Trial set in dragging of officer

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WALLA WALLA -- A man who allegedly tried to flee from a traffic stop this month, dragging a police officer during the encounter, is scheduled for trial March 15 in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Jason K. Spencer, 38, of 634 E. Chestnut St., pleaded innocent Monday to charges of second-degree assault, driving under the influence and while his license was suspended or revoked, and resisting arrest.

Spencer was pulled over about 8:25 p.m. Dec. 14 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 started 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 by a Tazer. 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.

Bail for Spencer was set at $20,000. After posting bond, he was released from jail Dec. 21 pending the outcome of his case.

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