Suspected DUI leads to chase, use of Taser

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Michael O'Kelly

Police applied a stun gun on 40-year-old Rathdrum man on Sunday night after an alleged hit-and-run accident, vehicle pursuit and the DUI suspect appeared to be reaching into a pocket in which a knife was found.

Michael R. O'Kelly was booked into the Kootenai County on charges of resisting an officer, leaving the scene of an accident, eluding, DUI, carrying a weapon while intoxicated, open container in vehicle, no insurance and failing to maintain traffic lane.

An officer sustained a minor injury to a finger and O'Kelly was not injured during an altercation that resulted from O'Kelly allegedly disregarding the officer's instructions even after the stun gun was applied, according to police reports.

According to Rathdrum Police, officers responded to CJ's bar on Highway 53 at 10:40 p.m. for the report of a hit-and-run accident.

The male and female victims reported seeing a vehicle hit their parked Dodge Ram Power Wagon as they were approaching the Ram and obtained license plate information on the suspect's vehicle. The collision caused an estimated $1,000 worth of rear-end damage, according to report.

When officers responded to O'Kelly's home, he fled in a vehicle on westbound Pine Street despite an officer verbally telling him to stop.

The pursuit lasted a few blocks and ended on Stevens just north of Pine when O'Kelly lost control of his vehicle and drove into a yard.

"O'Kelly failed to follow the officer's commands (to get onto the ground) over several seconds, and when he allegedly put his hand into his front pants pocket, the officer deployed his Taser to control O'Kelly," a press release states. "Despite the Taser application, O'Kelly continued to disregard the officer's instructions and was eventually wrestled to the ground and handcuffed."

Rathdrum Police Chief Kevin Fuhr said a butterfly knife with a 5-inch blade was found in the pocket that O'Kelly had tried to reach into.

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