SPOKANE, Wash. - Doctors treated Ryan Pryor for hypothermia News Years Day after he led Spokane Police on a car chase and foot pursuit that ended when he jumped into the freezing waters of the Spokane River.
Once out of the hospital, Pryor faces charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, attempting to elude, and possibly other charges according to Spokane Police Officer John Gately.
The crime spree began mid-morning when Pryor and three other alleged accomplices stole a Honda from Automotive Specialties at 2903 N. Madelia Street, Gately said.
According to police, Pryor high-tailed out of the lot toward N. Ash St. And W. York Ave. and nearly struck an officer, who happened to be driving by in the area, which prompted a police chase for reckless driving. Pryor stayed at speeds of around 40 miles an hour until he began to significantly pick up speed in the West Central neighborhood.
Once Pryor reached the 800 block of N. Nettleton, three of the passengers jumped out of the car. Officers nabbed all three and detained them.
Meanwhile, Pryor took off southbound again and tore through the Kendall Yards area adjacent to the Maple Street Bridge. Dennis & Kathy Miller witnessed the chase from their home on Summit Parkway in the Kendall Yards community.
"We were sitting in the house and he said to me 'Did you see how fast that guy was going?' And before we could get to the window, the police cars came by, sirens were going," Kathy said.
The couple guessed Pryor was driving 70 miles an hour and then made a big loop around the development, tearing across yards and streets. They said he also nearly hit an elderly woman who was walking her dog. That woman injured her ankle.
"He came by, it was just a cloud of white," Dennis said. "It had just snowed and then I heard the police cars. It was just amazing."
Soon after, Pryor stopped the car near the Maple Street bridge, jumped out and took down the embankment toward the Spokane River. To get away from officers who were hot on his trail, Pryor jumped into the icy waters of the river.
Water rescue crews from the Spokane Fire Department were standing by but the water was so freezing cold that officers were able to convince him to come to shore. Pryor was able to get a hold of some branches because he did not have strength to get out of the water and police fished him out, according to Gately.
Pryor was only in the water for about three minutes but that was all it took for him to need treatment for hypothermia. police covered Pryor in blankets as well as hand warmers they got from a nearby homeless camp. In fact, one of the officers bear hugged Pryor so that he could warm-up his core body temperature. They walked him back up the embankment and sent him to the hospital.