NewsCrime and Courts


K-9 credited with helping capture fugitive in Montana

Jesse Robert Spitzer
"critical incident" taking place on Interstate 90 in Mineral County
Posted at 9:11 AM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-29 11:12:49-05

(UPDATE, 7:21 p.m.) The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office has shared information about the the apprehension of a dangerous suspect in Mineral County.

Spitzer had allegedly stolen a vehicle after shooting at law enforcement officers, and then escaped to Montana from Washington.

Members of the Northwest Montana Regional SWAT team, Flathead County K9 Unit, and Two Bear Air responded to assist several agencies in the search for Spitzer.

The Flathead County Sheriff's Office said that early Friday morning, their K-9 Audie found and apprehended Spitzer hidden inside an empty camper.

The Sheriff's Office said: "Thanks to the cooperation of the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, Kalispell Police Department, US Marshalls Office, Idaho State Patrol, Montana Highway Patrol, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, and our own K9 Audie, this dangerous criminal is in jail, and several dozen Law Enforcement officers are all home safe tonight!“

(UPDATE, 10:25 a.m.) Spitzer has been taken into custody following an extensive search in the Haugan area. Sheriff Toth says Spitzer was injured after being bitten by a dog. Spitzer, 30 years old, led officers on a car chase from Idaho that entered Montana at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The Montana Highway Patrol was able to disable his vehicle near the Haugan exit where he threatened officers with a gun and then ran away, according to Sheriff Toth. Officers eventually found Spitzer and arrested him shortly after 9 a.m.

The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office in Washington said that Spitzer was wanted for first-degree burglary, first-degree assault, and possession of a stolen vehicle. He was also wanted for crime sprees in Chelan County and Post Falls, Idaho.

The incidents began on Friday when a SWAT team responded to an incident involving Spitzer, but law enforcement was unable to find him. The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said that on Saturday, a K-9 team tracked Spitzer into the woods in Gold Bar before he escaped. was then involved in an incident in Chelan County on Sunday.

Spitzer was then identified as a suspect in a burglary in Post Falls, Idaho on January 26 and ran from officers. Spitzer was armed with a gun during this incident.

The Post Falls Police Department says officers located Spitzer following the Wednesday incident and that he pulled a gun "and threatened to shoot himself if officers didn't leave."

Officers chased Spitzer on foot through a subdivision but were unable to find him.

Spitzer was sentenced in 2011 for shooting at a deputy sheriff in Nevada, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

We will update you when if get more information.

(UPDATE, 9:11 a.m.) Several agencies are searching for Jesse Robert Spitzer, who is accused of shooting at law enforcement officers in Idaho on Thursday night in the Lookout Pass area.

Mineral County Sheriff Mike Toth tells MTN News that Spitzer shot at officers at around 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Spitzer led officers on a vehicle chase to Haugan in Montana; he then abandoned his vehicle and began running.

Officers are searching for Spitzer in the area of the 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar area off I-90.

(1st REPORT) The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is reporting there is a "critical incident" taking place on Interstate 90 in Mineral County.

According to MDT, there is "law enforcement activity" on I-90 between mile marker 18 and the Montana/Idaho border.

The warning advises that drivers should not pick up any hitchhikers, and to immediately report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.

Mineral County Sheriff Mike Toth tells MTN News that residents in the area were notified of the incident early Friday morning and signs have been put up to alert drivers.

We will update you when we get more information.