Cpl. Nick Briggs, PIO
Monday, November 22, 2021 at 4:27 p.m.
Armed assault suspect gouges eye of K9 Haywire during arrest
On 11-20-21 at about 2:30PM SPD officers responded to a vehicle collision at the intersection of Calispel and Wellesley Ave in North Spokane. A vehicle ran a stop sign, striking another car which was occupied by three people. Officers contacted the victim vehicle and found all three occupants had minor injuries. Officers learned the driver who caused the collision had fled the scene on foot.
Witnesses followed the fleeing driver, but after realizing he was being followed the suspect produced a handgun and pointed it at the witness. The suspect, later identified as 39-year-old Brandon O. Keele, continued to flee into a residential area.
Due to the violent behavior exhibited and the information the suspect was armed, on-duty SWAT and K9 resources were utilized to track and apprehend Keele.
Helpful witnesses provided officers with the location they last saw Keele. K9 Haywire and SPD officers began tracking through the neighborhood north of the collision scene. After almost twenty minutes, K9 Haywire and the tracking team were in the 5000 block of N Whitehouse when they located Keele; he was in the backyard of a residence hiding in thick bushes. Officers announced their presence and gave directives for the hidden Keele to give up, however those commands went unheeded.
Officers were placed in a perilous situation; Keele was merely feet from them, his hands were obscured from view, he was reportedly armed, and he appeared determined to avoid arrest. K9 Haywire was utilized to apprehend Keele; during the arrest process Keele began using his fingers to gouge Haywire’s eyes. Haywire was undeterred, and kept in contact with Keele until officers were able to take him into custody without further incident. A loaded handgun was later recovered from where Keele was hiding.
Keele has nine felony convictions including assault 2nd degree, attempting to elude a police vehicle, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver.
For his conduct in this incident, Keele was booked on charges of assault 1st (pointing a firearm at the witness), burglary 2nd (entering a citizens fenced backyard where he was hiding), vehicle hit and run with injury, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended driver’s license, harming a police dog, and unlawful possession of firearm (Keele’s criminal history prevents him from lawfully possessing a gun).
K9 Haywire has enjoyed a couple days off since the incident and thankfully appears to have recovered.
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Cpl. Nick Briggs