Archive for May, 2017

Driver with flashing grill lights, badge arrested after police chase

Friday, May 26th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 54-year-old man who had a silver badge pinned to his vest and a can of pepper spray in his pocket when he was arrested at the end of long police pursuit on U.S. Highway 12 yesterday is being investigated for possible criminal impersonation.

James P. Sauter, of rural Chehalis, was finally caught when he turned his truck into a field and got it stuck on a log about 21 miles east of White Pass, according to authorities.

It began just before 1:30 p.m. when troopers were notified of a possible hit and run involving a white Dodge pickup truck with emergency lights installed in its grill.

Callers reported the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed and forcing other drivers to pull off the road and when law enforcement began to follow it near Morton, the truck continued east in excess of 100 mph, according to court documents.

Troopers report the truck passed other vehicles using the oncoming lane, on the right shoulder and on blind corners until they eventually lost sight of it, only to get reports later it had a vehicle pulled over on the shoulder east of Packwood.

The driver allegedly activated his grill lights during the pursuit.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead writes in charging documents the hit and run allegation and the possible impersonation continue to be investigated.

The badge turned out to be a Centralia Fire Department badge, according to Halstead.

Sauter was charged today with one count of felony eluding in Lewis County Superior Court. Bail was set at $10,000.

He was just brought before a judge on Monday for possession of a controlled substance after police located pills on Sauter for which he allegedly did not have a prescription, when he was arrested three days earlier after an incident in downtown Chehalis allegedly trying to get inside a woman’s vehicle. He had been arrested and then released by Centralia police earlier that morning for allegedly aiming a laser pointer at passing motorists.

On Monday, Sauter’s bail was set with a $10,000 signature bond and he conveyed to the judge he would be able to produce the prescription bottle for the pills. A judge today revoked his bail in that case.
•••

For background, read “Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup – UNRULY PERSON” from Monday May 22, 2017, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, May 26th, 2017
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•••

Updated at 5 p.m.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• A deputy called about 10:30 a.m. yesterday to take a report of damage to a recreational vehicle at the 3300 block of Harrison Avenue was called back after its owner discovered valuables missing, including a 22 caliber pistol, a gold watch and $3,700 cash, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The break-in occurred between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

FRAUD CHEHALIS

• A business on the 1300 block of Northwest State Avenue in Chehalis called police just before 11 a.m. yesterday following the discovery someone had created checks using the business’s account, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The loss appears to be in the thousands of dollars, according to police.

DRUGS

• A deputy called about 10:50 a.m. yesterday to the 100 block of Katula Road west of Chehalis and told a 23-year-old woman had punched her roommate in the face subsequently located the suspect and found she had a meth pipe, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Cassandra L. McBride, 23, of Pe Ell, was arrested for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office. A charge of fourth-degree assault will be recommended, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

• A 24-year-old man arrested for a warrant when contacted in a vehicle he was observed in was subsequently arrested for possession of heroin yesterday in Lewis County. Court documents allege Cornelio T. Delarosa, of Centralia, had a backpack with him which contained a scale, cotton balls, syringes, a cooker and baggies and that residue on the scale field tested positive as heroin. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail in the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team case and charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with possession of heroin. His bail was set at $10,000.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report about 7:30 a.m. yesterday regarding graffiti to an air conditioning unit at the 1200 block of West First Street.

MISSING PERSON FOUND IN HOSPITAL

• A Chehalis man reported missing yesterday morning was located at a hospital in Vancouver, where he was taken after a vehicle accident. His wife called police about 8:30 a.m. yesterday to say her husband had not returned home since going to Home Depot the night before, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Police Sgt. Gwen Carrell said she didn’t know the details of where the wreck occurred, or if she could reveal his condition, only that it happened south of Lewis County.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, harassment, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, vehicle accident … and more among 170 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, May 25th, 2017
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Updated at 12:04 p.m.

CORRECTIONS OFFICER INJURED

• An inmate at the Lewis County Jail was arrested this morning after he allegedly tried to break a corrections deputy’s arm. Sheriff’s Capt. Curt Spahn said the inmate was occupying a mental health holding cell in the booking area when the deputy attempted to give him some water at about 5:15 a.m. The deputy was still standing close to the “trap door” opening when the 48-year-old Olympia resident grabbed her right arm, pulled it through the hole and wrenched down on it, according to Spahn. She was able to get her arm loose, was bruised and was taken to the hospital, Spahn said. James M. Johnson was arrested for third-degree assault.

AUTO THEFT

• A 21-year-old Tacoma resident was arrested just before midnight at the 1300 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia for possession of a stolen vehicle in connection with a Toyota 4Runner reported missing from Portland. Danielle J. Westbrook was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called about 2:25 p.m. yesterday about the theft of a string trimmer from the 800 block of North Pearl Street.

DOG FIGHT

• Chehalis police were called just after 8 p.m. yesterday about a dog attacking another dog which was being walked along the 200 block of South Market Boulevard. The Labrador had a wound under its neck and the suspect is a Rottweiler, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The city’s community service officer is following up on the incident, according to police.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, trespassing, witness tampering, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, vehicle accident, protection order violation … and more among 151 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
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•••

THEFT BY FRAUD

• A 71-year-old Randle woman reported yesterday that she discovered her debit card and pin number had been stolen from the 600 block of Silverbrook Road and found that there were 22 transactions of $50 each conducted at various locations in Ohio earlier this month, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A 34-year-old man was arrested by Centralia police yesterday afternoon on an outstanding warrant allegedly was in possession of a stolen cell phone and was trying to sell back to its owner. Joshua S. McCormick, described by police as transient, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 7:35 p.m. yesterday to a business at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue regarding a counterfeit $100 bill passed there.

DRUGS

• A 38-year-old man picked up on an outstanding warrant at the 700 block of Silverbrook Road in Randle yesterday afternoon was subsequently found to have a small plastic bindle containing a white crystalized substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Brian J. Dolan was arrested for possession of meth and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, shoplifting, suspicious circumstances, protection order violation … and more among 130 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017
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Updated at 2:46 p.m.

THEFT, THEFT, THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 11:45 a.m. yesterday to take a report of a theft of a generator from the 700 block of Marsh Street.

• A barbecue was stolen during the night from the 1100 block of West Plum Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday afternoon.

INDECENCY

• Bail was set at $25,000 yesterday for a 52-year-old man arrested the afternoon before for allegedly sitting in a chair behind his house with his pants around his ankles and masturbating in view of residents across the creek in rural Winlock. The neighbor, the neighbor’s wife, her friend and the friend’s son all saw the incident, according to court documents. Troy S. McClure, who has resided there for three years, is a level two registered sex offender and was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to authorities. Court documents indicate he lives on the 1500 block of Ferrier Road. McClure was charged with indecent exposure, a felony because he had been convicted of a sex offense previously, according to charging documents.

• Officers responded to the 100 block of Main Avenue in Morton about 9:45 p.m. on Friday to a report of a man exposing himself in public. The suspect was cited for indecent exposure and then released, according to the Morton Police Department.

• A 35-year-old Chehalis man was arrested on Saturday and brought before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court yesterday on allegations he had inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with a 14-year-old relative. Christopher M. Leece was ordered held without bail yesterday afternoon after prosecutors told a judge they had received further information that could lead to a charge more serious than third-degree child molestation. Leece is represented by attorney Jakob McGhie.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report yesterday of graffiti on a power box at First and K streets.

DRUGS

• Chehalis police were called about 1:30 p.m. yesterday to a report of a violation regarding marijuana at the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center on the 1200 block of Southwest Pacific Avenue.

WATER ACCIDENT

• Riverside Fire Authority reports a 19-year-old was rescued from the bank of the Chehalis River near Borst Park in Centralia about 4:30 p.m. yesterday with a lower leg injury he sustained while wading in knee deep water. He was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Fire Capt. Scott Weinert.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• The Washington State Patrol blamed inattention for a wreck early this morning in Mason County in which the 73-year-old driver from Toledo drove his propane truck into a ditch. Troopers called about 4:10 a.m. to the scene on state Route 101 about 16 miles north of Hoodsport note that Ronald H. Holcomb was not injured. Holcomb had been traveling southbound when he over corrected on a turn and continued about 150 feet before coming to stop in the ditch, according to the Washington State Patrol. During the removal by the tow truck, a fuel tank ruptured and spilled as much as 100 gallons of diesel into a waterway, according to the state patrol. Personnel from the state Department of Ecology were summoned, according to the investigating trooper. Holcomb was to be cited for wheels off the roadway.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, harassment,  trespassing, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, bleeding baby raccoon which had fallen from a top porch … and more among 191 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, May 22nd, 2017
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Updated at 6:18 p.m.

MEDIC, OFFICER ASSAULTED

• A 28-year-old intoxicated woman allegedly shoved a police officer in the parking lot at a motel on the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia and then allegedly grabbed and twisted a paramedic’s hand in the back of an ambulance on the way to the hospital early yesterday morning. Police had been called about 6:30 a.m. for a disturbance and after arresting her for third-degree assault, were sending her to the hospital because of her intoxication level, according to the Centralia Police Department. Julie C. Simmons, 28 of Chelan, was subsequently booked into the Lewis County Jail for two counts of third-degree assault, according to police.

RAZOR THREAT

• A 30-year-old inmate at the Lewis County Jail was arrested for allegedly threatening to slit the throat of another inmate following an argument about lights on in their cell. A deputy responding about 1:15 a.m. on Saturday arrested Jeremy A. Goldner for felony harassment, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The Centralia man had allegedly previously attempted to remove the blade from his razor, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

UNRULY PERSON

• A 54-year-old Chehalis man got into trouble with police twice on Friday morning, the first time for allegedly aiming a laser pointer at passing motorists in Centralia and then less than an hour later after trying to get inside a woman’s vehicle parked in downtown Chehalis. Police were called at 9:15 a.m. to the 500 block of North Market Boulevard in Chehalis and arrested James P. Sauter for disorderly conduct, according to the Chehalis Police Department. In a search that followed, an officer reportedly located pills on Sauter for which he allegedly did not have a prescription, according to police. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of a controlled substance and disorderly conduct, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said. Bailey said identifying the medication will have to wait for lab test results. It was about 8:40 a.m. when Centralia police learned about the laser incident at the 200 block of West Reynolds Avenue. A summons was issued to Sauter for second-degree unlawful discharge of a laser, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BREAK-IN

• A Portland resident who went to check on his cabin at the 100 block of Cascade Drive in Packwood on Sunday reported someone had tampered with and damaged the lock on his tool shed sometime since the previous Monday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A vacant house was discovered broken into and items missing at the 2100 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia on Saturday afternoon, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A resident on the 1400 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia discovered damage to his back door and its handle as though someone had tried to break-in at about 4 p.m. on Friday and neighbor found similar damage on her door, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It appeared someone had struck them with a blunt object, according to the sheriff’s office.

BAD BILLS SPENT THROUGH OFFERUP

• Centralia police were called about 5:35 p.m. yesterday to the 500 block of Harrison Avenue to take a report from an individual who sold a pool using the app OfferUp and was given two fake $100 bills by the buyer.

AUTO THEFT

• A 36-year-old driver was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle about 11:20 p.m. on Saturday following a traffic stop by Toledo Police Department Sgt. Sam Patrick inside the city limits of Winlock. The 2016 Nissan Rogue with California plates is registered to Hertz Vehicles LLC in San Francisco, according to authorities. Two passengers were interviewed and released and James D. Maloney was  booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to court documents. Maloney reportedly told police he had borrowed it from someone named Crystal in California and was to return it today, court documents relate. Maloney was not charged with a crime today but is being held with no bail on probable cause until a decision tomorrow by prosecutors.

• A Dodge Dakota stolen in Thurston County turned up abandoned on the 1400 block of Southwest Wilson Avenue in Chehalis just after 8 p.m. on Friday.

CAR PROWL

• A set of aftermarket LED lights were stolen off of a vehicle at the 1400 block of Lewis Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police just before 11 p.m. yesterday.

• Gasoline was reported stolen from a vehicle at the 800 block of West First Street in Centralia, just after 2 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called to the 700 block of Southwest William Avenue just after 8 p.m. on Friday where an individual discovered a window broken out of their Ford Expedition. It didn’t appear anything was stolen, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• When a deputy tried to pull over a car recognized as driven by someone with outstanding warrant just after 4 o’clock yesterday morning in Winlock, the gold Honda Accord reportedly sped away and a chase ensued down Interstate  5 that reached speeds of 120 mph, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It began on state Route 505 near Knowles Road and didn’t end until after exiting the freeway at Castle Rock and stopping at the 1500 block of West Side Highway, according to the sheriff’s office. Bradley W. Hamrick, 31, from Packwood, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for attempting to elude, for an outstanding warrant from the state Department of Corrections and for a warrant from a previous eluding case, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

• A 53-year-old Winlock woman was arrested for driving under the influence after a single motorcycle wreck in which she suffered minor scrapes last night at South Military and McGlaughlin roads in Winlock. A deputy responding about 8:30 p.m. noted the 2011 Harley Davidson 1200 loaded into the back of a flatbed truck had major damage and arrested the passenger, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Lisa A. Hope was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Two drivers were injured including a Centralia man in a head-on collision in Pierce County east of McKenna on Friday night. Both cars were totaled and 20-year-old Alex Flores Martinez was blamed for passing in a no passing zone, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers called to state Route 702 near 58th Avenue about 11:20 p.m. cited Flores Martinez for reckless driving, according to the state patrol. The highway was blocked for 90 minutes, the investigating trooper reports. Flores Martinez was transported to Madigan Hospital and his 1996 Mercedes Benz was impounded. Dean A. Holmes, 55, from Yelm, was taken to Tacoma General Hospital, according to the state patrol. His Chrysler PT Cruiser was also impounded.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, protection order violation, misdemeanor domestic assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, harassment, vehicle collision, shoplifting, third-degree theft, disorderly person, malicious mischief, suspicious circumstances… and more among 493 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 72-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Acreage scorched west of Chehalis

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Recent warm temperatures have got area fire departments thinking about the risks of dry grasses and other vegetation.

Firefighters were called at 3:10 p.m. yesterday to Adna, told a fast moving brush fire was heading up a hill and burning about three acres of a previously logged area.

Lewis County Fire District 6 Chief Tim Kinder said the fire near the 100 block of Carroll Way was under control about 30 minutes later.

No structures were threatened, Kinder said.

He said it appears the wind kicked up embers from an unattended stump and debris fire someone was burning and it ignited some grass.

A neighbor created a 200-foot fire break, he said. Members of the Chehalis Fire Department assisted.

Personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources took over the scene, according to Kinder.

News brief: Victim in car fire was a Kelso man

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Coroner’s Office today revealed today the man found dead inside a burned car a little more than two weeks ago in Chehalis is a 48-year-old Kelso resident.

Robert A. Mansker was found deceased after the flames were extinguished on a 1992 Honda Accord parked off the 1900 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue early on the morning of May 6, according to authorities.

The cause and manner of Mansker’s death won’t be determined until the completion of further investigation and studies, according to Coroner Warren McLeod
•••

For background, read “News brief: Chehalis car fire death still unresolved” from Monday May 15, 2017, here

News brief: Pair hurt in Centralia house fire

Sunday, May 21st, 2017
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South Pearl Street on Saturday morning. / Courtesy photo by Cassie Shaughnessy

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Two people sustained minor injuries in a house fire yesterday morning in Centralia that heavily damaged the home.

Firefighters called about 9 a.m. to the 800 block of South Pearl Street arrived to see flames at the upstair windows, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

“After confirming that the three adult occupants had safely evacuated, crews worked to extinguish the fire,” Riverside Fire Capt. Casey McCarthy wrote in a brief summary.

The fire was contained to the house and did not extend to the attached garage or to the neighboring houses, according to McCarthy.

The fire captain noted no smoke detectors present.

The two people’s injuries did not require them to be taken to the hospital, according to the fire department.

Local Red Cross representatives were requested and have been working with the displaced occupants, McCarthy stated.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, May 20th, 2017
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•••

Updated

INDIVIDUAL VICTIMIZED AFTER GIVING FEMALE A LIFT

• Centralia police report this morning that after a motorist gave an unknown female a ride to the area of South Tower Avenue in Centralia last night, he ended up getting his backpack and cell phone stolen. Officers called about 1:40 a.m. were told the female had walked away but returned a short time later with a male and the pair tried pulling the motorist from his car, according to the Centralia Police Department. The victim fled his vehicle on foot and when he returned a short time later, the two were gone along with his belongings, according to police.

THEFT OF ELECTRICITY

• Two people who allegedly engaged in bypassing a power meter in order to restore electricity to their residence after the power had been shut off by the light department were cited for defrauding public utilities on Friday. Alexis S. Collins, 40 of Centralia, and Clim G. Grant, 38 of Centralia, were issued a citation in the case associated with an address on the 1300 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia and then released with a court date, according to the Centralia Police Department.

LOST AND FOUND

• A youth’s electric motorcycle was found abandoned in the 600 block of F Street and yesterday was secured at the Centralia Police Department for safekeeping until the owner claims it.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police are looking for the driver of a white sport utility vehicle that left the scene after his vehicle hit a male standing near the open door of his own parked vehicle on the 400 block of South Pearl Street last night. Officers called just before 10 p.m. report the victim was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called just before 6 p.m. yesterday to the 1400 block of Johnson Road where a pair of 2-year-old girls were found alone and just about to cross the street. The woman who was supposed to be watching the children, Rebecca A. Hipps, 37 of Centralia, was cited or reckless endangerment and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.
•••

CORRECTION: This post has been updated to reflect that it was two  children not one child that wandered away from Johnson Road.

News brief: Fire knocked down inside plywood mill

Friday, May 19th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Four fire departments responded this afternoon when a fire broke out at Hardel Plywood on Maurin Road in the Chehalis Industrial Park.

Something, likely sawdust, ignited atop one of the large wood dryers inside a building and fire extended into the insulation above, according to Lewis County Fire District 6.

The plant’s workers were already spraying it with water when the crew arrived, Firefighter-Paramedic Matt McCoy said.

District 6 was joined by Lewis County Fire District 5, the Chehalis Fire Department and Riverside Fire Authority, McCoy said.

Crews finished knocking down the flames and were on scene about two hours doing “over haul,” McCoy said. The damage was minimal, nobody was hurt, he said.

News brief: Victim of fatal two-car wreck is Centralia resident

Friday, May 19th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Authorities say an 18-year-old Centralia woman killed in a head-on crash in Grand Mound died from internal injuries.

Cheyllyn R. Collinsworth died Wednesday night just as LifeFlight was landing following the collision at Old Highway 99 near Oregon Trail Road.

Firefighters called to the scene about 11:20 p.m. used the Jaws of Life to get to their patients. Collinsworth was driving southbound when a car headed northbound crossed the centerline, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

The male driver of the second car was injured and transported to  Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, according to the fire department.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Carla Carter today declined to release information about the male, except to say last she knew, he was still at the hospital and the wreck is being investigated as a vehicular homicide.
•••

For background, read “Grand Mound: Two-car wreck leaves 18-year-old dead” from Thursday May 18, 2017, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, May 19th, 2017
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•••

THEFT, THEFT, THEFT

• Several storage units were broken into at the 800 block of North Tower Avenue and an unknown quantity of items were taken, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department about 7:45 p.m. yesterday. This case is under investigation, according to police.

• Chehalis police were called yesterday evening about a welder stolen earlier in the day from a business at the 1000 block of Northwest Maryland Avenue. It is a Hobart Stickmate LX235, valued at $350, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The suspect is an older man driving a dark blue mini van, according to police.

• A deputy was called yesterday afternoon about the theft of a $2,500 log splitter from a covered storage area at the 100 block of Meade Hill Road in Glenoma sometime since Saturday.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning a deputy took a report of a burglary at the 400 block of Short Road near Morton in which heavy duty padlocks, chain and a door to a shop were damaged sometime in the two weeks previous to Wednesday. It was not yet clear what may have been taken, according to the sheriff’s office.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called about 5:40 a.m. yesterday to the 1600 block of North Pearl Street following the discovery that someone entered someone else’s barn and vandalized a motorcycle. The paint was scratched and the tires were punctured, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ASSAULT

• A 36-year-old Chehalis man was arrested yesterday following an afternoon report a 28-year-old Rochester man and a 54-year-old Centralia woman were assaulted at the 100 block of Meier Road south of Chehalis. The male victim had an injury to his eye and nose and the female an injury to her forearm, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The victims said that during the assault, Gregory J. Perry had also restricted their breathing, according to the sheriff’s office Perry was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault but prosecutors moved the case to Lewis County District Court instead for consideration of misdemeanor assault, according to authorities.

• Centralia police reported yesterday they are investigating a report of an assault on a child associated with the 1000 block of North Pearl Street. They learned of the incident about 4:40 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A boy was booked into Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center following a report about 11:35 a.m. on Wednesday of an assault on a school bus in a case associated with an address at Seward Avenue in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police reported yesterday they were called to take a report from Green Hill School the day before about an altercation on May 9 in which an 18-year-old student-inmate allegedly struck a staff member on the head. The case will be referred to prosecutors, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

WARNING

• Chehalis police were called about 11:30 a.m. yesterday on a request to remove a homeless female and her grocery cart of belongings from in front of a place at the 500 block of North Market Boulevard. An officer was called about 1:45 p.m. to remove a female and her belongings “occupying” a shelter on Northeast Division Street. She was warned, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• An incident of road rage was reported late yesterday afternoon in which an individual followed the victim, struck the back of her vehicle with the front of his and attempted to throw a can of soda into her open sunroof, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police are attempting to positively identify the suspect in the episode that occurred along the 600 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia around 4:40 p.m. The case is under investigation.

• Centralia police investigated a minor injury collision involving a log truck and three passenger vehicles at the 900 block of Harrison Avenue shortly before 7:15 a.m. yesterday. The at-fault driver of a passenger vehicle was issued a notice of infraction, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 39-year-old woman was injured when the car in which she was a passenger was struck by another car on southbound Interstate 5 just before 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Troopers called to the area near milepost 74 about a mile south of Chehalis report a 25-year-old Wyoming man driving a Subaru Forester began to change lanes and hit a Kia Optima, according to the Washington State Patrol. Mazhari Bahareh, of Auburn, was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the state patrol.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, shoplifting, trespassing, misdemeanor assault, failure to obey police officer, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, possession of liquor by minor; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, vehicle collision, hit and run, third-degree theft, disorderly person, fourth-degree assault, suspicious circumstances, request for contact from a parent whose mouthy 15-year-old daughter got a belly-button piercing without permission … and more among 334 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 48-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: SWAT training planned in Adna

Friday, May 19th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Washington State Patrol SWAT team will be conducting active threat training at an empty building in Adna this morning.

Sgt. James Prouty said members of the public may see law enforcement vehicles and personnel gathering at the old Adna High School on Dieckman Road near the school district office between about 9 a.m. and lunchtime today.

Five people arrested on Gish Road following drug investigation

Thursday, May 18th, 2017
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Scott E. Ridgley, left, is represented by defense attorney Kevin Nelson during a bail hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – After twice sending a police informant to buy drugs from an Onalaska man, local drug detectives served search warrants at his home, arresting him and four others and seizing methamphetamine, heroin, psilocybin mushrooms, more than a pound of marijuana and at least $6,900 cash.

Scott E. Ridgley, 56, was charged yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court with multiple felonies, including unlawful use of a building for drug purposes.

It was just over a year ago members of the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team conducted a similar operation with similar results at Ridgley’s property on the 500 block of Gish Road, although that day they confiscated about $20,000, according to authorities. He was out on bail pending trial in that case.

On Tuesday, JNET was accompanied by at least one member of the U.S. Marshals Service and arrested Ridgley along with his 39-year-old son Larry E. Ridgley who was wanted on a felony drug warrant.

Also arrested was a roommate Stephen D. Cobb, 45, who was charged yesterday with possession of meth and heroin.

Not booked into jail but referred for charges were David E. McAbee, 29, of Onalaska, possession of meth and Tracy A. Dona, 43, Onalaska, possession of meth and destruction of evidence, according to a press release from JNET forwarded by the Centralia Police Department.

Judge Andrew Toynbee set Scott Ridgley’s bail at $50,000 yesterday afternoon.

Charging documents state a confidential informant contacted one of the detectives between March 1 and Tuesday about being able to purchase meth from the senior Ridgley, and did so twice during the same period.

Once at the property, detectives found a black case near Scott Ridgley in a shop building, containing about two and a half ounces of methamphetamine, a digital scale and the cash, according to charging documents.

They found pipes with residue, a rifle with a missing stock and a 22 caliber pistol, the documents relate.

Scott Ridgley was charged with two counts of delivery of meth, one count of possession of meth with intent to deliver, possession of meth, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful use of a building for drug purposes.

He has prior convictions from 2012 for delivery of a controlled substance.
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For background, read “Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup – LOTS OF DRUGS” from Tuesday May 3, 2016, here

Prosecutor: Lewis County employees broke rules regarding seized dog

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer says a dog deemed dangerous by the county and impounded to the animal shelter which ought to have been euthanized was instead adopted out to a family who weren’t told of its background.

“His name was changed, the true nature of the dog was hidden and he was adopted out,” Meyer said. “There was a feeling it wasn’t really dangerous.”

The prosecutor was summarizing the sequence of events to the Lewis County Board of Commissioners earlier this week and advised he planned to ask an outside prosecutor to look into the actions of two county employees. He did not name the employees.

He noted there is no provision under the law to declassify a dangerous dog.

Meyer said he asked the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office to investigate. That took place last week, according to sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dusty Breen.

The canine was brought to the shelter last July 1 after it and another dog were accused of killing a goat, according to Meyer.

It’s name was Tank and then changed to Hank, and he thought it may have been a pit bull but didn’t know for sure. The dog was adopted out in January. The new owner had given the animal to her grown son and 9-year-old grandson, and they had it for a significant amount of time, Meyer said.

The new owner wanted to keep the dog or be paid for their investment in a fence and the cost of a child’s broken heart, he said. He said they submitted a bill for $3,000.

“They were told they could not keep it and voluntarily relinquished it to the county,” Meyer said.

The meeting on Tuesday was attended by Lewis County Animal Shelter Manager Amy Hanson, her boss Director of Public Health and Social Services Danette York and other personnel with the prosecutor’s office.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Eisenberg, who is among the county’s civil lawyers who advise county departments, told commissioners he was aware of the situation and was asked in September by the humane officer, the health department and the shelter what the options were for the dog under county code.

He began working on researching the law, he said, but went on family leave, returned to work and went on leave again, he said.

“I didn’t check back with the health department until recently,” Eisenberg said.

The county’s dangerous dog rules are imposed through a process that begins with an incident report from the sheriff’s office, which is forwarded to the county humane officer at Public Health and Social Services. If it’s determined the animal meets the criteria, the owner is served with a declaration their dog is dangerous and given a date for a hearing, which York oversees.

The only way for an owner to be allowed to keep a dangerous dog is to meet costly criteria such as a secure enclosure and extra insurance, Lewis County Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor Glenn Carter said.

Meyer reiterated there is no provision declassify this dog and advised commissioners if it bit someone, the county could likely be liable.

At the same time, he hinted there was reason to think this particular dog was wrongly labeled and fell through the cracks.

“In the future, I would hope there would be a more careful analysis of the facts and the dog, before it’s declared dangerous,” he said.

Grand Mound: Two-car wreck leaves 18-year-old dead

Thursday, May 18th, 2017
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At the scene at Old Highway 99 near Oregon Trail Road / Courtesy photo by Thurston County Sheriff’s Office

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A teenage driver was killed in a head-on car crash last night in Grand Mound.

Responders called about 11:18 p.m. determined a man traveling north on Old Highway 99 near Oregon Trail Road in a maroon Ford Focus crossed the centerline and struck a southbound red Kia, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to access their patients,  according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

The Kia’s driver, an 18-year-old female, died just as LifeFlight was landing at Rochester High School, according to authorities.

The other driver was injured and transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, West Thurston Fire Chief Robert Scott said.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Carla Carter indicated this morning the man, in his 20s or 30s, may have been impaired and an investigation into vehicular homicide is underway.

International sports gambling operation traced to Chehalis

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017
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By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The U.S. State Department helped local prosecutors track down a man wanted for allegedly running an illegal online betting website out of an office in downtown Chehalis.

When investigators were looking into the enterprise in the late summer of 2008, they learned that Ronald W. Ehli had moved to Costa Rica four months earlier, but they interviewed two of his employees at 34 N.E. Boistfort Street, according to court documents.

They learned he was using a bank in Minnesota, another bank in Chehalis and used website server services from a Centralia business, the documents relate.

“It’s an interesting deal,” Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said today. “There was a lot of money involved and we seized every nickel of it.”

Charges were filed in Lewis County Superior Court in the fall of 2008 but Ehli has just recently been taken into custody.

Meagher said the state department revoked Ehli’s passport and when he tried to travel to Nicaragua, where his wife lives, he was located. Ehli was brought to Florida and Meagher had him extradited from the Dade County Sheriff’s Office.

He was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday and brought before a judge this afternoon.

Judge Andrew Toynbee allowed him release pending trial on a $10,000 unsecured bond, defense attorney Kevin Nelson said.

Ehli, 58, is charged with second-degree professional gambling and also with unlawfully transmitting or receiving gambling information. Both are offenses with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

He has no known criminal history, according to Meagher.

Charging documents detail how a special agent at the Washington State Gambling Commission decided to look into Sportbetting.com to see if it had any illegal gambling activities in the state.

The agent, using an undercover name and an undercover Visa account, signed up, made bets and won several times, according to the documents.

Sportbetting.com is an Internet website that allows wagering on sports competitions, horse racing, casino games and poker. Its activities are not sanctioned by the Washington State Gambling Commission.

The documents go on to make the following allegations:

The agent received a payout for his winnings with a check drawn on Citizens State Bank in Clara City, Minnesota. It was signed by Ehli and the account belonged to EZPay Financial Services.

That business is a Washington state corporation registered to Ehli, who is listed as president, secretary and treasurer.

The two employees at the Boistfort Street office admitted to checking the email for updates and transferring money to Ehli’s account at West Coast Bank in Chehalis, then printing checks. There were four batches: for Canada, Mexico, International and United States. The computer was seized.

The computer’s server was located at Rainier Connect on Kresky Avenue in Centralia.

Ehli also owns a business called Outsource Printing, based in the same office on Boistfort Street.

Search warrants were served for electronic data from EZPay, West Coast Bank and Citizens State Bank.

It’s not clear if the two employees have been charged with any crimes.

Meagher said that the forfeiture of the business’s accounts was done by the Washington State Gambling Commission and amounted to almost $5 million.

The prosecutor’s office and the sheriff’s office applied to receive a portion of the money, to be used to investigate fraud, he said.

Nelson was appointed to represent Ehli. His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday of next week.