Crime

Montana fugitive allegedly pulls rifle, leads police on off-road car chase

Armed standoff suspect arrested near Prosser after shots fired, lengthy pursuit

Capt. Clay Vannoy of the Benton County Sheriff Office provides details about an incident near Prosser where a deputy fired several shots at a Montana fugitive who allegedly emerged from a trailer holding a rifle. Kirk D. Riddle, 45, was arrested a
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Capt. Clay Vannoy of the Benton County Sheriff Office provides details about an incident near Prosser where a deputy fired several shots at a Montana fugitive who allegedly emerged from a trailer holding a rifle. Kirk D. Riddle, 45, was arrested a

A Benton County Sheriff’s deputy fired several shots at a Montana fugitive who allegedly pulled a rifle on authorities and led them on a dangerous off-road car chase that ended in Yakima County.

The sheriff’s office got a tip Thursday morning that Kirk D. Riddle, 45, wanted on felony warrants out of Flathead County, Mont., was staying at a home on the 7400 block of South Missimer Road, just outside of Prosser.

Montana authorities warned the sheriff’s office that Riddle, who was wanted for a probation violation and criminal endangerment, may be armed and using methamphetamine. Riddle also has a criminal history that includes assault with a weapon and disorderly conduct against law enforcement.

Deputies and U.S. Marshals went to the Missimer Road home to find Riddle, who apparently had been staying in a trailer, authorities said. When law enforcement officers arrived, he allegedly emerged with a loaded rifle.

A deputy then opened fired at Riddle, who avoided being hit by bullets and locked himself inside, authorities said. The Tri-City Regional SWAT Team was called and a standoff ensued.

Police say as Riddle was inside the trailer, his sister, Vanessa Rogers, 43, pulled a Suburban onto the property to help him escape.

Several times he drove through vineyards, hop fields, orchards, on canal banks, all the way to Yakima County.

Benton County Sheriff’s Capt. Clay Vannoy

Riddle got into the vehicle and sped away, driving through a neighbor’s fence and across hundreds of yards of pasture until getting back onto the road, authorities said. Fences, gates and irrigation pipes were all damaged.

The damaged gates and fences also allowed some livestock to escape.

Riddle led authorities on a chase over back roads and rural terrain and onto Interstate 82. Authorities called off the chase several times because Riddle was allegedly driving too dangerously and erratic.

“Several times he drove through vineyards, hop fields, orchards, on canal banks, all the way to Yakima County,” said Capt. Clay Vannoy with the sheriff’s office.

Vannoy told the Herald about 70 percent of the chase, which last for more than an hour, was off-road.

The chase ended up on Highway 12 in Yakima County. Riddle’s Suburban stopped in a field, Vannoy said. He then surrendered and was taken into custody before 3 p.m. without suffering any injuries.

Riddle was booked into the Benton County jail on his felony warrants. Rogers also was arrested on suspicion of rendering criminal assistance.

Authorities are working to determine what brought Riddle to Benton County and what his connection is to the Prosser property.

The sheriff’s office did not release the name of the deputy who shot at Riddle or how many bullets were fired.

The Tri-City Special Investigations Unit began investigating the shooting. The team of police from several local agencies investigate major incidents involving police officers.

Tyler Richardson: 509-582-1556, @Ty_richardson

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