Mobil standoff

Escapee tracked to car wash attic, arrested

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Officers from the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and Idaho State Patrol surround a corner of the Mobil 1 Lube Express on Appleway Avenue while using a camera to check inside a crawl space for suspect who fled police Wednesday in Coeur d’Alene.

COEUR d'ALENE - Law enforcement arrested a 35-year-old Spokane man Wednesday evening after a pursuit and a tense standoff at Mobil 1 Lube Express that lasted more than an hour.

Jason Donald Hill was approached by Coeur d'Alene Police Department officers at the 1100 block of Ironwood at 3:15 p.m. According to a press release, the officers recognized Hill as a suspect in a vehicle theft.

When officers approached Hill, he drove a short distance before ditching the vehicle and attempting to flee on foot. Officers saw the man scale both the north and south perimeter fences on Interstate 90 before he gained access to the U-Haul parking lot on Appleway Avenue.

Hill scaled another fence and gained access to a storage room above the car wash, where he then pulled down a portion of the ceiling to gain access to an attic crawl space. The first officers on scene immediately evacuated the employees at the car wash.

Guns drawn, officers alternated between shouting commands into a gap in the roof of the building and positioning themselves in strategic locations while additional units arrived.

The standoff attracted close to 50 onlookers, who sat in their vehicles in the parking lot across the street from the car wash, snapping phone photos and asking if anyone knew what was happening.

Almost 30 minutes into the standoff, a panel of the attic began to move. A plainclothes officer, surrounded by other law enforcement who had pistols and tactical rifles pointed up at the gap, maneuvered a camera mounted on a long pole into the gap in an effort to locate the suspect.

Several minutes later, law enforcement lowered their weapons and the camera prior to entering the office area of the car wash along with two Kootenai County Sheriff's Office K-9 units.

According to the release, Hill came down from the attic at 5:05 p.m. and was taken into custody without incident. He is being held on a felony warrant out of Washington for escaping community custody.

Hill is also facing several charges for grand theft and burglary and is a suspect in other recent vehicle thefts and residential burglaries.

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