Monday, September 28, 2015

Spokane police shooting justified in case of speeding stalker in a Monte Carlo

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2015 at 4:32 PM

The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office will not file charges against Officer Michael Roberge for shooting at a fleeing suspect last November. 

Roberge fired four rounds at Joseph Hensz, hitting him once, as he drove past the officer in a red Monte Carlo. Hensz was treated and released from Sacred Heart Medical Center and is currently serving time in Geiger Corrections Center.

Earlier that afternoon, police responded to a domestic stalking call in north central Spokane, where Hensz had been allegedly circling his ex-girlfriend's residence, according to the prosecutor's news release. Hensz evaded police in a high speed chase. 

Roberge and his partner, Officer Amy Woodyard, caught up with Hensz later that evening as he sped past them at more than 100 miles per hour, according to court documents. Roberge bumped his car into the right rear end of the Monte Carlo, causing both vehicles to stop. Hensz ignored orders to get out of the car, instead revving the engine and accelerating toward the officers. Roberge fired at Hensz as he passed. 

Investigators found three bullets inside the car along with a clear baggie containing white powder, the Spokesman-Review reported in 2014. Roberge was wearing a body camera, but it was not turned on.

Police spokeswoman Teresa Fuller says the Administrative Review Panel will now conduct an internal investigation and make a recommendation on any violation of policy and procedure to the chief if necessary. 

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Mitch Ryals

Mitch covers cops, crime and courts for the Inlander. He moved to Spokane in 2015 from his hometown of St. Louis, and is a graduate of the University of Missouri. He likes bikes, beer and baseball. And coffee. He dislikes lemon candy, close-mindedness and liars. And temperatures below 40 degrees.