VIDEO: Air 1 Follows Reckless Driver Who Refused to Stop for Deputies
Suspect Eventually Arrested by Deputies/Officers 
 After Dumping the Vehicle and Fleeing on Foot

An Air 1 Flight Crew followed a vehicle for almost an hour from high above after the driver failed to yield to a Spokane Valley Deputy.  Air 1 continued to give real-time location updates to ground units, which were not in pursuit due to current state law, as they tried to get into position to deploy spike strips.  The suspect eventually dumped the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot, but with Air 1 providing continual updates, Deputies and Officers quickly located him hiding in a backyard.  The suspect was arrested and booked into jail for several felony and misdemeanor charges.   

On May 15, 2024, at approximately 3:15 pm, a Spokane Valley Deputy, responding to a welfare check in the 2700 block of N. Bowdish, observed a vehicle leaving the area, matching the description provided by the caller.  The black Kia Sol failed to obey the stop sign at Bowdish and Jackson, and the Deputy activated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop.  Instead of pulling over as required by law, the driver, later identified as 35-year-old Benjamin A. Farnum, accelerated, driving approximately 50 mph in a posted 25 mph residential area and running another stop sign.  

Without reasonable suspicion of a crime specified by current state law to allow law enforcement to pursue it, the Deputy provided the information to SREC dispatchers via radio and did not initiate a pursuit.  The Deputy safely provided Farnum’s location from a distance but almost lost sight as he turned west on Trent from University Road.    

Safely high above the traffic, Air 1 arrived in the area and began providing real-time location information as Farnum drove north on Argonne Road at approximately 3:20 pm.  With continual location updates, Spokane Valley and Spokane County Deputies tried to get ahead of Farnum to successfully deploy spike strips as he continued driving recklessly, at times into oncoming lanes of travel, without care or concern for other motorists or pedestrians.

Farnum zigzagged through neighborhoods, continuing north and west, before eventually turning west on Bigelow Gulch from Jensen Road.  

With Air 1 providing location information, Spokane City Police Officers were advised as Farnum weaved his way north on Espe, west on Uhlig, north on Orchard Prairie, west on Orchard, and west on Gerlach before turning south on Freya.  

Farnum turned around and went north, cutting through side streets in the Mead area before turning back south.  He continued this erratic driving pattern and, at times, extremely reckless behavior, making it difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to successfully get ahead and deploy spikes.    

With Air 1 approaching the need to return to Felts Field for fuel, they continued providing location updates to Deputies, and SPD Officers as Farnum indirectly made his way south and west.  

At approximately 4:10 pm, Farnum pulled over on Cincinnati, south of Hoffman, bailed out of the vehicle, and ran west in the alley.  Deputies and Officers arrived and gave chase on foot, as Air 1 advised that Farnum jumped a fence and into a backyard.  Farnum was quickly located and taken into custody without further incident.

Farnum was provided medical attention at the scene as the investigation continued.  After being advised of his rights, Farnum agreed to answer questions.  He said he didn’t stop for emergency lights because he had warrants and had recently purchased the Kia within the last week or two.  A check of Farnum’s name revealed an active felony warrant for Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, a misdemeanor warrant for Driving while Suspended, and that his driver’s status was currently suspended/revoked.        

Deputies found burnt tinfoil, commonly used to ingest illegal drugs, inside the Kia and observed the ignition was damaged.  Deputies contacted the legal owner of the Kia and learned no one had permission to have the vehicle, which had been stolen but not yet discovered.                    

Through the investigation, Deputies suspected Farnum was impaired and were granted a search warrant to obtain a blood sample from him for testing.

Farnum was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail on new charges of Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Vehicle, Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, DUI, and Driving while Suspended/Revoked.  He was also booked on his warrants for Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle and Driving while Suspended/Revoked.   

Spokane Regional Air Support Unit Air 1 Flight Crew

Pilot: Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant B. Armstrong
Tactical Flight Officers: Spokane Police Officer B. Lynch and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Corporal C. Ruff.

This Spokane County Sheriff Office news article "VIDEO: Air 1 Follows Reckless Driver Who Refused to Stop for Deputies" was originally found on