There has been an increase in residential burglary attempts and vehicle prowling in the area of Belt/Central in recent days. On 01/24/2011 at about 11:00 PM, Spokane Police Officer Jay Kernkamp was patrolling the area in an attempt to locate any possible suspects and deter additional attempts. Officer Kernkamp saw a man, dressed all in black, sitting in a parked vehicle with its lights off. The man ducked and tried to hide from him as he drove by. When Officer Kernkamp stopped to talk to him, the man immediately swore at him and sped off in his car.
During the vehicle pursuit that followed, the suspect reached high speeds on residential streets across north Spokane as he tried to evade the pursuing officers. In an effort to end the pursuit quickly for the safety of citizens, officers twice used their vehicles to try to stop the suspect car. During the pursuit, the suspect deliberately side-swiped one patrol car during the pursuit and soon rammed a second patrol car, attempting to drive head on into the second officer’s car. That second collision caused the suspect car to spin out of control and come to a stop in the front yard of a house near Central/Morton where police officers surrounded the suspect vehicle, preventing his escape. When he refused to obey officer commands to get out of the vehicle, officers removed him from the car. The suspect fought aggressively with officers, resisting arrest despite being surrounded, attempting to remove his coat and shirt to escape, until he was restrained and handcuffed by police.
Fortunately, both of the SPD officers whose vehicles the suspect rammed were not injured, but one patrol car was seriously damaged. The suspect was identified as Kenneth S. Crowston, 47 years old. Police found that he did have burglary tools with him when he was arrested. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail for two counts of Second Degree Assault, Attempt to Elude, Resisting Arrest, and several warrants for his arrest.