Archive for October, 2015

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, October 31st, 2015
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SWORD FIGHT

• Police were called at 3:20 p.m. yesterday to the 1700 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia for a report that a male attempted to stab a companion with a sword over an argument about a marijuana transaction, The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police took a report on Thursday morning of a red 1992 Toyota pickup truck taken during the night from the 200 block of North Oak Street. It was subsequently found unoccupied in a ditch on the 700 block of North Gold Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A blue 1998 Honda Civic reported stolen from the 1200 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia on Thursday morning was later found abandoned on Rhobina Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called about 10:15 a.m. on Thursday about the suspected attempted theft of a 1992 Acura from the 3000 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia. No damage was done to the vehicle, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday that a black 2006 Chrysler 300 was stolen from the 100 block of View Ridge Road in Onalaska between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Deputies have a suspect in mind, according to the sheriff’s office.

MISSING AIR CONDITIONER

• Police were called about 1 p.m. on Thursday to the 800 block of North Pearl Street regarding the theft of an air conditioner.

MISSING ROCKS

• Someone stole gravel from behind property on the 1000 block of B Street, according to a report made to police on Thursday.

JEWELRY THEFT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday that two people have been arrested for a Centralia burglary from several months ago in which an estimated $3,300 worth of valuables were stolen from a 44-year-old man residing on the 2900 block of Mount Vista Road. Among the missing items were a wicker basket of jewelry and badges, according to the sheriff’s office. One suspect Robert W. Collins, was arrested at the Thurston County Jail, where he is an inmate and the other, Janet L. Gleason, 42, of Centralia, was found hiding in a garage on the 2100 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia on Wednesday night, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

CHECK THEFT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday they arrested a 43-year-old Chehalis woman who allegedly took a checkbook from her employer and wrote a check to a local business as payment for a furniture set. Although the check was not cashed, Krystal D. Wagner was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree possession of stolen property on Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office.

CAR PROWL

• Someone got into a vehicle at the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia and stole ammunition, a checkbook, a GPS device and other personal items, according to a report made to police just before 5 p.m. yesterday.

DRUGS

• A 22-year-old inmate at the Lewis County Jail was arrested for possession of narcotics by a prisoner on Thursday afternoon, according to the the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Megan N. Lagasa, from Shelton,  was further booked for the offense, the sheriff’s office reports.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police arrested a girl yesterday for allegedly spray painting on a retaining wall at Interstate 5 near Fort Borst Park. An officer was called at about 11:40 a.m. to the 2000 block of Borst Avenue about what was happening, according to the Centralia Police Department. They stopped the juvenile and she was arrested for third-degree malicious mischief, according to police. Then she was released to her parents, police said.

• Officers took a report that a building had been vandalized by getting painted on Thursday afternoon at the 2000 block of Borst Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department

• Centralia police responded to a 4:30 a.m. call today to Starbucks on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue for a report of vandalism to the front door of the business. There are no suspects, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, shoplifting, probation violation, misdemeanor assault, no driver’s license, driving with suspended license, obstructing a public servant, failing to yield to a police vehicle; responses for dispute, harassment, vandalism, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

Rainfall prompts emergency declaration in Centralia, concerns elsewhere

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A flood watch issued on Thursday for most of Western Washington warning of small stream flooding and possibly worse remains in place for counties including Lewis, Thurston, Pierce, Grays Harbor, Mason and King.

The city of Centralia this afternoon declared a local emergency in reference to the continued rainfall.

Moderate to heavy rain is expected to continue for the next 12 hours, causing localized flooding,” Police Chief Carl Nielsen stated in a news release. “At this time the city is monitoring China Creek.

“The city is also watching the river level and at this time the rivers are not expected to reach flood stage.”

A single sand bag station will be operational by 2 p.m. in the 100 block of Center Street. That’s at Pearl Street near the downtown fire station.

Early this morning the National Weather Service indicated the heaviest rain is expected over the Mount Rainier area with another two and half to three inches predicted to fall over the next 12 hours.

The current model from the weather service shows minor to moderate flooding on the Cowlitz River in East Lewis County, peaking between tonight and Sunday morning.

The U.S. Forest Service yesterday warned recreationists the event known as a Pineapple Express would result in substantial runoff from small streams draining Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams and could trigger dangerous landslides and debris flows.

Mount Rainier National Park said visitor access will be impacted and evacuations could become necessary.

“Travel in the park is discouraged until the storm passes,” Park Superintendent Randy King stated.

A winter storm watch remains in effect at higher locations including White Pass until Monday morning. The first significant snowfall of the season is expected later in the weekend and travelers should prepare for slippery roadways and poor visibility, according to the weather service.

“The heavy rain will come to an end from north to south this afternoon into the early evening hours as the front moves south of the area,” forecasters state.

The weather services recommends the public monitor their latest forecast and be ready to act quickly if a flood warning is issued, or if flooding is observed.

The link for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Seattle can be found here and also always on the right hand column of this page, labeled “Weather Alerts, forecasts”

The link for the National Weather Service’s river level observation and forecast for Western Washington can be found here and also  always on the right hand column of this page, labeled “River levels”

No felony charges forthcoming from triple-fatality Onalaska wreck

Friday, October 30th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Investigators concluded the allegedly drunken driver in a two-vehicle crash this summer in Onalaska that killed three teenagers in the oncoming vehicle is not to blame for the accident.

Initial reports indicated the suspected point of impact was exactly in the middle of state Route 508, but the final report showed 17-year-old Arnold W. Mullinax crossed the centerline, according to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office.

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The 2002 Land Rover Discovery.

The Onalaska teen was carrying seven other young people in his Land Rover Discovery, most of whom were not wearing seat belts.

Mullinax and 13-year-old Taylor N. Thompson, also from Onalaska, died at the scene. Dakota L. Dunivin, 18, from Chehalis, passed away the following day at the hospital.

Joseph W. Rogerson, 36, from Chehalis, was arrested that night for driving under the influence and his case in Lewis County District Court has been in a holding pattern as prosecutors waited for the final report from investigators with the Washington State Patrol.

The July 13 nighttime crash left a community in mourning.

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The 2004 Ford Freestyle minivan

Responders from five area fire departments arrived to the scene near Hyak Road to find Mullinax’s Land Rover upside down, Rogerson’s Ford minivan on the roadway and 10 potential patients. All the survivors except for Rogerson’s wife were transported to hospitals.

Rogerson’s case has been dragged out, because if the investigation revealed the wreck was his fault, prosecutors were prepared to charge him with felonies such as vehicular assault and vehicular manslaughter.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer today met with the families of the victims to apprise them of the findings, before speaking about his decision that no further charges would be filed against the Chehalis resident.

He explained to them that there’s simply not a law to hold someone criminally liable who did not cause an accident, he said.

Meyer said he has had the final report for about a month.

“After the measurements were taken, the scene recreated and the vehicles inspected, it was found Mr. Rogerson was in his own lane of travel,” Meyer said.

Meyer said they know Mullinax’s crossed the centerline, although they don’t know for sure why that happened.

“A moment of inattention is all it would take,” Meyer said.

He acknowledged there was information in the state patrol’s report that offered clues, but out of respect for the families of the victims declined to elaborate.

The final reports showed Mullinax had no alcohol or any drug in his system, Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said.

Rogerson’s blood alcohol level that night was .15, according to Meyer.

Meyer said investigators concluded with the way the accident occurred, even a sober driver in the van would not have been able to avoid it.

“This is obviously a huge tragedy, three young children lost their lives,” Meyer said. “That’s the key we take away.

“We always have to be cognizant of what happens (on the road) and let our loved ones know they are loved ones.”

Rogerson’s next court hearing is Wednesday. He has been free on a $5,000 appearance bond

Among his court-ordered conditions are that he may not consume any alcohol, he may not drive without an ignition interlock device installed in his vehicle and has to wear an alcohol monitor bracelet which will detect if he drinks.
•••

For background, read “Charging decision expected soon in Onalaska triple fatality wreck” from Wednesday September 23, 2015, here

News brief: Coroner confirms body is missing mom

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County coroner positively identified the body pulled from the Cowlitz River as Elizabeth A. Pham, the Centralia woman who was reported missing two and a half weeks ago.

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Elizabeth A. Pham

Coroner Warren McLeod indicated yesterday he won’t have a determination on her cause and manner of death until he gets back the results of toxicology tests.

The 33-year-old wife and mother of three was last seen on Oct. 10 in the area around Interstate 5’s exit 59 at Vader. She was shoeless, wearing pajama bottoms and described as behaving unusual and confused by at least one person who saw her that day.

Her black Lexus was discovered on the freeway, unlocked with the keys in it.

Members of the sheriff’s office searched the river to an area approximately two miles downstream from the Mandy Road overpass four days after she disappeared. Fisherman found her on Tuesday morning about two miles from where she was last seen.

The sheriff’s office has said Pham may have been suffering from from postpartum depression.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Woman’s body retrieved from Cowlitz River near Vader from Tuesday October 27, 2015, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, October 29th, 2015
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•••

ON THE ROAD

• A 35-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for driving under the influence last night after allegedly knocking out power to the north end of Centralia when he wrecked his truck. Officers called about 10:10 p.m. to a report a white Chevrolet pickup knocked over a utility pole at First and J streets soon learned witnesses who couldn’t get the driver to stop followed him all the way to the 2500 block of North Pearl Street, according to the Centralia Police Department. The truck reportedly struck another power pole and became disabled, according to police. The driver walked or ran away and was subsequently located on foot on state Route 507, police report. Bradley W. Bell was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

• A 37-year-old Chehalis woman totaled her car last night and was booked into the Lewis County Jail for driving under the influence. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports Debra K. Ward was eastbound about 10:40 p.m. at the 900 block of Coal Creek Road outside of Chehalis when her Kia Rio hit a ditch, rolled and landed on its top. Ward suffered minor scrapes, according to the sheriff’s office. Her car was towed.

POLICE CUT WHILE DETAINING BOY

• Police were called to a Chehalis home last night where a 14-year-old boy had allegedly broken a plate and threatened to kill himself and his parents. Because an officer’s fingers were cut trying to take the plate from the boy, the teenager was arrested for third-degree assault, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was taken to the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to police.

CAR PROWL

• Somebody broke a vehicle window and stole a purse and wallet at the 300 block of Southwest 13th Street in Chehalis yesterday.

GARBAGE WHERE IT DOESN’T BELONG

• Centralia police were called to the 800 block of South Pearl Street at about 11:40 a.m. yesterday because somebody filled somebody else’s dumpster with trash.

GRAFFITI

• Centralia police took a report yesterday morning regarding graffiti left overnight on a building at the 300 block of South Tower Avenue.

• Buildings and a dumpster in Chehalis were discovered tagged yesterday with spray paint, at the 600 block of South Market Boulevard and the 300 block of Southwest Third Avenue as well as the parking lot at Rite Aid, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 45-year-old homeless man with no headlight on his bicycle was contacted about 7:25 p.m. at the 900 block of Long Road in Centralia and found to have a warrant as well as suspected methamphetamine on him, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Timothy P. McCann was was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

LOST AND FOUND

• An officer was called to Wal-Mart at the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue about 10:40 p.m. yesterday to retrieve a small baggie of suspected meth that had been found on the floor.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, hit and run; responses for alarm, dispute, vandalism, shoplifting, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street and various unfounded reports … and more.

Centralia police dog accused of biting innocent bystander during pursuit

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Centralia woman is recovering after an unexpected encounter with a police dog last night at her back door.

Janice Arias said she was sitting at her kitchen table visiting with two friends when she heard a commotion outside.

“I had my little six-pound Chihuahua in my arms, I opened the back door, I had my flashlight,” Arias said. “I seen an officer moving around, and the next thing I see, is a big black dog head coming at me.”

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Lobo

Arias said the K-9 bit her twice on her left breast and left a seven-inch scratch on her inner thigh.

She was wearing pajama pants.

“I was in shock, and screaming, I dropped my Chihuahua,” she said. “My pit bull Tigger heard me and came running, and got between me and K-9 Lobo.”

She said the two dogs began fighting and the officer came over and gave his dog commands like, “release” and “out”.

“The officer left, and all I heard was ‘get your ass back in the house’,” she said.

Centralia Police Officer Ruben Ramirez had been attempting to pull over a stolen Honda Accord along North Pearl Street, north of Reynolds Avenue.

After its driver jumped out of the still-moving vehicle and fled on foot, the officer activated his door release and called Lobo to apprehend the felony suspect, according to police.

“As Lobo was moving toward Officer Ramirez, a resident came outside of her house carrying a small dog in her arms,” Centralia police stated in a news release today. “Officer Ramirez recognized Lobo was going towards the resident and immediately called the dog off and commanded Lobo to lay down.”

Centralia police say as the K-9 laid down, he was almost simultaneously attacked by the pit bull.

Ramirez broke up the dog fight and instructed the woman to go back inside because a suspect was still outstanding, according to police.

The suspect got away.

Lobo, a German Shepherd, came to the Centralia Police Department at age 1 in mid-2010.

Earlier this year, he was given the Centralia Police Department Lifesaving Award, for grabbing the arm of a suspect who produced a gun while engaged with Ramirez.

Police Chief Carl Nielsen in the formal statement said they are sorry the resident was injured, but at this point, it’s not clear which of the three dogs is to blame.

“This was a dynamic incident with a lot of different things occurring at the same time,” Nielsen stated.

The incident is being reviewed by department staff, according to Nielsen. Arias said police Sgt. Carl Buster took her statement.

Nielsen noted how thankful the department is Ramirez has “outstanding control” over his dog. Detective Patty Finch said Lobo is not being put on leave.

Arias disputes that she stepped outside, at least not until an ambulance arrived to take her to Providence Centralia Hospital.

The 48-year-old Centralia native said neither of her dogs were injured, but she is very sore.

Lobo didn’t leave puncture wounds, but broke the skin, she said.

The emergency room doctor put her on antibiotics and pain medication and told her she was lucky she had been wearing a hooded sweatshirt over her T-shirt, she said.

It was a frightening experience, she said, one she expects the police department should take responsibility for.

Arias said her two friends can vouch for what happened, as they were right behind her. And she’s wrapped up the sweatshirt in a plastic bag, certain it has Lobo’s DNA on it.

“I understand he was doing his job, but he should have a little more control over his dog,” she said. “People should be able to open up their doors and not have a K-9 come up and attack you.”

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015
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•••

Updated

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 6:30 p.m. yesterday regarding a green 1996 Honda Accord stolen from the parking lot at Safeway, on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue.

• Another green 1996 Honda Accord, stolen out of Thurston County, was recovered last night when the driver jumped out of the still-moving car as a police officer tried to pull him over. It was about 10:50 p.m. and the two were traveling along the 2000 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. The officer chased the suspect on foot down a driveway and deployed his K9, according to police. But the suspect managed to escape.

MISSING MEDS

• Police were called about 8:40 a.m. yesterday to the 1500 block of Delaware Avenue in Centralia about the theft of medication from a home.

CAR PROWL

• Two bottles of vitamins were the proceeds of a car prowl at the 1200 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday. The vehicle had been left unlocked, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An officer was called about 8:30 a.m. yesterday about an overnight vehicle prowl at the 300 block of Southwest 16th Street in Chehalis in which an iPod and some change were among the items stolen.

DRUGS

• A 23-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of heroin after contact with police at about 3:30 p.m. yesterday at the 500 block of South Tower Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department. Matthew M. Morris was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police. A case for third-degree theft is also being referred to prosecutors, according to police.

• A 32-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for possession of heroin after contact with police at about 12:20 a.m. today at the 100 block of West Roanoke Street, according to the Centralia Police Department. Robbie D. Aumiller Jr., was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

LOST AND FOUND

• A backpack discovered yesterday morning in some bushes net to a home on the 300 block of Southwest Third Street was turned in to the Chehalis Police Department. It contained clothing and personal items but no identification, according to police.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor theft, protection order violation; responses for vandalism, receipt of a counterfeit bill … and more.

News brief: Toddler hospitalized after two-vehicle wreck near Adna

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 3-year-old child was injured when the pickup truck in which she was riding attempted to turn onto state Route 6 near Adna and struck another vehicle yesterday.

Troopers called about 5:15 p.m. to the scene at Chilvers Road cited Jessica L. Mohoric, 27, of Chehalis, for failure to yield, according to the Washington State Patrol. Her Dodge pickup was damaged and towed. Mohoric was reportedly unhurt.

The 2012 Buick Enclave which had been traveling on state Route 6 was described as totaled. Its driver, Linda L. Gustin, 67, also from Chehalis, was reportedly unhurt as well.

The 3-year-old girl was transported by private vehicle to Providence Centralia Hospital.