Spokane
65° F
Clear
Clear
Coeur d'Alene
61° F
Clear
Clear
Advertisement

Wounded deputies spotlighted in NRA video

By Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter , jeffhu@kxly.com
Published On: Feb 01 2013 06:52:18 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 01 2013 08:24:24 PM CST
Deputies Matt Spink and Mike Northway

A new documentary, funded by the NRA, criticizes a Spokane federal judge for releasing a drug dealer who shot two Spokane County sheriff's deputies last June.

The video, called "Catch and Release" also gives us our first look at the wounded deputies, their injuries and law enforcement's frustration with the release of dangerous criminals back into our community.

"Catch and Release" is part of an ongoing series of NRA videos that salute the bravery of both police officers and American troops serving in the line of fire.

The documentary has nothing to do with guns but does campaign against what police view as a revolving door at our jails, where convicted criminals get too many second chances.

The documentary, shot in Spokane last December, finds the wounded deputies still recovering from their injuries and still angry that Charlie Wallace had been released to a Spokane Valley rehab center after the cops had just arrested him on a series of drug charges.

"The fact that Charlie got released after 17 convictions and he was supposed to go to rehab is very disturbing," Deputy Matt Spink said.

On June 19, 2012, Deputies Matt Spink and Mike Northway were were helping the Regional Drug Task Force search for the heroin dealer when they were asked to pull over a Chevy Tahoe being driven by Wallace's friends.

"So my take was we're gonna pull over this Tahoe and they're going to tell the drug unit guy where Charlie is at," Spink said.

Unfortunately Wallace, who had vowed to never be taken alive, was sitting in the Tahoe's front seat.

"The front passenger door pops open, he's facing us, he says 'Lets go boys' and he's shooting and I'm hit. It's a hot poker in my leg. I know I'm hit," Spink said.

"I'm sure it's a fraction of a second when I looked down at my arm and I realized I'm shot," Deputy Mike Northway said.

"I didn't know Charlie Wallace; all I saw was a white guy with a black gun shooting at us," Spink said.

Wallace fled the scene and placed dozens of innocent people at risk as he sped north on Highway 2. He later crashed his stolen vehicle after his tires were slashed by a spike strip and then, as officers closed in on his vehicle, shot himself.

To this day, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich still wonders why Wallace was released.

"I have staff in our jail to help people come down from drugs. He should have been in jail, not a facility he could walk out of," Sheriff Knezovich, who was also interviewed for the NRA story, said in the documentary.

Spink and Northway sound like they're ready to go back to work but both are still dealing with muscle and nerve damage that has kept them from their duties.

Advertisement