Eluding suspect removed in straitjacket

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COEUR d’ALENE — A half hour into Jacob Frey’s wild first court appearance Friday in Coeur d’Alene, the magistrate had the defendant removed from the courtroom.

Frey, 37, was arrested a day earlier for eluding and two counts of aggravated battery after ramming two police cars as he attempted to flee from authorities. The chase that started in downtown Coeur d’Alene ended in Post Falls, where Frey’s banged up silver GMC was stopped and Frey taken into custody.

First District Magistrate Timothy Van Valin had displayed patience for more than 30 minutes in a Friday proceeding that normally lasts half that long.

As Frey, strapped into a straitjacket, disrupted the hearing by yelling, crying and calling prosecutors liars while he lay his head on the defense table and complained loudly of medical conditions and the violation of his constitutional rights, Van Valin set Frey’s bail at $2 million.

Barely audible over Frey’s disruptions, Van Valin assigned the defendant a public attorney and told jailers to remove the still-yelling Frey from the room.

Frey’s ordeal began Thursday around 3:15 p.m. when he cussed Kootenai County courthouse bailiffs, making a scene in the courthouse. Instead of appearing in court to face a felony stalking charge, Frey sat in his pickup truck in the parking lot outside sending emails to prosecutors, urging them to have a warrant issued for his arrest.

Minutes after a judge complied by issuing a warrant, authorities tried to arrest Frey.

He led four police cars on a chase heading west on Northwest Boulevard. Deputies attempted to ram the vehicle twice using a PIT technique, which forces fleeing cars to turn sideways abruptly, causing the driver to lose control and stop.

Frey successfully evaded the maneuver and continued fleeing toward Post Falls, striking two police vehicles on the way, bumping other cars and almost striking pedestrians, according to police reports.

Deputies used a K-9 to remove Frey from his pickup truck after his arrest.

In his pickup truck police found an armored vest, tasers, OC spray, armor piercing rounds, a handgun and a loaded AR-15 — Frey disputed that the rifle was loaded — along with several loaded magazines, according to court records.

Deputy prosecutor Rebecca Perez said she asked for the $2 million bond because Frey had quickly bonded out of jail after his arrest a week ago on the felony stalking charge by paying $100,000 bail.

While he was being taken into custody he threatened deputies and their families, Perez said.

“Lies, lies, lies,” Frey yelled as Perez addressed the court.

Van Valin called Frey’s actions horrendous. The lengthy chase during which Frey crossed into other lanes, struck cars and drove into oncoming traffic had “the potential for a tragic situation to happen,” the judge said.

He ordered a preliminary hearing within 14 days.

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