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SPD use Taser to Arrest Downtown Assault Subject Armed with a Knife

On Tuesday, August 16 a little before 3 p.m., SPD officers responded to an assault with a weapon call near W. Sprague Ave and Wall St. in Downtown Spokane. SPD officers located an adult male victim suffering from non-life-threatening injuries which included a contusion and a laceration. SPD officers learned the victim had been struck multiple times before the suspect wielded a knife and cut the victim.

The suspect fled the scene, however, a downtown Neighborhood Resource Officer (NRO) arrived in the area and located the male within two minutes of being dispatched. Once confronted by law enforcement the suspect once again brandished a knife and threatened officers. A Taser was utilized and the suspect, later identified as 52-year-old Ernest Ripoli, was taken into custody without further incident.

Incidents such as these are resource intensive; they require multiple officers in order to protect the public and conduct a thorough investigation. Officers are needed to locate the fleeing suspect as well as contact the victim in order to facilitate first aid and begin obtaining details on the case.

Once the armed suspect is located and determined to be uncooperative, officers contain them to ensure other innocent citizens in the area are not harmed, as well as to protect officers and the suspect. Officers then plan for contingencies and designate specific roles which include employing communication strategies and less-lethal tools in order to maximize the chances a situation can be de-escalated or resolved with minimal force.

One SPD officer was involved in a vehicle collision at the intersection of 2nd and Stevens while responding to this incident. No injuries were reported.

Ripoli was booked into Spokane County Jail for assault 1st degree, assault 4th degree, resisting arrest, possession of a dangerous weapon, and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

This image shows Ripoli brandishing the knife seconds after being confronted by law enforcement.