Woman Dragged While Confronting Carjacker

SPOKANE — A short high speed pursuit ended with an arrest for one carjacker in north Spokane Sunday morning.

Shawna Rice woke up late for work Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m., she was supposed to wake up an hour earlier.

In a hurry, Rice ran outside and started her car to let it warm-up in her driveway. She then went back inside her house to grab some items for work. She hadn’t left her car for more than two minutes when she noticed something was wrong.

“I’m getting ready to walk to the front door and I see that my headlights are on and my heart just dropped,” said Rice.

It was then Rice saw a man inside her car, getting ready to steal it. She ran outside to try and stop the man.

“I grabbed the passenger side door and tried to open it,” said Rice. “I don’t even know what I would have done had I gotten inside the car.”

Rice said the man put the car in reverse and gunned the engine, taking her with the vehicle.

“He gunned it in reverse and drug me,” she said. “It skinned up my knees and my leg.”

The thief took off with Rice’s car, leaving her laying in the driveway. All the commotion grabbed the attention of her neighbors.

“My neighbors heard me screaming and came outside and sat with me,” she said.

Just a few hours later, Spokane Police Sergeant Sean Nemec was patrolling near the intersection of N. Foothills and Hamilton. Sgt. Nemec noticed Rice’s stolen car drive past him.

“I pulled in behind the vehicle and he took off, that’s when we began pursuit,” he said.

The carjacker led officers on a high speed chase through north Spokane, with speeds reaching 80 miles per hour. Police chased the man onto E. Illinois, that’s when the carjacker made a mistake.

Officers watched as the car careened off the road at Illinois near Market, crossing the train tracks. The front tires of the car blew out, creating a new kind of chase. 

“The driver jumped out, took off running and we chased him for three or four blocks,” said Sgt. Nemec.

Police caught up with suspect and arrested him near Jackson and Regal. Nemec believes there are other victims besides Rice.

“It appears between the time he stole it and now he’s done some other crimes,” said Nemec.

Police found several items in the car that did not belong to Rice or the suspect. Officers are asking anyone who has been the victim of car prowlers in the N. Foothills and Hamilton neighborhood to call them at 242-TIPS.

The whole situation has proven to be a learning experience for Rice.

“Don’t leave your car running without you in it,” she said.

Police say since Rice was injured during the carjacking the thief will likely face robbery charges instead of burglary charges.