Cpl. Ronald Van Tassel
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 5:18 p.m.
On Monday, just before noon, an Officer attempted to stop a stolen vehicle in the Lidgerwood neighborhood. The vehicle took off at high speeds, the Officers did not pursue. A short time later Officers learned that the vehicle had crashed blocks away. Officers surrounded the area and were able to locate two suspects hiding behind a business and they were both taken into custody.
On March 2nd, 2020, a Spokane Police Corporal working patrol in north Spokane spotted a stolen 2009 BMW driving down Division. The Corporal followed the vehicle for several blocks, waiting for backup to arrive. Several Officers then tried to initiate a traffic stop at Standard and Bridgeport. The BMW took off at a high rate of speed, going south on Standard, the Officers did not pursue.
The BMW continued at high speeds, even though Police were not pursuing him. A short time later Officer discovered that the BMW had crashed on Standard, just before North Foothills Dr. Two male exited the vehicle and took off running. By the time Officers got to the collision, the two males were gone. However, several alert citizens who saw the males running started to direct Officers in the correct direction. Officers were directed to a large fenced in area behind a business at Dakota and North Foothills Dr. After a couple minutes of giving announcements, two males emerged out of the fenced area and surrendered to Police.
Officers went back to the collision scene, which only involved the BMW. After looking at the scene it appeared that as the vehicle crested over the hill at Fairview, it possibly went airborne for a short distance. The vehicle then lost control and started to skid sideways. The vehicle left part of the roadway and then flipped. The vehicle rolled at least once before coming to a rest in a yard. The collision scene was about two blocks in distance.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as 35 year old Chadd Benefield. After being released from the hospital on his minor injuries, he was booked into jail. He is being held right now on a felony Department of Corrections (DOC) warrant and more charges from this incident are pending. Officers looked in the car and saw items that are consistent with drug usage. The car was taken for evidence for a possible search warrant. The passenger of the vehicle was identified as 28-year-old Joseph Williams. He was also booked into jail for a felony DOC warrant.
Joseph Williams has numerous arrest going back a decade, he has 8 felony convictions and 5 misdemeanor convictions.
Five of the felony convictions are related around drugs possession or distribution. He also has Vehicular assault, taking a motor vehicle without permission and attempt to elude a Police vehicle.
His misdemeanor convictions include driving with license suspended and 4 counts of theft.
Benefield is a long time Spokane criminal, racking up dozens upon dozens arrest for the past 17 years. He has 22 total convictions, 11 are felony convictions and 11 are misdemeanor convictions.
Felony convictions include: 4 counts of drug related crimes, 2 counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, 4 counts of money laundering, 1 count of retail theft with extenuating circumstances.
Misdemeanor convictions include: 4 counts of Theft, making false statements to Police, DUI, Negligent driving 1st (DUI plea down), Disorderly conduct, refuse to cooperate at a traffic stop, 2 counts of driving on a suspended license.
We would like to thank the numerous citizens who were able to point Officers in the correct direction to take these two violent and career criminals off the streets. Their actions today could have seriously injured if not killed anybody who was in front of them at the time of the collision.
Officer John O'Brien