Deputies arrest man for allegedly assaulting engineer, attempting to steal train in Spokane Valley

AlexRaths /

Deputies arrested a man on Wednesday when they say he assaulted an engineer in an attempt to commandeer a train in Spokane Valley.

Spokane Valley Sheriff’s deputies originally responded to reports of the man acting disorderly in the Home Depot parking lot on E. Sprague.

Employees said 39-year-old Jason Souder was videotaping them. When they confronted him, they said Souder argued and refused to leave the parking lot.

When deputies got there, they found Souder in his car, acting odd. He continuously said he hadn’t done anything wrong, while staring at them without blinking.

Employees said they couldn’t trespass Souder due to company policy, so deputies left.

Fifteen minutes later, they got another call about a man who illegally boarded a train on the tracks behind Home Depot and assaulted the engineer.

That engineer told deputies Souder climbed on the train, wildly swinging his arms and struck him. Souder then started grabbing the engine’s controls, the engineer said.

He was able to distract Souder and secured the brakes, putting the train into emergency shutdown mode.

Deputies found Souder arguing with another railroad employee near the tracks. When Souder saw them approaching, they said he turned and ran back toward the train.

Afraid he would once again try to steal the train, deputies tased Souder. As they attempted to handcuff him, they said he struggled and reached for his waistband, but deputies were able to get control of him.

Souder was booked into the Spokane County Jail for malicious injury to railroad property, a felony, and misdemeanor charges of assault 4th degree, criminal trespass 2nd degree, resisting arrest and obstructing.