A Spokane Valley Police officer suffered a broken hand Saturday as he was arresting an aggressive panhandler near Sprague and Robie.
Despite his efforts to thwart Officer Jerad Kiehn’s intent, 29-year-old Matthew Zimmerman was taken into custody and booked into the Spokane County Jail on two counts of harassment and a single count of resisting arrest, said Sgt. Dave Reagan, spokesman for the Spokane Valley Police Department.
Kiehn and other officers were dispatched after Crime Check received several reports of an aggressive panhandler who was slapping vehicles and threatening their occupants.
One complainant reported that the suspect reached inside his pickup truck and punched his dog.
Kiehn arrived in the area and identified Zimmerman as the suspect based on witness reports.
While attempting to place the suspect into handcuffs, Zimmerman began resisting and ended up face down on the ground with his hands buried beneath his torso. During the struggle to remove the suspect’s hands and arms, Kiehn broke a bone in his left hand, leaving only his thumb as a working digit.
Still, he and backup officer were able to take the suspect into custody. A patrol spokesman said Saturday that this was the third time in recent weeks that officers have encountered Zimmerman violating the Spokane Valley panhandling ordinance, which was passed last year.
Kiehn was released from duty after the arrest and advised to seek treatment from his regular medical doctor.