Corporal Welton spoke with the individual who called in the fight call at South Pines Elementary on the morning of Friday, August 3, 2012, just after midnight. Cpl. Welton has verified that there was a fight at 24th and Pines Road that had dispersed prior to deputies arriving on scene. Cpl. Welton has no evidence to support that the two juvenile male subjects arrested Tuesday were associated with the fight call deputies were responding to, nor does he have any evidence to support this was any type of ambush situation.
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash – Two 16-year-old boys are now under arrest for causing the August 3rd crash in which a Spokane Valley Police Officer could have been killed.
Officer Rustin Olson was responding to a call of a fight between 20 people near Pines Elementary, but he never got there. Instead, he hit a large log in the middle of the road, causing his patrol car to spin out of control and flip upside down.
At first, investigators thought the debris – which also included a blue plastic bin full of rocks – was placed there to ambush the officer, and that the call of the fight was the bait. Nobody was ever found at the scene of the reported fight.
However, that does not appear to be the case.
The Sheriff's Department says the two teenage boys admitted to putting the log in the road, and that someone had already run it over. They didn't realize the next person to hit it would be a police officer, or that it could cause so much damage.
In the crash, Officer Rustin Olson suffered a fractured vertebra, and was expected to be off work for at least 2 weeks.
Both teens are now in juvenile jail on the felony charge of 1st degree malicious mischief, and the misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment. They are expected in court soon.
Spokane Valley Police Department Press Release:
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Spokane Valley Sheriff's Corporal J. Welton arrested two 16 year old juvenile males today, Tuesday, August 14, 2012, for causing a collision Friday, August 3, 2012, just after midnight involving a Spokane Valley patrol vehicle.
Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputies were responding to a fight call in the area of 24th and Pines Road near South Pines Elementary around midnight. While en route, Deputy R. Olson struck a large piece of wood near 6th and Pines causing his patrol vehicle to spin out of control from the impact. Deputy Olson's patrol vehicle rolled and he sustained injuries to his back from the collision.
Initially, investigators thought the whole scenario may have been a set-up as other deputies did not find a fight at the school. However, both juvenile males admitted to placing the wood in the roadway anticipating a vehicle running it over. At this point in his investigation, Corporal Welton does not feel this was an ambush situation focused at law enforcement.
Both juveniles said that prior to the collision another vehicle ran over the wood on Pines Road. If you have any information about this vehicle you are asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.
Both male subjects were booked into the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center for the felony charge of Malicious Mischief 1st degree and misdemeanor charge of Reckless Endangerment.