OKANOGAN – A girl who allegedly drove a stolen vehicle away from a traffic stop and then ran into a sheriff’s vehicle was charged Jan. 11 with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and several other crimes.
Justice Emily Michelle, 15, also was charged in Okanogan County Juvenile Court with possession of a stolen vehicle, attempting to elude a pursing police vehicle, obstructing a law enforcement officer, first-degree malicious mischief, reckless driving, vehicular assault, custodial assault, third-degree malicious mischief and driving under the influence
Bail was set at $100,000 during a Jan. 11 detention hearing.
Several law enforcement reports accompanied the charging document as a probable cause statement.
A report from sheriff’s Deputy Gisberth Gonzalez said he received an alert the night of Jan. 9 to be on the lookout for a vehicle stolen from Spokane. The vehicle had been used in the burglary of a gas station in Inchelium, and was last seen that day in the Omak area.
Gonzalez said he began looking in the Brooks Tracts area east of Omak, while Colville tribal Officer J. Carpenter checked Omak-Riverside Eastside Road. Gonzalez ended up on the same road and spotted the vehicle heading south, said the report.
The vehicle was pulled over and the male driver was instructed to put his hand out the window and stop the engine. He was told to get out of the vehicle, which he did, the report said.
The driver, later identified as Todd Michael Johnson, 31, Inchelium, would not answer questions posed by Gonzalez and Carpenter and only some of the commands, according to the report.
As Johnson was being handcuffed, the passenger in the right front jumped into the driver’s seat, started the car and took off at a high rate of speed, said Gonzalez’ report.
Gonzalez left Johnson with the tribal officer and pursued the vehicle. Speeds reached 100 mph on Omak-Riverside Eastside Road, then the vehicle went onto a gravel road that runs parallel to Omak Avenue and then westbound on Omak Avenue.
Omak Police Sgt. Donnelly Tallant deployed a spike strip on Omak Avenue and some tires were hit. The vehicle then ran the stoplight at the intersection of Main Street and Omak Avenue, and every stop sign on Central Avenue, the report said.
From there, the vehicle went north on North Douglas Street and east on Bartlett Avenue, again running every stop sign, Gonzalez’ report said. The vehicle turned up North Locust Street, ran the stop sign at Riverside Drive and T-boned a sheriff’s vehicle occupied by Sgt. Kevin Arnold.
The vehicles stopped on the embankment corner of North Locust Street and Riverside Drive.
“Sgt. Arnold’s vehicle had extensive damage,” the report said. “The vehicle was out of commission.”
A report by Washington State Patrol Trooper A. Baker said the stolen vehicle was going approximately 40 mph when it hit Arnold’s vehicle.
Arnold got out of the damaged vehicle and went to the stolen vehicle, Gonzalez wrote. Gonzalez ran toward the suspect vehicle as the driver got out, and ordered her to get on the ground.
Michelle allegedly started fighting with Gonzalez while he was holding his weapon.
“I grabbed Michelle by the hair and took her to the ground,” wrote Gonzalez. “I ordered Michelle to stop fighting with us and Michelle was drug away from the vehicle for her safety. Michelle was placed inside my patrol car.”
Gonzalez wrote that he returned to the suspect vehicle where a 16-year-old passenger, who suffered a leg injury, remained. She was removed from the vehicle by firefighters and emergency medical services, and taken to Mid-Valley Hospital by ambulance.
Michelle also was taken to the hospital after complaining of breathing problems, and then to juvenile detention. Baker wrote that he talked to Michelle at the hospital about possible drug use, and informed her that she would be charged with driving under the influence.
Deputy Eric Orr took Arnold to the hospital for treatment of a leg injury, Gonzalez’ report said.
Early the next morning, Gonzalez interviewed Johnson, who told the deputy he’d met the girls in a park in Inchelium. Gonzalez wrote that he was told they sought Johnson’s help because another man, who had been driving the car, allegedly was forcing himself on them.
The girls allegedly asked Johnson to drive them to Omak because neither had a driver’s license. He maintained he did not know the vehicle was stolen, the report said.
Johnson was arrested on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle and released on his own recognizance Jan. 11 after a preliminary hearing, according to court records.
He was charged Jan. 13 in Okanogan County Superior Court with possession of a stolen vehicle. An arrest warrant was issued Jan. 21 when Johnson failed to show up for a hearing, court records said. Bail was set at $10,000.
On Jan. 10, Deputy Cody Lunn was called to juvenile detention for a report that Michelle allegedly had bitten Corrections Officer Shaelyn Irwin on the leg.
In Irwin’s report, she wrote that Michelle was being argumentative while Irwin and another corrections officer, Caleb Riggle, were trying to book her. She was left to calm down, but a few minutes later Riggle notice her putting computer cords around her neck to try to choke herself, the report said.
The girl allegedly laid down on a bench and started resisting, so Irwin got handcuffs. The two officers put her on the ground, where she continued to fight them, the report said.
Meanwhile, Michelle’s brother was in the holding room and was upset because he thought the officer were hurting her, the report continued. Riggle went to talk to the boy, while Irwin stayed with Michelle.
Irwin wrote that Michelle continued to fight, kicked a hole in the booking room door, bit Irwin’s leg and attempted to pinch the officer’s hand between the handcuffs.
The detention manager was called and he was able to talk to Michelle and help calm her down, the report said.
Lunn wrote that he spoke with corrections staff and photographed the damaged door.
A status conference for Michelle is set for Feb. 24.