Archive for July, 2014

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

CEMENT CAT GROWS LEGS

• Someone stole a concrete lion from a porch on the 100 block of North Washington Street in Centralia, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department yesterday.

MORE THEFT

• Police took a report yesterday of a bench stolen from the 300 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia.

• Centralia police were called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday when a male walked out of a store on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue with a cart full of groceries.

CAR PROWL

• A 25-year-old road construction worker called 911 yesterday after discovering someone got into his vehicle he’d left parked on state Route 6 near Katula Road west of Chehalis while he worked and they stole a cell phone, a driver’s license and $15 cash. It happened between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He’d left the windows down because it was hot, the sheriff’s office reports.

GIRL FIGHT BROKEN UP

• A teenage girl and two women were arrested yesterday after an ongoing feud erupted into assaults at the 600 block of West Seventh Street in Centralia. Officers called about 2:45 p.m. to a physical dispute in progress arrested Apolinar Penaloza Ortiz, 37, for disorderly conduct and Jaqueline Dado-Ledezma, 35, for misdemeanor assault, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case of the 16-year-old girl was referred to prosecutors for a charge of misdemeanor assault, according to police. The Centralia residents were all then released, according to police. Further details were not readily available about the disagreement.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, shoplifting, driving with suspended license, responses for alarms, dispute, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, hit and run, car into ditch and mailbox, dogs left alone inside vehicles … and more.

This just in: DB Cooper demands, just give me the music and no one gets hurt

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
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Man says he’s dropping in to Chehalis on Saturday.

CHEHALIS – His 1971 hijacking of a Northwest Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle remains the only unsolved aviation crime in the history of the United States.

The man popularly known as DB Cooper demanded and received $200,000 in a duffel bag, then parachuted from the Northwest Airlines plane somewhere over Southwest Washington and wasn’t heard from again.

But like many criminals, Cooper couldn’t resist returning to the scene of the crime, and on Saturday will present his Second Annual DB Cooper Music Festival at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds in Chehalis, the mid-point of his famed flight.

A special correspondent for Lewis County Sirens.com caught up with the notorious hijacker to talk about the upcoming festival.

“I feel kind of bad that the authorities have spent so much tax payer money trying to track me down over the years,” says Cooper (not his real name). “So bringing some smoking hot music to Southwest Washington is my way of giving back to the community.”

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DB Cooper

Topping the three-stage, all-day musical lineup are names like Curtis Salgado, 2013’s worldwide Blues Entertainer of the Year; six-time Grammy nominee Maria Muldaur; finalist on season one of “The Voice” Vicci Martinez; blues pioneer Alice Stuart, and Capitol Records’ rising star Ethan Tucker.

But that’s just a sampling of the 22 acts that will be landing at the fairgrounds on the day after tomorrow, with gates opening at 11 a.m.

The festival is an expansion of the single-stage event held for the first time last year in Nisqually.

Cooper says he hopes to find a permanent home here in Lewis County, and if the event is successful, to expand it further to a full weekend of music.

“I’d like to see this become a destination event in the future, something that people will make people come from outside the area and stay for a while,” Cooper asserts. “I mean, if anyone knows how to drop some cash into Southwest Washington, it should be me. But this time, I’d like it to be unmarked bills. And I’d like to spread it around a little.”

Cooper says he’ll be at the festival all day, enjoying the music and kicking up his heels, and that he isn’t worried about authorities placing him under arrest during the party.

“People have been turning themselves in to the FBI and claiming to be me for over forty years,” he explains. “At this point, I could walk into any police station in the country and say I’m DB Cooper, and no one will believe me. They will refer me to a local therapist and send me on my way.”

Cooper says his musical vision for the festival is two fold – to bring well known talent to Southwest Washington, but also to turn the spotlight on some great talent from the Pacific Northwest.

“One of the great things about doing this festival is that I get to scout performers in the area,” says Cooper, who himself is an accomplished harmonica and penny whistle player. “And I find that there are a lot of musical treasures that the average person doesn’t even know about.

“I mean SweetKiss Momma? Those guys are some badass Southern Rockers. Sour Owl will rock your socks off with a piano player that’s older than Moses. And I’d be putting a ring on Brittany Kingery’s finger myself if I were forty years younger.

“Seriously, this musical lineup is worth jumping out of a plane for,” says Cooper. “But there will be plenty of parking, so I think it’s easier to just drive.”

The complete festival lineup and advance tickets for the event are available at www.dbcoopermusicfestival.com. Tickets for the full day of music are $35 in advance and $40 at the gate. Festival goers must be 21 or older to attend, and proof of age is required for entry.
•••

DB Cooper Music Festival
When: Saturday, Aug 2, 2014
Where: Southwest Washington Fairgrounds, 2555 North National Avenue, Chehalis, Wash.
Parking: $5 per vehicle
Tickets sales online, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Updated

RANDLE RESIDENT HURT IN WRECK

• A 65-year-old Randle man was hospitalized after his car was rear ended by a semi-truck on U.S. Highway 12 near Glenoma today. Troopers called about 11:20 a.m. to the scene found Freddie C. Rickets was stopped in his Ford Focus waiting for traffic at the intersection with Savio Road, according to the Washington State Patrol. A 2009 Kenworth tractor without any trailer stuck the rear of the car, according to the state patrol. Rickets was injured and transported by aid to Morton General Hospital, according to the investigating trooper. Bernard F. Horstman, 56, from Longview, wasn’t hurt but was cited for following too closely, the state patrol reports.

OFFICERS FLOCK TO REPORT OF GUN DRAWN AT ACCIDENT SCENE

• Nobody was injured after a two-vehicle collision yesterday on southbound Interstate 5 in Chehalis but the green Ford Explorer that came to rest in a field next to the freeway drew numerous law enforcement officers when an individual told an arriving trooper there was a firearm being brandished. William H. Carroll, 68, of Onalaska, had moved into the left lane and struck a Dodge pickup truck, according to the Washington State Patrol. The pickup pulled to the shoulder but the Explorer continued off the road. Carroll was eventually cited for an unsafe lane change, according to the state patrol. “We believe the driver was unloading the weapon after the collision,” Trooper Torson Iverson said. “We got it all cleared up after the scene was under control.” Iverson said he believed the other driver, David E. Carroll, 65, from Forks, was a relative of Carroll’s. Both vehicles were damaged but were able to be driven away from the scene, the investigating trooper reports.

CHEHALIS MAN HURT IN THURSTON CRASH

• A 41-year-old Chehalis resident was injured last night when the vehicle in which he was a passenger struck a flatbed tow truck east of Lacey. Troopers responding about 9:45 p.m. to state Route 510 at Mullen Road found the tow truck was westbound, made a wrong turn and began to back out onto the road. It was struck by a Hyundai Tuscan driven by 49-year-old Grace M. DeBoard of Rochester, according to the Washington State Patrol. She was not hurt, but Douglas W. Lohman was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital, according to the state patrol. Neither the tow truck driver, from Terrebonne, Ore. nor his two teenage passengers were injured, the investigating trooper reports. But he was cited for negligent driving. The road was closed for approximately three hours.

THREE INJURED IN CENTRALIA COLLISION

• Two women and one man suffered minor injuries when a vehicle ran a stop sign at Summa Street and Kresky Avenue in Centralia yesterday morning and hit a semi truck headed north on its passenger side, according to responders. Police and aid called about 10:15 a.m. found that a second car collided in a T-bone fashion with the first car, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Traffic was blocked and a detour was put in place, according to Fire Capt. Scott Weinert. The truck driver was unhurt but the three others involved were transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Weinert.

THEFT OF POT

• Centralia police were called about 9 p.m. yesterday regarding the theft of medical marijuana from a home on the 3100 block of Russell Road.

MUSIC MISSING

Centralia police took a report about stolen rental instruments yesterday from the 100 block of South Tower Avenue.

MAIL MISSING

• Chehalis police were called about 1 p.m. yesterday regarding the theft of mail on Southwest 18th Street.

FRAUD

• An officer took a report yesterday from the 900 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia about fraudulent activity on a checking account.

STREET FIGHT

• Centralia police responded about 6:40 p.m. yesterday to a report of a misdemeanor assault following a traffic altercation at the 500 block of North Rock Street. Further details were not readily available.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• A 61-year-old Vietnam veteran living on social security disability and food stamps was arrested yesterday for allegedly touching a young relative in Centralia about six years ago when she was a third grader. Centralia police learned of the allegations two years ago, and this summer after further investigation was conducted, including interviews with the now teenage girl and Robert A. Kinney, Kinney was booked into the Lewis County Jail. He was charged in Lewis County Superior Court today with first-degree rape of a child, for allegedly touching the girl between her legs with his fingers and mouth while they were alone at his travel trailer home. Charging documents state the girl told an adult they were playing video games, he had been drinking and she felt scared and paralyzed and didn’t tell anyone right away what occurred. Kinney reportedly told a detective at first, he didn’t remember anything like that but if there was any touching, it was accidental as the trailer where he lived was small with not much room to move around in. He allegedly also spoke to the detective of “generations of kids” who have touched him and his efforts not to make them feel self conscious when they are exploring their sexuality. His bail was set at $500,000 and arraignment scheduled for Thursday.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, failing to transfer vehicle title, driving under the influence, misdemeanor assaults, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, dispute, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, hit and run, car into a ditch, dogs left alone inside vehicles … and more.

Birds, burn barrels and continuing fire danger

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Just because it rained a little bit doesn’t mean the risk of brush fires has diminished.

Members of four fire departments responded yesterday afternoon to a fire behind a house on the 400 block of Toledo-Vader Road.

“Apparently rubbish in a burn barrel ended up blowing over into some grass and trees,” Lewis County Fire District 2 Chief Grant Wiltbank said.

The wind was fairly strong and the vegetation is still quite dry, he said.

Crews managed to get it under control within about five minutes of their arrival and kept it to less than an eighth of an acre but spent the next 45 minutes extinguishing hot spots such as a smoldering old stumps, according to the chief.

“A couple more minutes and the fire would have been a really difficult fire to contain,” Wiltbank said.

At least a half dozen personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources joined Lewis County Fire Districts 2, 15 and 20, he said.

Burn barrels are not permitted for use in Washington.

Wiltbank said he didn’t know if DNR issued a citation but said another consideration is anyone who starts a fire illegally, even if it’s an accident, will find themselves responsible ultimately if it gets away and burns down someone else’s home or barn.

“Their insurance is not going to cover it,” he said.

Outdoor burning restrictions were put in place earlier this month by the Lewis County Board of Commissioners. Last week, fire chiefs in the county issued a joint request for people to use extra caution, in part because so many firefighters were out of town helping battle wildfires in Eastern Washington.

Wiltbank said whatever precipitation we’ve gotten isn’t going to be absorbed by grass that is dead out there.

“All it takes right now is a spark in tinder dry grass, and away it goes,” he said.

“The flaming bird fell to the ground and caught the grass on fire.”
– District 12 Battalion Chief Jim Fowler

Just two days ago, members of Thurston County Fire District 12 spent about two hours putting out a fire that threatened Beaver Stadium at Tenino High School.

Crews called about 11:40 a.m. to Hogdgen Street and West Garfield Avenue found tall grass burning, which spread into a stack of stored telephone poles.

District 12 Battalion Chief Jim Fowler said it was knocked down by roughly noon, but they then dug about a 200-foot fire line.

The incident was blamed on a bird, now deceased and now dubbed “Little Sparky,” according to Fowler.

It landed on a transmission line, and then ignited, he said.

“The flaming bird fell to the ground and caught the grass on fire,” Fowler said.

News brief: Driver injured in collision with building

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
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One person was hurt when car ran into building. / Courtesy photo by Ken Brown

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 73-year-old Onalaska woman is in satisfactory condition this morning after crashing her car into a building along state Route 508 just east of Interstate 5 yesterday afternoon.

Troopers and aid were called about 4 p.m. to the scene where the four-door sedan was covered with bricks and its single occupant trapped inside, according to responders.

Firefighters had to stabilize the car and remove part of its top to get her out, according to Lewis County Fire District 5.

Marian B. Burton had been traveling eastbound when her Buick Lucerne left the roadway, according to the Washington State Patrol. It happened about three miles east of Interstate 5.

She was airlifted to to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver. Her vehicle was described as totaled and was impounded.

Burton was to be cited for wheels off the roadway, according to the state patrol.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Updated at 2:17 p.m.

ATTEMPTED THEFT

• Deputies responding about 5:20 a.m. yesterday to a Shell gas station on the 100 block of Mulford Road west of Toledo found two baseball-sized holes in the glass front door and reviewed security video that showed a male wearing a puffy jacket with fur on its collar trying to break it. He smacked the door twice with a blunt object but being made from the same material as a car windshield, it wouldn’t break, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The images from earlier show two males arrived in a vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office. The loss from the damage to the Toledo woman who owns Cowlitz Food and Fuel is estimated at $500, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

THEFT

• Centralia police responded about 7:30 a.m. today to a call from the power company regarding a stolen meter discovered on a residence on the 200 block of Tilley Avenue where the electricity had been previously shut off. Police are investigating.

THEFT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning a 50-year-old Glenoma woman returned home to the 100 block of Cedar Lane about 3 p.m. on Sunday to discover her Android tablet and 32 caliber Ruger semi-automatic pistol were gone. A deputy was given possible suspect information, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

THEFT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports the 73-year-old owner of a vacation cabin near Ashford discovered four windows were broken and someone made off with coats, jackets and other items including a metal folding table. It happened on milepost 4 of Skate Creek Road North sometime in the three weeks before Saturday, according to the sheriff’s office.

THEFT

• The owner of a vacation home on the 100 block of VanHoesen Road in Onalaska called 911 on Sunday after finding someone broke through the front door and stole food, two drills and a DVD player. The victim, a 56-year-old man from Milwaukie, Ore., estimated the loss at $300, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

THEFT

• A 59-year-old Onalaska man reported on Saturday someone stole his Kymco 300 ATV from the 200 block of Burchette Road sometime during the previous few days while he was gone fishing. The value is $1,800, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

LOST AND FOUND

• A set of rosary beads found in the 400 block of Northwest Front Street in Chehalis were turned into the police department yesterday afternoon. Detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said if someone can describe them, they can get them back.

LITTLE POLICE PURSUIT

• A red Chevrolet Tahoe that failed to pull over when a Chehalis police officer attempted to make a traffic stop about 3:30 p.m. yesterday in the Twin City Town Center was discovered later parked in Chehalis without any occupants. Police briefly chased the SUV but terminated the pursuit when it headed into downtown, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Officers have a possible suspect, according to police.

COLLISIONS

• A 58-year-old Yakima man on a motorcycle traveled approximately 100 feet down a steep embankment off Skate Creek Road South near Packwood on Saturday afternoon after hitting a rough patch on the road and losing control. He suffered head and chest pain and was being tended to by aid when deputies arrived about 2:30 p.m. to the area near milepost 14, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Witnesses traveling behind him said they observed no erratic driving so no enforcement action was taken, according to the sheriff’s office. His 2000 Harley Davidson was described as totaled.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported today the 23-year-old Centralia woman whose car became wedged  beneath the trailer of a parked 18-wheeler on Sunday at the 600 block of Reynolds Avenue in Centralia said she had been sick and fell asleep, causing her to leave the roadway, hit a deep ditch and become airborne. The driver sustained a possible broken eye socket and possible concussion, according to the sheriff’s office. She was cited for wheels off the road and driving with a suspended license, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

CRIME STOPPERS

• Lewis County Crime Stoppers and Chehalis police are hoping someone recognizes a security video image of a heavyset balding man who walked into Wal-Mart about 1 a.m. on May 9 and broke into a jewelry case with some kind of tool and stole 17 assorted rings. He exited the store and drove away in a dark colored two-door car, according to Crime Stoppers. The loss is reported as $4,224. Crime Stoppers pays up to $1,000 for information leading to the clearance of crimes. Anonymous calls can be made to 1-800-748-6422 or information may be shared online at www.lewiscountycrimestoppers.org

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, obstructing, resisting arrest, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets, vicious cat, dogs left alone inside vehicles … and more.

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Police are looking for tips as to the identity of this man suspected of breaking into a jewelry case at Wal-Mart in Chehalis early in the morning on May 9.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Updated at 10:02 p.m.

RUBBER RAFT DUMPS PASSENGERS INTO COWLITZ RIVER

• Firefighters were called to a boating accident in the Cowlitz River in Toledo yesterday evening when a lightweight inflatable raft hit something in the water and popped. There were several people that went in the water and two girls ages 11 and 8 were plucked out, according to Lewis County Fire District 2. Fire Chief Grant Wiltbank said he understood they put their craft in upstream from the bridge over state Route 505 and one man helped one of the girls near the bridge and another man caught the second girl as she floated downstream. It could have been a deadly incident if not for the life jackets the children were wearing, according to Wiltbank. Below the surface of the river, the currents can run in all different directions, and bends in rivers often hold downed trees, the branches of which act as a strainer and can rip rafts up, he said. “Even though on the surface it looks like it’s moving slow at times, it’s extremely powerful underneath,” he said. One man who had been in the water was really cold and needed to get warmed up so he was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Lewis County Medic One.

UNLAWFUL IMPRISONMENT

• A 25-year-old Morton resident was arrested for unlawful imprisonment after an incident on Friday that went on for about three hours at the 600 block of state Route 7 outside Morton. Deputies called about 7 p.m. after his 18-year-old girlfriend finally got away were told he didn’t want her to leave, called her names, threw things, stepped in front of her and threatened to cut his own throat, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said Jonathan J. Kaye began cutting on himself and when the young woman finally ran to her car and fled, he chased her down state Route 508. Kaye was subsequently located and booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

ANGRY EX-BOYFRIEND ARRESTED

• A 23-year-old Winlock man was arrested after he reportedly barged into a home and assaulted his ex-girlfriend and his longtime friend on Friday morning at the 100 block of Allman Road in Winlock. Sean M. Riley allegedly threw a television to the floor and stomped on it and slashed tires on the two victim’s vehicles before leaving, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies called about 9:30 a.m. learned the young woman got a next door neighbor to break up the fight, according to the sheriff’s office. Riley was subsequently located and booked into the Lewis County Jail for fourth-degree assault, malicious mischief and burglary, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

CENTRALIA HOME BURGLARIZED

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning someone made off with a vintage watch, broach and pocket watch, a handgun and numerous other valuables totaling about $4,000 from a home on the 100 block of Blanchard Road in Centralia last Wednesday. The resident called 911 about  3 p.m. when she returned home and found her belonging thrown around, according to the sheriff’s office. A dog track was conducted and it appeared someone left on an ATV, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

PURSE SNATCHING

• An Onalaska woman turned her back on her shopping cart as she loaded up her vehicle outside Wal-Mart and someone walking by took her purse, according to the Chehalis Police Department. An officer responding about 5 p.m. on Saturday learned from surveillance video it was a white male in his 20s driving a green four-door passenger car with a small spoiler, according to police.

FRAUD

• Morton police were contacted on Thursday by a resident who discovered someone had stolen checks from her purse, forged her name and cashed them in the amount of about $260. The case is still under investigation, according to the Morton Police Department.

SNOOZING IN THE BUSHES

• A 51-year-old homeless man was arrested yesterday morning for trespassing after he was found sleeping in the bushes, with empty beer cans, at a convalescent home in Centralia. Keith A. Smith is from Centralia and has been told by the owners and police he may not go to Cooks Hill Manor, except to visit his girlfriend, according to the Centralia Police Department. An officer called just before 11 a.m. to the location on the 2000 block of Cooks Hill Road booked Smith into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

DOG BITES

• First responders were called about 10:40 p.m. yesterday by law enforcement to an area near milepost 63 and Interstate 5 near Winlock and Toledo for an individual with multiple dog bites. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said it sent its K-9 to  conduct a track to assist troopers following a hit and run incident, in connection with a 29-year-old Longview man. Further details were not readily available. The patient was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Lewis County Fire District 5.

PETS PERISH IN RV FIRE

• Two small dogs died from smoke inhalation when a fire broke out in a fifth-wheel trailer being used as a home in the Doty-Dryad area on Saturday morning. Lewis County Fire District 16 Chief Greg Feuchter said no one was home at the time and there was smoke damage throughout with heavy fire damage to the front of the trailer.

TRAILER OF HAY IGNITES ON HIGHWAY

• Firefighters were called about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday when a large load of hay bales on a flatbed trailer caught fire while being pulled down U.S. Highway 12 just east of Mary’s Corner near Larmon Road. Nobody was hurt; the man, woman and children pulled over after noticing the trailer was on fire, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. Firefighter Brad Bozarth said one lane of the highway was closed for about 20 minutes and the other for roughly three hours while crews doused the smoldering pile of hay. He estimated there were about 200 bales. The bed of the Ford F250 pickup burned, but not the cab, he said.

COLLISIONS

• A motorcycle rider from Sequim was injured yesterday when he slowed for freeway traffic yesterday in Chehalis and had to lay his bike down to avoid slamming into the back of a car. Troopers and aid called about 1:15 p.m. to the northbound lanes near Labree Road found Eric T. Thomas separated from his his bike and then slid as much as 30 feet on the roadway, according to responders. “He was wearing protective gear so that saved a lot of road rash,” Chehalis Fire Department Capt. Ted McCarty said. Thomas, 50, had a hurt shoulder and facial laceration, according to McCarty. He was flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical center in Seattle, primarily because they couldn’t be sure if he had internal injuries, according to McCarty. He was to be issued a citation for speed too fast for conditions, according to Washington State Patrol. His 1998 Honda GL 1500 was damaged, according to the state patrol.

• A woman escaped with small cuts from broken glass when she wrecked her car on the 600 block of Reynolds Avenue in Centralia yesterday afternoon, coming to rest wedged partially beneath the trailer of a parked 18-wheeler. She had left the roadway and hit a culvert, according to Riverside Fire Authority. “She was able to back out and was standing outside when we got there,” Fire Capt. Erik Olson said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants,  trespass, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, providing false statement, failure to transfer vehicle title; responses for alarms, disputes, possible fraud, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, violation of protection order, dogs or children left alone inside vehicles in parking lots, noisy kids on playground after 10 p.m. … and more.

No charges for Salkum man who shot neighbor

Monday, July 28th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer announced today he will not file any criminal charges in connection with the fatal shooting of 28-year-old Travis Shive by a neighbor in Salkum in May.

“While the loss of life is tragic under any circumstances, it appears that Mr. Ritter acted in self defense,” Meyer stated in a formal news release today.

Ritter is Jack L. Ritter, 56, who told deputies he felt threatened because Shive had been on his front porch ranting, accusing him of shooting his dog and refused to leave.

Shive was unarmed, but Meyer said witnesses indicated Shive was the aggressor in the situation.

It happened the evening of May 10 on the 200 block of Stowell Road, about a half block from the Salkum Super market.

Shive had gotten a phone call telling him his dog had been shot by someone in the white house and arrived on his ATV to Ritter’s front yard, according to Meyer. He was at the wrong house, according to Meyer.

Ritter came out of the back of his house armed with .380 semi-automatic handgun, telling Shive to get off his property, he didn’t shoot his dog and Shive was about to go, but then went at Ritter, according to authorities.

Shive died from a gunshot wound that entered his abdomen and traveled into his chest. He was also shot in the left shoulder.

Ritter was afraid for his safety, Meyer said.

In the decline letter Meyer wrote to Lewis County Sheriff’s Office detective Kevin Engelbertson, Meyer wrote that the facts in the matter do not support criminal charges against Ritter.

At trial Ritter would claim self defense and the state would not be able to rebut the claim based on the available evidence, Meyer wrote.

Meyer said in cases where it’s a close call, that’s when he concludes a jury should decide.

He contrasted it with the Ronald Brady case of 2010 when Brady was charged with first-degree murder for shooting an unarmed suspected burglar outside a house he owned in Onalaska. Brady was convicted by a jury of a lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison.

“The victim in that case was running away when shot,” Meyer said. “In this case, the victim was engaged in a struggle for a gun.”

The law is clear that a person can act in defense of themselves or others, Meyer said.

“But whether those actions are reasonable are going to be analyzed and scrutinized,” he said.

He said these kinds of cases are very fact specific.

“There isn’t a clear cut, this-is-the-line rule,” Meyer said. “Sometimes it’s going to turn on minute facts.”

More to come

•••

For background, read “Investigation continues into deadly Salkum dispute” from Wednesday  May 14, 2014, here

Port Orchard boy’s body being recovered from Ohanapecosh River

Monday, July 28th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Kayakers navigating the Ohanapecosh River in East Lewis County yesterday afternoon located the teen who fell in earlier this month and recovery efforts are underway today.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says they began at about 10:30 a.m. today, with deputies and members of Packwood Search and Rescue and Olympic Mountain Rescue.

The 17-year-old from Port Orchard was last seen on July 4 being swept down the extremely swift and cold river after he slipped while taking photographs with friends.

The body is in a difficult spot to reach; it took teams two hours to get to it as the terrain is very steep, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown stated in a news release.

Searchers have been hopeful over the past three and half weeks the water levels would drop so the boy would be found, Brown said.

The sheriff’s office has not named him, but The Kitsap Sun identified him as Josh Osborn.

As of about 1:30 p.m. today, teams were still working on removing the boys’ body from the canyon, according to Brown.

The area is near the Cedar Grove Campground off state Route 123 just south of the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, according to the sheriff’s office.

The same day Osborn drowned, an 18-year-old Tacoma resident,  Rashawn J. Hale-Moody, drowned in Alder Lake, at the intersection of Lewis, Thurston and Pierce counties.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

ASSAULT

• Centralia police took a report yesterday afternoon from the 500 block of West Roanoke Street regarding an infant child possibly assaulted by its parent. Further details were not readily available, but police say the case remains under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police took a report on Friday afternoon from the 300 block of North Tower Avenue from a female who said she was assaulted by her former boss. The situation is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

MAD DAD

• A 38-year-old Centralia man looking for his runaway daughter was arrested last night after he allegedly let himself into a home on the 200 block of Tilley Avenue in Centralia and confronted the residents there. Officers called about 9:35 p.m. were told Aaron K. Shelton demanded to know where the girl was, threatened to hurt the individuals if they stood in his way of finding her and refused to leave, according to the Centralia Police Department. Shelton was booked into the into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree burglary, according to police.

BREAK-IN

• Centralia police called just before midnight about a possible burglary at a vacant building on the 600 block of North Tower Avenue ended up arresting a 26-year-old man from Kelso when he was found with numerous unspecified items he admitted taking, according to the Centralia Police Department. Daniel J. Phillips was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree burglary, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police took a report about 10 a.m. on Friday regarding a stolen red 1998 Volkswagen Jetta from the 100 block of South Tower Avenue. The car was taken sometime between 2:45 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., according to the Centralia Police Department. It has a license plate of AOJ 1739, according to police.

BROKEN

• Centralia police took a report about 2:15 a.m. today of a window getting broken on a vehicle at the 300 block of West Plum Street.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• A man who recently finished his prison term for a sex offense agreed to be locked up at the state’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island instead of going through a trial in Lewis County Superior Court. The civil trial for Jerry Mullins began and ended on the same day a week ago Friday, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. Prosecutors from the attorney general’s sexually violent predator unit were fighting to prevent Mullins’ release to the community, originally scheduled for June, according to a spokesperson for the office. Mullins, now 40 years old, was convicted about 25 years ago of of rape of a child in the first degree and statutory rape in the first degree. In 2008, he was convicted of an additional sex offense involving a child, according to spokesperson Alison Dempsey-Hall. He had been temporarily confined at the center, according to Dempsey-Hall. In a news release this past week, Dempsey-Hall said that on July 18, Mullins agreed to a stipulated order acknowledging he met the definition of a sexually violent predator. Since 1990, in Washington state, individuals can be locked back up – after serving their criminal sentence – indefinitely under the involuntary civil commitment law.

WRECK

• A motorcycle rider was hospitalized yesterday afternoon following a collision with a vehicle at North Pearl Avenue and Sixth Street in Centralia. Police called just after 3 p.m. report he was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital where he was treated and has been released.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, obstruction, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor theft,  misdemeanor assault, reckless driving; responses for violation of protection order, collisions on city streets … and more.

Centralia K-9 officer authorized back to work after fatal shooting

Friday, July 25th, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news

Centralia Police Department Chief Bob Berg announced yesterday Officer Ruben Ramirez would be returned to normal patrol duties following a finding by a use of force review board that the officer acted appropriately when he shot and killed a suspect last month.

Berg said in a news release he remained confident since the beginning, the 15-year veteran of the department acted properly and used sound tactics in accordance with policies and procedures.

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Lobo

“I am thankful that he was not hurt and am confident that he will continue his excellent law enforcement service to the residents of our community,” Berg stated. “I am also pleased and grateful that his partner, Police Service Dog Lobo, was with him that day.  I truly believe that the K-9 was instrumental in saving the life of Officer Ramirez.”

It was the morning of June 29 and police were called to a shoplifting incident a the Chevron service station on the corner of South Tower Avenue and East Cherry Street. Ramirez contacted two individuals, and released his K-9 partner when 43-year-old Paul M. Edmundson pulled away from him, according to the Lewis County prosecutor’s summary of the investigation.

As the two men and the German Shepherd fought on the ground, Ramirez detected Edmundson began pulling a handgun from beneath his clothing, backed up and told him to drop it and after hearing a “click”, fired one shot, the summary of the outside investigation concluded.

Edmundson, who was going by the name Christopher Matthews didn’t steal the burritos, but Ramirez recognized the name on his identification as a suspect in an assault two days earlier, according to the investigation.

Edmundson had arrived to Centralia about a month earlier and was staying with his girlfriend  Pepper Tree Motel and RV Park.

The investigative team of detectives from surrounding police agencies was headed up by Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Detective Ben Elkins. Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer concluded from their reports last week Ramirez’s use of deadly force was justified.

An internal use-of-force review board then convened and made its recommendation to the chief of police.

Berg said the panel included chiefs from Tumwater and Chehalis, a chief deputy from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, a Centralia police officer selected by Ramirez and a police commander from the Centralia Police Department.

Centralia police’s initial description of the events included Lobo grabbing the suspect’s arm preventing him from pulling his hand out of his pocket, but then briefly releasing his hold and then as Edmundson pulled out the handgun, biting onto his arm again.

It’s the second time this year a Centralia officer has shot and killed someone. In February, an officer fired eight shots at a 48-year-old Westport man staying at the Lakeview Inn after a night time encounter in a nearby residential neighborhood when the man refused to drop a knife. He too was cleared.
•••

For background, read “Centralia officer cleared in deadly bank parking lot shooting” from Tuesday July 22, 2014, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, July 25th, 2014

LIFESAVERS AT WORK

• Chehalis Fire Department Chief Rob Gebhart is giving credit to a man’s co-workers for helping save his life yesterday. Firefighters called about 4:45 p.m. to an office on the 1500 block of North National Avenue found them doing CPR on an individual Gebhart guessed was in his 60s. They took over, then medics performed further treatment and the patient had his own pulse by the time he was loaded up in an ambulance, Gebhart said. Initiating CPR right away is critical in such cases, he said. “If there’s CPR going on when we get there, we know we have a pretty good chance,” he said. The man was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital.

CHASE THEN CRASH

• A police pursuit that began at Denny’s restaurant in Chehalis ended when the vehicle the wanted subject was driving crashed into a guard rail a few miles south at exit 71 of Interstate 5 yesterday. Keith J. Rose, 37, from Chehalis, fled on foot but was caught in a field about 200 yards away, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It began around 12:30 p.m. when deputies got information Rose was waiting for his girlfriend outside the Law and Justice Center in Chehalis and was subsequently found at the eatery at exit 76, according to the sheriff’s office. When confronted, Rose sped out of the parking lot, with deputies behind him, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. He was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with what he said severe pain to his chest and back and will be booked into the Lewis County Jail upon his release, Brown said. He was wanted for outstanding felony and misdemeanor warrants, she said.

POLICE: WOMAN HITS POLICE OFFICER

• A 33-year-old woman being escorted with her child by an officer from a residence where she was no longer wanted allegedly struck the officer and was arrested for third-degree assault last night. Police were called about 11:30 p.m. to the 400 block of North Oak Street and ended up booking Misty C. Crossland into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

BRASS KNUCKLES

• Chehalis police called about 10:40 p.m. yesterday about an argument between a man and a woman at the 600 block of West Main Street ended up jailing them both. An arriving officer saw 21-year-old Kevin Hinzpeter of Centralia drop a backpack and a pair of brass knuckles, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said. Cimmarron Bale-Fooks, 19, from Olympia, was arrested for being in violation of a no contact order regarding Hinzpeter, Bailey said. Because she initially gave the officer false names, she was also booked for that, Bailey said.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report this morning of two windows broken out of a vehicle parked at a home on the 3200 block of Russell Road. Officers have no suspect information, according to the Centralia Police Department.

LOST AND FOUND

• The Lewis County Coroner’s Office is seeking the public’s help in finding the owner of a box containing cremated remains which was discovered earlier this month at the dump. The box made of dark wood was found on July 10 at the Centralia Transfer Station, according to Coroner Warren McLeod. It is secured with a screw on the bottom, but there are no markings, names or tags with it, he said. McLeod said he assumes it may have been discarded by someone who did not know what was inside and that a family would want them back. Anyone with information can call 360-740-1376.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, driving under the influence; responses for alarms, stolen bicycle, collision on city street, suspicious circumstances  … and more.

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Wood box found at Centralia garbage transfer station on July 10, 2014.

Notes from behind the news: We want your DB Cooper look alike photos, of you and your pet

Friday, July 25th, 2014
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Deadline is end of the day Monday to enter DB Cooper look alike contest, win tickets to Aug. 2 music festival.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Who would like a pair of free tickets to next week’s DB Cooper Music Festival?

The all day event has decided to touch down this year in Chehalis / Centralia, at the mid-point of the famed 1971 Portland to Seattle flight skyjacking.

It’s a full day of music on three stages, including performances by Curtis Salgado, Maria Muldaur, Vicci Martinez, Ethan Tucker, Bump Kitchen, Alice Stuart, The Brown Edition and many others. Blues, rock, jazz, bluegrass, soul, folk, funk, southern rock, beachy and more.

How to win a pair of tickets?

Between now and the end of the day on Monday, share with us your DB Cooper look alike photos of you and your pet.

Post on Lewis County Sirens Facebook page, or email it to me at adminsharyn@lewiscountysirens.com and I will share on the Facebook group.

The best three will each find themselves with tickets to attend what promises to be a knock-your-socks-off-day.

It’s an $80 value. Tickets at the door are $40 apiece. Purchase in advance, and they are only $35.

It’s a 21 and over event, and no, I’m sorry, your pet can’t come, even if it’s part of the winning picture.

LewisCountySirens.com joins the Weekly Volcano, KITI Live95 and numerous other sponsors in welcoming the the DB Cooper Music Festival on Saturday Aug. 2, at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds.

The event is an Exit 104 Media Inc. production.
•••

DB Cooper Music Festival
Two dozen or so acts – enough for three different stages – featuring blues, folk, funk, soul, rock, jazz, bluegrass, southern rock, beachy and more.
When: Saturday, Aug 2, 2014 doors open at around 11 a.m.
Where: Southwest Washington Fairgrounds, 2555 North National Avenue, Chehalis, Wash.
Ticket Price: $35 if purchased in advance, otherwise $40
Restrictions: 21 & over, ID required
Parking: $5 per vehicle
For all the details: http://dbcoopermusicfestival.com/index.shtm
Tickets sales online, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Updated at 1:07 p.m.

POLICE: MAN IN WHEELCHAIR ACCOSTED

• A 47-year-old homeless man was jailed last night for disorderly conduct after he allegedly threatened to beat up a man in a wheelchair. Officers called about 8:30 p.m. to the parking lot at Country Cousin on the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue were told by Wesley A. Lamp he was upset because the 38-year-old man piloting the power wheel chair ran into him and knocked him to the ground, according to the Centralia Police Department. Witnesses didn’t see that, but they did see Lamp standing over the man and grabbing at the orange flag on the back of the chair, and hear him say he would rip the man’s head off his shoulders, Officer John Panco said. The 38-year-old said he was not assaulted, but did have to push the subject away, Panco said. Lamp was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

POLICE: WOMAN PUNCHES DOC OFFICER

• A 21-year-old Chehalis woman was arrested yesterday at the Department of Corrections office in Chehalis as when she was being taken back into custody, she reportedly punched a DOC officer in the face. Police called about 11:45 a.m. to the office at the Lewis County Mall arrested Nicole J.J. Duff for third-degree assault, according to the Chehalis Police Department. They were told she slipped and was injured, so she was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital to be medically cleared before being booked into the Lewis County Jail, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police took a report about 6 o’clock this morning regarding a vehicle prowl at the 900 block of Marion Street.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning on two vehicle prowls in the same neighborhood in which only about $200 worth of items were stolen. But, after the overnight thefts in the 200 block of Alderbrook Drive, outside Chehalis, here’s what’s missing: house key, mailbox key, two remote garage door openers and two remote gate openers, as well as reading glasses and a flashlight, according to the sheriff’s office. It happened sometime after 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and before 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

WRECKS

• A 29-year-old Centralia woman told police she lost control of the back end of her 1995 Chevrolet Camaro as she took a corner at the 700 block of South Gold Street last night. There was lots of broken glass but no damage to the utility pole, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 76-year-old driver hospitalized after a single-vehicle wreck yesterday on U.S. Highway 12 in Salkum has been treated and released. Troopers called about 12:45 p.m. to the area near milepost 76 found the eastbound Ford Ranger pickup ran into the ditch, and the rolled coming to rest upside down. The truck was totaled, according to the Washington State Patrol. Lynn W. Warnstadt was injured and transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the state patrol. The investigating trooper reports an unspecified medical issue caused the wreck.

• A 16-year-old boy was transported to Morton General Hospital after his bicycle was struck by a Lincoln Towncar as he crossed U.S. Highway 12 at Mossyrock earlier today. Troopers and firefighters called about 10:40 a.m. found the bicycle was southbound onto Williams Street and the sedan driven by a 74-year-old Randle man was westbound. Lewis County Fire District 3 Chief Doug Fosburg said others had already moved the teen to the side of the road when he arrived. The injuries are very minor, Fosburg said. “He was almost across and it hit the back tire on the left side,” he said. “It was more of a clip.” The damage to the car and to the bike was little enough the state patrol described it as non reportable. Domonic M. Holmes, a Mossyrock resident, failed to stop at the red light before crossing the highway, according to the Washington State Patrol.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, disputes, collisions on city streets, suspicious circumstances, report of small child left alone in vehicle that turned out to be unfounded  … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

KNIFE THREAT

• A 34-year-old man was arrested this morning after he allegedly suggested he might stab a clerk who asked him to leave the Texaco station on the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia. Officers called about 6 a.m. learned the clerk wanted Terry L. Bryan to get off the premises because he was bothering customers, according to the Centralia Police Department. When the clerk approached him, Bryan reportedly reached toward his pocket and asked, “Do you want to get stabbed?” Officer John Panco said. Bryan walked away but was subsequently located and booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault, according to Panco. He had a pocket knife with him, he said.

AUTO THEFT

• A 24-year-old Centralia woman working at Wal-Mart called 911 about 4:25 a.m. when she discovered her car was no longer in the parking lot. An officer responding to the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue learned she had last seen it a about 2 a.m., according to the Chehalis Police Department. The stolen blue 1997 Dodge Neon may have been stopped by a trooper in the Olympia area about 3:30 a.m., but police are still waiting to learn more about the traffic stop, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said.

STOLEN CHAINSAW

• A deputy was called yesterday to the 100 block of Martin Road in Glenoma where a Stihl MS311 chainsaw had been stolen from a shed.It disappeared sometime since last Thursday,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The item has a serial number of 283428601, according to the sheriff’s office.

FRAUD

• Centralia police were contacted yesterday morning by a 46-year-old Kelso man who discovered someone used his stolen credit card at two locations in town, according to the Centralia Police Department. A charge of $150 was made in one case and in another, the transaction was rejected, according to police.

CAR PROWL

• Police were called about 12:30 p.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl on Northwest Pennsylvania Avenue in Chehalis.

DRUGS

• A 23-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine yesterday following an ongoing investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department. Alfredo Mendoza Martinez was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Officer John Panco.

SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION

• Firefighters were called about 10:20 p.m. yesterday to property on the 1400 block of Airport Road Northwest where a pile of grass was smoldering. They hosed it down, according to the Chehalis Fire Department. Fire Capt. Kevin Curfman said it had heated up and ignited on its own the way compost would.

VEHICLE VERSUS BICYCLE

• Police and firefighters were called yesterday at noon to the intersection of Rock Street and Centralia College Boulevard when a man on a bicycle was struck by a sport utility vehicle. He was treated at the scene and then released by aid personnel, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence; responses for alarms, disputes, collisions on city streets, suspicious circumstances; complaint of cars speeding up and down neighborhood street … and more.