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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm

CACHE OF IDS, CREDIT CARDS ETC. FOUND IN MORTON HOUSE

• A 59-year-old Morton woman was arrested yesterday following the discovery at her home of credit cards, checkbooks and other items belonging to 20 different people. Diana S. Stephens is already in the Lewis County Jail for a case earlier this month in which she allegedly struck her roommate in the head with a hammer. When the roommate had relatives assist him in packing up Stephen’s belongings the 100 block of Chapman Road, they discovered a plastic tub containing her wallet and paraphernalia with methamphetamine reside, along with other people’s belongings such as identifications, gift cards, health cards and even an AARP card, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Stephens told a deputy she didn’t know how the items got there, according to the sheriff’s office. The victims, as young as 20 and as old as 70, reside in places such as Packwood, Randle, Morton, Orting and Yakima, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Stephens was arrested yesterday for numerous counts of possession of stolen property and possession of methamphetamine, according to Brown. “Investigation is still underway to figure out how she obtained their items,” Brown said.

IDENTITY THEFT

• Centralia police were contacted yesterday by an individual from the 300 block of North Gold Street regarding the discovery someone else was using their social security number. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CHEHALIS RESIDENCE WINDOW SHOT AT?

• Chehalis police were called just before 11 p.m. yesterday when a resident on West Main Street saw a bright flash of light and heard a sound like glass breaking, as though someone shot something through their window. It could have been a transformer blowing or something else, since the responding officer didn’t file a report about gun shots or broken windows, according to detective Sgt. Gary WIlson.

CAR PROWL

• A stereo was stolen when someone broke into a vehicle overnight at the 500 block of North Rock Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday.

• Police were called yesterday morning to the 1700 block of Shamrock Drive in Centralia where a vehicle had been rummaged through. Nothing appeared to be missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

TEN GALLONS OF FUEL SIPHONED

• A deputy was called yesterday afternoon to DeGoede bulb farm in Mossyrock where someone had used a garden hose to siphon gasoline from parked vehicles.

VANDALISM

• Someone left gang-style graffiti on a building at the 300 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

IRATE, SLEEPY TEEN PROMPTS 911 CALL BY PARENT

• A Chehalis parent called police about 9:20 a.m. yesterday saying their 16-year-old son would not get up and go to school and was cursing at them. Further details about the request for assistance from the law at the home on Southwest James Street was not readily available.

CAT CALL

• Morton police responding to a 911 hang up call in the night from a home on the 500 block of Oniel Road last week determined a family pet had jumped on the telephone activating the emergency call.

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Police looking for elderly, ill Centralia man

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

Updated at 6:54 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police are asking the public to keep their eyes out for an 80-year-old man, or his gold-colored passenger car, who left his home overnight and hasn’t returned.

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Raymond Wolford

Officer Stacy Denham says Raymond E. Wolford is suffering from the early stages of dementia and the late stages of bone cancer. He requires medication daily.

Police were called about 1:20 a.m. today to the 1800 block of Shamrock Drive – south of Providence Centralia Hospital – where his wife said she had heard him leave, according to Denham.

“She doesn’t know exactly when he left,” he said.

The car was gone from the garage car leading police to think Wolford left with it. It is a 2001 Toyota Avalon, with a license plate of 0077 VXR.

The man’s wife thought he could have headed to his son’s home in Bingen in southern Washington but no one has been able to locate him anywhere, Denham said.

They’re very concerned about him, he said.

“The family is checking with family, places he could go, they even talked with his pastor on Coal Creek Road,” Denham said.

Police have entered Wolford’s information and missing person status into various law enforcement databases, including the automatic license plate readers some police agencies equip their patrol cars with, according to Denham.

In the meantime, police are asking for the public’s help, just in case anyone sees the car on a logging road or in some strange place, Denham said.

Wolford is 5-feet 10-inches tall and weighs 200 pounds with gray hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a dark gray shirt, a blue ball cap, jeans and black shoes.

Police ask anyone to report any sightings or information about Wolford’s whereabouts to the Centralia Police Department on duty supervisor at 360-740-1105.

Update at 9:59 p.m.: Wolford’s family told police around 8:30 or 9 p.m. tonight they located him at a hospital in Everett, “Safe and sound,” Officer Mike Lowrey said.

How he ended up there isn’t yet clear, but more information should be available later, according to Lowrey.

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Missing car looks like this one.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 8:10 pm

JAWS OF LIFE USED TO EXTRICATE CHEHALIS DRIVER

• A 34-year-old Chehalis man was hospitalized with a head injury after a single-vehicle wreck yesterday afternoon on the 1700 block of Centralia-Alpha Road east of Chehalis. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said Trevor A. Johnson had to be cut from his pickup after it rolled over, struck a tree and the roof of its cab was crushed. Deputies arrived about 4 p.m. and subsequently contacted Johnson at Providence Centralia Hospital to arrest him for driving under the influence, but did not book him into the jail because of his need for further medical treatment, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

HIGHWAY CRASH IN OAKVILLE LEAVES ONE DEAD, THREE INJURED

• A head-on collision last night on U.S. Highway 12 in Oakville left one person dead and three hospitalized. Troopers called at 11:20 p.m. found an eastbound vehicle had crossed the centerline and struck a Ford Ranger pickup, according to the Washington State Patrol. Both were totaled and the roadway blocked for four hours, according to the state patrol. Wendy M. Cooper, 37, of Puyallup, was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital but troopers suspect drugs or alcohol were involved and her un-named passenger died, according to the state patrol, so she faces potential charges of vehicular homicide. A couple from Aberdeen traveling in the pickup were transported as well. Eliseo T. Lugo, 75, was taken to Mark Reed Hospital, according to the investigating trooper. Asuncion C. Lugo, 71, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, the patrol reported.

EX-GIRLFRIEND ASSAULTED

• A 26-year-old Centralia man was arrested for third-degree assault early this morning after he allegedly grabbed his ex-girlfriend around the throat, choking her briefly, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers responding just before 4 a.m. to the 1500 block of Johnson Road took Manuel Arceo-Garcia into custody and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to police. His case was subsequently referred down to Centralia Municipal Court for a possible misdemeanor charge instead.

SPIRITS AT SCHOOL LAND TEEN IN TROUBLE

• Chehalis police were called to W.F. West High School about 12:30 p.m. yesterday about a student who allegedly brought alcohol to school. The 16-year-old boy was cited for minor in possession of alcohol, according to the Chehalis Police Department. It was some type of liqueur, mixed with water, police said.

BURGLARY

• A deputy was called at 1 p.m. yesterday when a 39-year-old Centralia woman returned home from some morning errands to the 1600 block of Windsor Avenue and discovered someone had broken in and stolen an estimated $1,500 worth of valuables, Among the missing items were laptop computer, a Wii system and games as well as a digital camera, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. No forced entry into the residence was found, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Someone broke into a storage unit in Toledo by cutting the lock and made off with a food dehydrator, a Singer sewing machine, a Coleman tent and cover, several gas cans as well as possibly a small handgun, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called yesterday after noon to the 300 block of Toledo-Vader Road was told the 46-year-old victim would need to check further about her firearm, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A Stihl chainsaw and numerous tools were reported stolen from a shop building on the 1100 block of Middle Fork Road in Onalaska yesterday. The break-in occurred sometime between 5 p.m. on Sunday and 10 a.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

MISSING MAIL

• Police were called just before 9 a.m. yesterday to a building on the 200 block of South Tower Avenue in downtown Centralia where someone had torn the top of a mailbox and made off with mail.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police took a report about 6:15 p.m. yesterday of a car prowl on the 2000 block of Borst Avenue in which a window was smashed out. Taken was a purse containing a iPhone and credit cards, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Several tools were stolen from a vehicle parked at the 400 block of East Pine Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday afternoon.

• Chehalis police were called about 11 a.m. on Saturday regarding a car prowl at the 400 block of North Market Boulevard.

GARBAGE CAN REPORTED STOLEN

• A trash can was reported stolen from the 1600 block of Eshom Road in Centralia yesterday.

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Read about Randle man takes suspended license case to state’s high court …

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Seattle Times published a story in its newspaper yesterday about a Randle man whose case coming before the Washington State Supreme Court could – if he wins – have widespread impact on those whose driver’s licenses have been suspended due to unpaid traffic tickets.

Stephen C. Johnson’s attorney argues the suspension, along with  thousands of others, is unconstitutional because the state imposed a criminal penalty on an individual for failing to pay a fine without inquiring into the financial situation of the individual, news reporter Stephanie Schendel writes.

Read more here

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News brief: Sheriff’s office rolls out new mobile command unit today

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 9:11 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is inviting the public to tour its new mobile office, a 40-foot-long semi truck set up to respond for search and rescue missions, crime scenes and any other major local incidents.

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Courtesy photo

The 1995 Freightliner was obtained at no-cost through federal surplus and outfitted with funds from grants and seizures, according to the sheriff’s office. It replaces two aging vans, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said in a news release.

The big rig will be on display today from 10 a.m. until noon at the motor pool parking lot at the intersection of West Main Street and Chehalis Avenue in Chehalis.

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Centralia woman charged in bar fight stabbing

Monday, January 14, 2013 at 9:47 pm
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Lena A. Castillo, 23, awaits her turn to go before a judge as she makes a first appearance in court regarding an assault charge.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Prosecutors allege the stabbing victim from this weekend’s bar fight in Chehalis started the physical altercation but the other young woman with a small knife continued attacking her after she stopped fighting and was on the ground.

Lena A. Castillo, 23, told police she was standing outside Garbes bar smoking a cigarette when 22-year-old Ashley Stewart confronted her, said something and grabbed her by the hair, according to charging documents.

“If you want to talk sh*t, let’s go,” Stewart allegedly said to her.

Castillo told police it was about Castillo’s ex-boyfriend.

The incident, caught on video outside Garbe’s Bar and Grill, shows Stewart approach Castillo and strike her and the two women beginning to fight, according to charging documents. But it also shows Castillo attacking Stewart until someone pulls her away, the documents allege.

Chehalis police called it mutual combat and said this morning they can’t prove who owns the pair of brass knuckles that turned up in the restroom where the stabbing victim was tended to by friends.

It all happened about 12:30 a.m. on Saturday on the 300 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue in an area with five bars along the same stretch.

Both of the young women are from Centralia.

Castillo was charged today with first-degree assault. A judge set her bail at $75,000.

Charging documents offer other details as described by Chehalis police:

Arriving officers noticed Castillo bleeding from a cut on her pinky finger. They found in her jeans pocket a small silver object – a lighter-knife combination with a double-edged blade.

Police observed a blood trail leading through the bar and into the bathroom where Stewart was located.

Stewart was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital where she was treated for four stab wounds to her stomach and one to each leg.

Castillo told police she didn’t know how her finger got cut and denied stabbing Stewart.

Chehalis Police Department detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said Castillo suffered bumps and bruises, none of the injuries significant, including some bruising on her head.

“We can’t tell from what,” Wilson said.

In Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon, Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher told the judge the video is very clear as he argued for high bail.

Castillo, who according to information in her court documents is 5-feet 2-inches tall and 129 pounds, said very little as she sat at the defense table, shackled both around her waist and at her ankles.

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter said Castillo works part-time babysitting and has only four minor previous contacts with the law.

Castillo has a misdemeanor theft conviction from 2010, according to prosecutors.

Meagher, when asked outside the courtroom about the possibility brass knuckles were used in the fight, indicated it wouldn’t make a difference.

“I’ll leave that up to the jury,” Meagher said.

Castillo’s arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.
•••

For background, read:

• “Police: “Mutual combat” between two women in Saturday assault outside bar” from Monday January 14, 2013 at 12:19 p.m., here

• “Woman arrested after stabbing outside Chehalis bar” from Saturday January 12, 2013 at 6:50 p.m., here

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News brief: Origin of Mayfield Lake house fire unknown

Monday, January 14, 2013 at 6:48 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A fire that ravaged a summer cabin at Lake Mayfield Village leaving only two walls standing on Friday evening is under investigation.

Nobody was injured but crews from Salkum and Mossyrock who spent hours battling the blaze were hampered by sparks from an exploding power box they couldn’t aim their fire hoses at, according to Lewis County Fire District 8 Chief Duran McDaniel.

They had to wait almost an hour and a half for workers from Lewis County PUD to shut off the electricity, McDaniel said. They surrounded the house and kept most of the siding wet while they waited, he said.

“It’s not one you’re gonna win, we contained it the area,” McDaniel said.

The approximately 1,500 square-foot, cedar-sided, metal-roofed  dwelling was nestled among fir trees, according to the chief.

It was just before 6:30 p.m. when a District 8 crew was returning from an aid call, crossing the bridge on Mayfield Lake and spotted a fully engulfed structure fire on the ridge, McDaniel said. They headed that way and were dispatched about a minute later to the 200 block of Lakeview Drive, he said.

“We probably were on the scene within four minutes,” he said.

McDaniel said the cabin had been remodeled about a year ago and was for sale. It’s owners live in Portland, he said.

“It’s under investigation with the fire marshal’s office as to the cause,” he said.

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News brief: Car thieves making off with locked cars around Centralia

Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police over the weekend dealt with numerous car thefts, in some cases informing the victims their vehicle had been found abandoned and stripped before they were reported missing.

Yesterday morning, a Honda Civic taken from the 200 block of East Carson Street turned up off Johnson Creek Road in South Thurston County. It had been torched, according to police.

It’s happening during the night and all the cars have been locked, according to the Centralia Police Department.

They’re not breaking the windows.

Police suspect that thieves might be using a “shaved” key to defeat the locks and ignitions since they are targeting similar cars, Sgt. Carl Buster said.

The years mostly range from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, he said.

Buster recommends folks to be extra vigilant and if they see any vehicles or people out of place in their neighborhood to call 911.

“Someone’s going to have to catch them in the act,” Buster said. “Unless you put a club on your steering wheel or lock it in the garage, they’re gonna get it.”

According to Buster: Saturday began with a 1989 Toyota Camry found in an alley near the 1800 block of North Tower Avenue. It had been taken from the 1700 block of Military Road and It’s stereo was missing, according to police.

Around 11 a.m., a 2001 Honda CRV was discovered in the area of Fair Street that was stolen from the 300 block of East Pine Street. It was also partially stripped.

Soon after, an officer was called to the 1800 block of Shamrock Drive where someone had tampered with a 1993 Mazda, but didn’t take it. It had an alcohol ignition interlock in place that probably made it less attractive, according to Buster.

Five have been reported stolen in Centralia since Jan. 4

“So, they’re stealing them from all over town, dumping them all over town – and out of the county – and they’re progressively getting worse,” Buster said. “Now they’re burning them.”

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, January 14, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Updated at 7:26 p.m.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

• A 22-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for second-degree assault domestic violence in connection with an incident in which a female was seriously injured, with at least a dislocated shoulder, according to authorities. The incident appeared to have occurred the day before at a home in Chehalis, according to Chehalis police. “She had clearly been beat up,” Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke said. Tyler Kinney-Spears was booked into the Lewis County Jail on Saturday night, for unlawful imprisonment as well, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was charged today with both crimes along with a third count for allegedly crushing her phone. Bail was set at $100,000.

THEFT

• A deputy was called Saturday to a burglary to a home on the 2200 block of Foron Road outside Centralia in which more than $5,000 worth of valuables vanished.  Someone broke a window to get inside and went through most cupboards and drawers in the home, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Among the missing items were a 55-inch Samsung television, jewelry, a computer and other electronics, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A diamond necklace on a 14 karat gold chain, a music box and a silver-plated flatware set were stolen in a burglary at a residence on the 1700 block of Main Avenue in Morton, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office said this morning the 59-year-old victim believed the break-in occurred on Thursday between 8:45 a.m. and 10:05 p.m.

• Chehalis police are investigating the theft of a very expensive Gibson guitar from Southwest William Avenue. It turned up at a Chehalis pawn shop, according to police.

• Centralia police took a report about 6:20 a.m. of a car prowl that occurred during the night on the 1100 block of F Street. A GPS device and a black leather wallet were taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Someone stole two Interstate brand batteries from  an excavator parked on the 200 block of Grimes Road near Toledo, according to a report made to the sheriff’s office yesterday.

ATTEMPTED BREAK-IN BY FAMILY MEMBER THWARTED

• A deputy was called about 2 p.m. on Friday to a Mineral-area home where a woman awoke from a nap on her couch to hear the lock on her slider door pop open. An officer who responded to the 100 block of Storm King Drive was told the 39-year-old armed herself with a pistol and found her step-son there, but he fled, according to the sheriff’s office. The 21-year-old step-son had been kicked out of the home about six weeks earlier and was being sought for a possible burglary charge, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

RACING

• An 18-year-old Tenino resident was cited for racing on the 1500 block of South Gold Street in Centralia around 9:45 p.m. on Saturday. Sean M. Teeter was issued his ticket and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 17-year-old boy was arrested for possession of methamphetamine after contact with police on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia at about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to police. He was taken to the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police took a call yesterday afternoon from a woman on Salsbury Avenue about marijuana found in her backyard. It was less than an ounce and contained in a plastic tube, as though perhaps someone had tossed it over a fence, according to the Chehalis Police Department. It was taken away to be destroyed, Sgt. Gary Wilson said.

ETHEL WOMAN HOSPITALIZED AFTER SPENDING NIGHT OUT OF DOORS

• An elderly woman treated for hypothermia when aid was summoned to an Ethel residence on Friday may have been outside in her own yard as long as since the previous afternoon, according to Lewis County Fire District 8. Medics called just before 11 a.m.  to Auman Road transported the woman to Providence Centralia Hospital and she was subsequently life-flighted to another hospital, Fire Chief Duran McDaniel said today. “She had an extremely low core temperature,” he said, noting it was 80-something degrees. He didn’t have any further information about her condition.

WRECKS

• A 19-year-old Toledo woman was taken to the hospital with arm pain after a 1995 Mercury Tracer being driven by an 18-year-old Toledo man skidded on a patch of ice and wrecked in a ditch on the 100 block of Jackson Highway South about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The vehicle was described as totaled.

• A 47-year-old Onalaska woman was uninjured but her Toyota Corolla was totaled when she lost control of her car on a downhill curve on the 200 block of Penning Road west of Chehalis about 11:30 p.m. yesterday and ran into a utility pole, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

 

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Police: “Mutual combat” between two women in Saturday assault outside bar

Monday, January 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 22-year-old woman stabbed during a bar fight in Chehalis over the weekend has been released from the hospital, but whether she may be in trouble as well remains to be seen.

Lena Castillo, 23, was arrested after the brawl outside Garbe’s and a knife was recovered, but police also have a pair of brass knuckles found in the bathroom where the victim’s wounds were being tended to by friends, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

Chehalis police detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said he doesn’t yet know who they belong to or if they were used in the fight.

Brass knuckles are illegal to possess, but they are commonly sold  as novelty items, as paper weights, Wilson said.

Ashley Stewart, 22, was treated at Providence Centralia Hospital for multiple stab wounds, but is expected to make a full recovery, according to Wilson.

Both females are from Centralia.

Police called about 12:25 a.m. on Saturday to Northwest Chehalis Avenue arrested Castillo for first-degree assault, but Wilson, who continues to investigate, said this morning his information indicated there was mutual “combat.”

It will be up to the prosecutor to determine if Stewart is charged, he said.

Wilson said he’s not yet been able to prove who left the brass knuckles in the restroom.

“It’s a bathroom used by multiple people, it’s a bar bathroom,” he said. “So it’s hard to say at this point.”

Castillo is tentatively scheduled to go before a judge this afternoon.

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Woman arrested after stabbing outside Chehalis bar

Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 6:50 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A bar fight between two women last night on Northwest Chehalis Avenue ended with one in the hospital with numerous knife wounds and the other in jail.

The victim, a female in her 20s, was conscious, but had significant injuries to her leg and abdomen, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

Police and aid called about 1:30 a.m. today found her inside Paradise. The brawl occurred outside the nearby Garbe’s bar.

Booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault was Lena Castillo, 23, of Centralia.

Ashley Stewart was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital.

Jennifer Yocom, who was out dancing with Stewart and several other friends, said she didn’t know for sure what sparked it, only that the pair had some kind of previous disagreement.

Yocom said she had just left Garbe’s where she had checked on Stewart when she heard a friend say there was a fight.

The two women were in between parked cars next to the sidewalk, she said.

“I see hair pulling and stuff like that, like they were both standing and then they were down,” Yocom said. “I thought she was punching her.”

Yocom said she tried to shove the woman off her friend, because she didn’t want to hit her. Even though the woman was really small, it was really tough, she said.

“I ended up having to grab Lena by her hair and pull her off her,” Yocom said.

Yocom, who is 29, said she and her friends don’t get out together very often, because they all have children. But they ended up spending hours together at the hospital where they were interviewed by police.

Castillo was taken to Providence as well, with cuts to her fingers, according to Yocom.

She said she thinks a quick arrival by aid crews as well as three friends who kept pressure on the wounds helped Stewart’s prognosis.

“I don’t know if she gets to go home today or what,” Yocom said. “A lot of it was just stitches.”

Chehalis Police Department Officer Troy Thornburg said police were still investigating today.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

INTRUDER DRINKS WOMAN’S BEER, FOLDS HER LAUNDRY

• Centralia police were called about 2:15 p.m. yesterday after a woman who lives on Kulien Avenue awoke to hear someone come into her kitchen. The 28-year-old resident who works at night said someone knocked and door but she ignored it because she was sleeping, according to police. When she heard the door open, she armed herself with a bat, stayed hidden in her bedroom and texted a friend to call 911, Sgt. Carl Buster said. Police arrived to find 32-year-old Carey R. Cosgrove had been drinking her beer, smoking pot and folding her towels in the kitchen, Buster said. He said he was there to laundry, and he thought it was okay to come and go from her house, according to Buster. The woman said they were acquaintances, but that wasn’t the case, Buster said. Cosgrove was taken into custody and tried to escape from the patrol car before he was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree burglary, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BURGLARY AND THEFT

• Centralia police responded about 8:15 a.m. yesterday to the 1700 block of South Gold Street where someone had broken in to two businesses and stole money. The amount taken was not disclosed.

• Police took a report of the theft of money and jewelry from the 2000 block of Cooks Hill Road in Centralia yesterday afternoon.

• Centralia police were called about 12:45 p.m. yesterday to the 100 block of South Washington Street where someone had stolen the turn signals off a vehicle.

CEMETERY VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report yesterday of damage to a head stone at the cemetery on the 1800 block of Van Wormer Street.

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Police: Centralia home a hub for marijuana for regional dispensaries

Friday, January 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm
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Sohail Hasnani, sits to the right of defense attorney Bob Schroeter, while Zeshawn H. Hasnani, far right, waits in the jury box in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Centralia police found an indoor marijuana farm on Seminary Hill yesterday.

A pair of brothers who have rented a home there for the past seven months and were arrested and charged with numerous offenses say they were supplying product to medical marijuana dispensaries around the state, according to authorities.

When the men, ages 24 and 27, appeared in Lewis County Superior Court today, defense attorney Bob Schroeter noted they work in graphic design, have been to college, and called the material in question medical marijuana.

Schroeter pointed out the state has been forced to rewrite the rules regarding the distribution of marijuana.

“We’re in a gray area now,” Schroeter told the judge.

Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke said no, it was basically a for-profit marijuana operation.

Charging papers say they had four medical marijuana authorizations on the premises, but Centralia Police Department Sgt. Jim Shannon said even if it were a so-called collective garden – which allows a maximum of 45 plants – police counted 90 plants when they searched the property.

“These guys are far outside anything allowed under (Initiative) 502 or medical marijuana,” Shannon said.

Zeshawn H. Hasnani, 27, and Sohail Hasnani, 24, were ordered held on $250,000 bail.

While Initiative 502 passed by Washington voters in November has somewhat decriminalized recreational use of marijuana, no licenses have yet been issued to growers, distributors or retailers.

And local governments have kept at bay any legitimate cultivation of medical cannabis in the county via collective gardens through moratoriums and other means.

For the Centralia Police Department, it’s business as usual as far as the same old laws on the books regarding growing or distributing the weed.

According to charging papers filed today: Sgt. Shannon got a tip in early December about the home on the 2500 block of Seminary Hill Road, just east of Centralia.

He discovered a drastic spike in electricity consumption that began when the bill was put in Sohail Hasnani’s name in August. The mailing address for the bill was Boynton Beach, Florida.

Centralia police conducted night time surveillance from a neighbor’s property and not only detected the odor of marijuana coming from the Hasnani’s property, they noted security cameras in multiple locations.

Yesterday, at 1 p.m., a dozen Centralia police officers served a search warrant at the home.

After using the P.A. system for about 10 minutes, they went to the door and ordered the brothers to come out.

“They complied,” Shannon said.

They brought out their two Pit Bulls, according to charging documents.

Shannon said in one outbuilding police found one room for small plants, one room for medium plants and one room for large plants.

Plus another room for drying, he said, where there was a loaded shotgun, according to charging documents.

“There was marijuana littered all throughout the house,” Deputy Prosecutor O’Rourke wrote.

Shannon said police found about three pounds of marijuana in the home; O’Rourke wrote about 12 mason jars full.

Police seized $4,000 cash, a .22 rifle, a pistol and located numerous new, unused electronic items with tags still attached, according to O’Rourke.

The Hasnani brothers were charged today with manufacture, possession with intent to deliver, possession and maintaining a premises for using controlled substances. Special allegations of being near a school bus stop and committing the crimes while armed with a firearm are included.

And they are charged with money laundering.

According to charging documents, the brothers said they have a T-shirt business called Independent  Distributors, which O’Rourke alleges is nothing more than a mailbox in Florida.

Their 2011 tax returns shows it generated more than $133,000 in revenue.

They also have another business called “Smoketronics”, according to O’Rourke.

Police also found in the home receipts for packages that have been delivered through Fed-Ex to various other states, according to charging papers.

Shannon said police have been investigating their bank accounts and financial documents. So far, they found more than $40,000 in one account, according to charging documents.

O’Rourke writes the brothers traveled around in the Jeep, with the pistol, to sell their marijuana to dispensaries.

“In the past month, the duo admitted to collecting around $6,000 in cash from these dispensaries,” O’Rourke writes.

Defense attorney Schroeter this afternoon asked Judge James Lawler to release them on $10,000 unsecured signature bonds.

O’Rourke argued for, and got, bail set at $250,000.

“These types of underground black market operations draw violent crime,” O’Rourke said.

The brothers both were found to be indigent and qualified for court appointed attorneys.

They will appear again in court on Jan. 17 for their arraignments.