Walla Walla man charged with assault in officer's dragging

Officer Danny Lackey is back on duty after being treated for a hand injury suffered Monday night.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man who allegedly tried to flee from a traffic stop this week, dragging a police officer during the encounter, has been formally charged in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Jason K. Spencer, 38, of 634 E. Chestnut St., is accused of second-degree assault.

The charge was filed Tuesday. Spencer is being held in the County Jail, with bail set at $20,000.

Spencer was pulled over about 8:25 p.m. Monday near Spokane and Rose streets by Officer Mark Hisey after he spotted Spencer driving a pickup too fast for conditions and following too closely behind the vehicle in front of him, according to a police report filed in court.

Spencer allegedly starting driving away and backup Officer Danny Lackey tried to turn off the ignition of the vehicle. Lackey got entangled in the vehicle and "was dragged over 200 feet, partially in and out of the driver's door while the vehicle fled east on Rose," according to a news release.

Hisey and accompanying Department of Corrections Officer Craig Jones started running after the vehicle and reportedly yelled several times for Spencer to stop. Then Hisey fired once at the vehicle striking the cab to the right of the driver's seat. Spencer wasn't hit.

After Spencer stopped in a vacant lot across from the Rose Street Safeway, he reportedly had to be subdued with a Taser. He was arrested and taken to jail where a breath sample revealed his alcohol level was over .15, nearly twice the legal driving limit.

Lackey was treated at a local hospital for a thumb injury. He is back on duty, department spokesman, Officer Tim Bennett, said this morning.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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