Driver and Trooper Almost Hit By a Fleeing Suspect Who Was Later Found by K-9 and UAV
Marisa Lloyd

Driver and Trooper Almost Hit By a Fleeing Suspect Who Was Later Found by K-9 and UAV

Spokane Valley Police Department

SPOKANE VALLEY -- On November 10, 2021, at approximately 10:40 pm., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Catherine Horton pulled into the parking lot of WinCo near Sprague and Farr. As she did, Deputy Horton noticed a Toyota passenger car with extensive front-end damage. The vehicle was still running. She checked the license plate displayed on the Toyota and found the plate showed as registered to a Volkswagen.

Knowing plates often get switched to try and disguise stolen vehicles, Deputy Horton advised, via her radio, that she would be checking the car and requested an additional unit to safely investigate.

Soon after, a Washington State Trooper advised over the radio that the Toyota was the suspect vehicle in an earlier hit and run and that he was in route to assist.

With a Spokane Valley Deputy and the Trooper at the scene to assist, they approached the car, checked the VIN, and found the vehicle was not stolen. They also noticed a male in the driver’s seat and a female in the passenger’s seat, both asleep.

They gained the attention of the male and female and advised them of why they were being contacted. The male, later identified as 19-year-old Joshua R. Stricker, immediately became argumentative. Stricker said the driver’s door didn’t open, and they needed to exit on the passenger’s side. He and the female, later identified as 20-year-old Kaylee M. Solis, began disobeying commands and started digging around the vehicle's interior.

Suddenly, Stricker put the car in reverse and accelerated rapidly, striking Deputy Horton’s fully marked patrol car. Commands for Stricker to stop were ignored as the Deputies, and Trooper moved for their safety. Stricker straightened his wheels and accelerated forward toward Deputy Horton’s position. She jumped out of the way, being missed by approximately one foot.

Stricker swerved to the right and toward the Trooper’s direction, causing him to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

Both Deputy Horton and the Trooper believed Stricker would have hit them with the car if they had not moved.

With probable cause to arrest Stricker for two counts of Assault 2nd Degree, Deputy Horton and assisting Deputies pursued the Toyota, which quickly sped out of the parking lot onto Sprague and then north on Farr, running the red light. The Toyota’s lights were not on as the patrol cars, with lights and siren activated, caught up to the fleeing vehicle on Farr, near Main.

The Shift Sergeant approved a request to pursue Stricker for Assault 2nd Degree (two violent felonies). With Stricker’s continued and reckless attempt to evade the Deputies, two PIT maneuvers, also approved, were attempted, but Stricker made driving corrections to foil the attempts.

Stricker continued north on Walnut, past Broadway, and onto a private dirt drive. Deputy Horton attempted another PIT maneuver, causing the vehicle to rotate to the left and slide off the road at the dead-end, hitting a chain-link fence.

Both Stricker and Solis jumped out of the vehicle and ran, jumping fences, despite lawful orders to stop.

Additional Deputies and Patrol Units arrived and set up a perimeter while a K9 Unit responded to assist. K9 warnings were given over the PA systems of the surrounding patrol cars advising the suspects to give up and let their location be known. These warnings went unanswered.

K9 Deputy Tyler Kullman and his partner K9 Zeus arrived to try and locate the suspects, as did Deputy Krystal Bitzer, a member of the Air Support Unit. As K9 Zeus began a track on the ground, Deputy Bitzer deployed a UAV with FLIR capabilities to aid in the search of this extremely dark and large search area.

Once in the air, the UAV’s camera picked up a person moving out in front of the ground search. The person (Solis) went around an outbuilding and disappeared. As Deputy Kullman, K9 Zeus, and assisting Deputies approached Solis’ location, additional K9 warnings were given, and Deputy Bitzer repositioned the UAV for the safety of the Deputies, providing an exceptional nighttime aerial view.

Eventually, Solis exited the building and surrendered to the Deputies without incident.

Although the search continued, Stricker was not located, but his identity was confirmed.

A check of Solis’ name revealed a felony Idaho warrant for Grand Theft and Forgery. Solis’ was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail as a Fugitive from Justice due to the confirmed and extraditable Idaho warrant. She was also issued a criminal citation for Obstructing Law Enforcement for fleeing on foot.

A warrant request was submitted for Stricker requesting charges of Assault 2nd Degree (2-counts), Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, Obstructing Law Enforcement, and Hit & Run (Property Damage).

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