Thursday, June 01, 2023

Fugitive wanted in Washington, Idaho arrested in Montana

| February 1, 2022 7:00 AM

SUPERIOR, Mont. (AP) — A fugitive wanted after a series of burglaries and vehicle thefts in Washington and Idaho was arrested while hiding in a camper in western Montana on Friday morning, Mineral County Sheriff Mike Toth said.

Jesse Spitzer, 30, of Sultan, Washington, was on the run for a week after he was suspected of stealing a vehicle and other items in east Snohomish County, Washington. He eventually fled the scene of an accident last Friday.

The next day, officers chased him into the woods near Gold Bar, Washington, but he got away. He got into another accident in Chelan County, Washington, on Sunday, but fled the scene.

He eluded officers searching for him in Post Falls, Idaho, on Wednesday after a firearm was reported stolen from a residence. Officers said the suspect, whom they believed to be Spitzer, brandished a weapon and threatened to shoot himself if officers didn't leave, KHQ-TV reported.

His next encounter with law enforcement happened in Kellogg, Idaho, on Thursday night, Toth said. Officers pursued him over Lookout Pass and into Montana.

The Montana Highway Patrol disabled the vehicle he was driving near the town of Haugan. Spitzer threatened officers with a handgun and then ran away, Toth said. Spitzer was arrested shortly after 9 a.m. Friday after officers found him hiding in a camper.

Spitzer was to be held initially the Mineral County jail in Superior, Toth said.

Spitzer's criminal record includes convictions for attempted murder with a deadly weapon and burglary in Nevada. He and a co-defendant fired shots at a Nevada sheriff's deputy who was pursuing a vehicle matching the description of one involved in a burglary. The officer was not injured. Spitzer was sentenced to up to 22 years in prison in July 2011.

His mother blamed his actions on an addiction to narcotics at his Nevada sentencing hearing. On Thursday, she called KHQ-TV in Spokane, Washington, and said her son has drug and mental health problems that led to his actions.

At the time of Spitzer's arrest in Nevada, he and his co-defendant had fled Washington state in a stolen vehicle with a stolen gun to avoid warrants stemming from burglaries in that state.