Police activity prompts school lockdown

Chris Reichert | Staff Writer

A police pursuit prompted Whitworth security to lock down campus briefly on the morning of Friday, Feb. 8.

At 12:35 a.m. students received a text message notifying them campus was locked down due to police pursuit of an armed suspect. Students were instructed to remain in their residence halls. 33 minutes later, campus security issued the all clear and students were allowed to resume normal activities.

Tricia Coder, media relations manager for the university, revealed some of the details from that night. “We had a call from the sheriff’s office that came in after 11:30 [Thursday night] to let us know that there was a suspect that they were looking for...they believed he had run towards campus,” she said in a telephone interview. “Shortly after that, we had some sheriff’s deputies respond with some of their cars...and a helicopter.”

Coder went on to explain that due to the sheriff’s belief that the suspect was armed, campus security soon made the decision to lockdown the campus for student’s safety.

In a statement on their Facebook page, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office stated that after a vehicle pursuit, in which the suspect Bjorn Manycolors avoided spike strips and deputies’ attempts at a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) maneuver, Manycolors exited his car in the parking lot of the North Division Fred Meyer and fled on foot. According to the Sheriff’s Office statement, “Deputies, Spokane Police Officers, WSP [Washington State Patrol] Troopers, K-9 units and Air 1 searched the area for Manycolors, but he was not located.”

Two of Manycolors’ passengers were released at the scene, while a third was found to have active misdemeanor warrants and was booked into jail, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Manycolors was arrested the next morning, Feb. 8, less than two miles from Whitworth.

“At approximately 7:45 a.m., a citizen reported seeing a male (Manycolors) leaving her garage near Regina and Division,” the statement says. The deputy who responded observed Manycolors riding in a vehicle, and performed a traffic stop. The driver was released at the scene.

“Manycolors was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, 3-counts of Reckless Endangerment and Driving while Suspended 3rd Degree. He was also booked on an unrelated misdemeanor warrant,” the Sheriff’s Office statement said.

A full statement can be found on the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page. Bystander video of a portion of the pursuit can be found on the Whitworthian Facebook page, courtesy of Jackson Policani KHQ News.