Suspect with loaded rifle tracked down by deputies

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LOREN BENOIT/Press Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office deputies work on an accident scene near Greensferry overpass on Interstate 90 Thursday afternoon. A 37-year-old Newport, Wash., man allegedly rammed a police vehicle on Northwest Boulevard and fled from police on Interstate 90 before driving into the median, where he was apprehended with the help of a K-9 unit.

POST FALLS — A Newport, Wash., man who allegedly rammed a Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office vehicle during a police chase was apprehended by a police K-9 on Thursday afternoon along Interstate 90 in Post Falls.

Jacob S. Frey, 37, was charged with felony eluding, aggravated battery on a police officer and aggravated assault on a police officer, among other charges, KCSO officials reported. Because a loaded AR-15 style rifle was found next to Frey as he was apprehended, the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force is also seeking federal weapons charges against him.

A bench warrant for Frey’s arrest was issued Thursday after he failed to appear on a felony stalking charge, KCSO Lt. Ryan Higgins reported.

Deputies who were at court waiting for the hearing noticed Frey’s vehicle in the courthouse parking lot at 3:15 p.m., Higgins reported. When deputies approached the vehicle, it pulled away toward Northwest Boulevard and failed to yield for an attempted traffic stop.

Deputies attempted a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) maneuver to stop Frey’s vehicle, but he was able to elude the KCSO vehicles by ramming one of them, Higgins said. He continued north on Northwest Boulevard and turned onto westbound I-90.

Near the Highway 41 exit, Frey’s vehicle crossed the median and started traveling westbound in the eastbound lane, before it was finally stopped by deputies at the Greensferry overpass, Higgins said.

Frey refused deputies’ commands to exit his vehicle, Higgins said, so K-9 Pogo was used to help remove him. At this point, a search of the vehicle revealed the loaded rifle.

Frey was transported to Kootenai Health for treatment of a dog bite, then transported to the county jail on the bench warrant and other charges.

Three Kootenai County vehicles were damaged in the pursuit, Higgins said, and one civilian vehicle was reported damaged on Northwest Boulevard. No deputies or civilians were injured in the incident, which caused traffic on I-90 to be backed up for several miles in both directions from the accident scene.

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