PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SPOKANE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: On February 24th, at approximately 00:20 a.m., Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Marc Melville responded to the area of Country Homes Blvd. and Whitehouse for a report of a possible DUI stopped on the side of the road at a green light with its lights on.
When Deputy Melville arrived in the area, he observed a red Chevrolet Lumina stopped on Country Homes facing Division at the green light. He pulled in behind the vehicle, activated his emergency lights, and approached the driver's window. He observed the male driver with both hands at the bottom of the steering wheel with his eyes closed.
The vehicle was running and still in gear. Fearing he would startle the driver causing him to speed out into traffic, Deputy Melville called additional units to assist and block the vehicle to prevent it from pulling into traffic and injuring other motorists.
Before additional units could arrive, the driver jumped up in his seat and began to drive away and then stopped again. Deputy Melville knocked on the window in an attempt to make contact with the driver but the driver screamed and accelerated rapidly.
Deputy Melville ran back to his patrol vehicle and started to try and catch up to the vehicle but he lost sight of it when it turned onto Division. He then relocated the vehicle, which was now traveling eastbound on Prince. The driver would not stop and continued east on Magnesium at a high rate of speed. As the suspect vehicle approached Nevada, it reached speeds in excess of 80 mph in a 30 mph zone.
Deputy Melville and Deputy Truman, who arrived in the area to assist, decided to discontinue pursuing the vehicle due to the high speeds and the risk it posed to the public. Air 1 responded to the area and observed the suspect vehicle traveling southbound on Nevada. With Air 1 advising the ground unit of the vehicle's location, they could now try to re-contact it a safe speed.
The vehicle stopped for the red light at Lincoln and Nevada but when the patrol vehicles approached, the driver turned west on Lincoln, again traveling at a high rate of speed, swerving severely.
Due to the extreme dangers the drivers actions again posed to the public, the deputies discontinued pursuing it as Air 1 kept safely updating its location from the air. Air 1 advised the vehicle stopped in a driveway and the driver began running southwest. Air 1 continued to observe the suspect as he ran through backyards while updating units as they arrived in the area.
Air 1 directed Deputy Truman to the suspect in the backyard of a residence in the 600 block of West Cascade Way and took him into custody. Deputy Melville arrived and immediately recognized the suspect as the driver of the vehicle.
The suspect was identified as 24-year-old Yevgeniy Rudnitskiy. Rudnitskiy was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for a felony charge of Attempting to Elude and misdemeanor charges of DUI and Trespassing.
No one was injured and no property was damaged during this incident due to the professional actions of the deputies and the valuable assistance of Air 1.