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News brief: Motel pool death victim is 55-year-old local woman

Saturday, January 9, 2016 at 7:21 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The woman found dead at the indoor pool of a Centralia motel was 55-year-old Theresa M. Kemper, according to the Lewis County coroner.

Police, firefighters and medics responding to a reported accidental drowning just after noon time on Thursday at the King Oscar Motel were unable to resuscitate her.

Centralia Police Department detective Patricia Finch said the victim had been living at the motel for about a week, that she and her sister had moved there from the Winlock area.

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod described Kemper as a Centralia resident.

Finch said the death didn’t appear to be suspicious.

The cause and manner of her death, however, won’t be confirmed by the coroner until he receives the results of toxicology tests.
•••

For background, read “Centralia police: Woman drowns at motel pool” from Friday January 8, 2016, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, January 8, 2016 at 11:15 am
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•••

Updated at 1:38 p.m.

AUTO THEFT FROM GARAGE

• Centralia police were called just before 7 a.m. today about a car stolen from inside its garage on the 2100 block of North Pearl Street. The blue 2015 Subaru Outback was taken sometime over the past evening, according to the Centralia Police Department. It has a license plate reading AWN 3125, according to police.

INTERCEPTED DELIVERY

• An officer in the area of the 900 block of F Street in Centralia at about noon yesterday found a FedEx packaging bag lying on the sidewalk. It had been torn open, its contents removed, according to the Centralia Police Department. The victim was not home at the time and a message was left with them, according to police.

• Centralia police were called to the 900 block of E Street about 5:35 p.m. yesterday regarding the theft of mail.

THEFT FROM GARAGE

• Centralia police were called about 12:40 p.m. yesterday to the 200 block of Aurora Street where someone had gone inside an unlocked garage and stolen a bicycle.

CAR PROWL INSIDE GARAGE

• Someone went inside an open garage on the 900 block of E Street in Centralia, got inside an unlocked vehicle and stole a valet key and a diagnostic tool, according to a report made to police about 9:25 a.m. yesterday.

CAR PROWL WHILE MOTOR RUNNING

• Police were called to the 1000 block of West Plum Street in Centralia about 8:30 a.m. yesterday after a woman said she started her car to warm it up and 10 minutes later went back outside and found the car turned off and the key missing.

CAR PROWL

• A GPS device and some paperwork were stolen from a vehicle at the 600 block of K Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 10:50 p.m. yesterday.

• Centralia police took a report yesterday of an unknown person prowling a vehicle at the 2200 block of Eureka Avenue sometime since the previous evening and stealing some “minor” items.

• Police were called to the 900 block of F Street yesterday to take a report that sometime since the previous evening, someone got inside an unlocked vehicle and stole women’s makeup.

• Centralia police were called just before 8 a.m. yesterday regarding a car prowl at the 300 block of East Oakview Avenue. Taken from the unlocked vehicle was an iPod and earphones, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BUCKET OF WEED AND OTHER DRUGS

• Centralia police were called about 10:40 a.m. yesterday when BNSF railroad law enforcement had detained a 41-year-old man for trespassing on the tracks near Locust Street and Railroad Avenue, a local person who was also reportedly carrying a large, clear plastic bucket full of marijuana. Jason W. Dix was arrested for felony possession of marijuana and when searched, officers found suspected methamphetamine, according to the Centralia Police Department. Dix was booked into the Lewis County Jail for two drug offenses, according to police.

• A 20-year-old Centralia woman was arrested after an off-duty officer saw her allegedly shooing up drugs inside a vehicle at the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue in Chehalis at about 11:30 p.m. yesterday. Jodee A. Beckwith was booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of heroin, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A 27-year-old Centralia man arrested yesterday morning for an outstanding warrant at the 500 block of South Market Boulevard was subsequently arrested also for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act as paraphernalia and a brown substance were allegedly found on him, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Joshua G. Dagris was contacted about 8:30 a.m. and then booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

VANDALISM

• Police were called just before 2 p.m. yesterday when a tire was found flat, with slits in it, at Southwest Fifth Street near Market Boulevard in Chehalis.

• Police were called about 11:50 a.m. yesterday regarding vehicle tires found flat at the 100 block of Virginia Drive in Centralia.

LOST AND FOUND

• A driver’s license and other ID cards with no wallet accompanying them were turned into police yesterday after being found laying on the side of the road at the 200 block of Southwest 16th Street in Chehalis. They belong to a 25-year-old Centralia man who can contact the Chehalis Police Department to retrieve them, according to police.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, hit and run, protection order violation, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, disturbance, harassment, civil issues, suicide threat, runaway sighting, misdemeanor theft, homeless person camping in a window well, homeless person’s bed found on a porch … and more.

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Centralia police: Woman drowns at motel pool

Friday, January 8, 2016 at 7:42 am

Updated at 8:43 a.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Police, firefighters and medics responded yesterday to a reported accidental drowning of a woman at the indoor pool of a Centralia motel.

Responders called at 12:22 p.m. to the 1000 block of Eckerson Road attempted to resuscitate the female however they were not successful, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Detective Patricia Finch said staff at the King Oscar motel observing the pool area on video surveillance, saw the woman was not moving very much and went to investigate. It appeared she was alone in the pool, Finch said.

“As of right now, nothing appears to be suspicious,” Finch said.

Her name was not released, but Finch said she had been staying at the motel about a week, with family.

The coroner’s office responded and took custody of the victim pending notification of next of kin, according to police.

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News brief: Randle wreck with semi sends pair to hospital

Friday, January 8, 2016 at 6:30 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Two people were injured yesterday when their sport utility vehicle was hit by a semi truck on U.S. Highway 12 in Randle.

Troopers called about 3:21 p.m. report the 1996 Chevrolet Suburban was eastbound and slowing to turn left onto Kindle Road when the 2003 Volvo tractor behind them failed to slow down and rear-ended them.

Andrew F. Spears, 30, of Onalaska, was transported to Morton General Hospital, as was his passenger, Bobby J. Lynch, 30, also of Onalaska, according to the Washington State Patrol. Both had been wearing seat belts, according to the state patrol.

The truck driver, Paul W. Neilson, 57, from Mossyrock, was reportedly unhurt.

His truck was damaged, but able to be driven away from the scene. The Suburban was described as totaled.

The wreck is blamed on driver inattention, and Neilson was to be issued a citation for second-degree negligent driving, according to the investigating trooper.

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Guilty pleas for child assault brings prison time for Centralia resident

Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 4:41 pm
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Victoria A. Cheney faces a judge for sentencing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Centralia woman who threw her grown daughter under the bus during an investigation into the assaults of two toddlers admitted yesterday to her own guilt in the case.

Victoria A. Cheney was sentenced to just shy of four years in prison, and struggled throughout her court hearing to hold back tears.

Her voice broke so much during a brief statement she made to the judge, it was unintelligible.

The victims, ages 2 and 3 at the time, were staying at the Cheney’s rural Centralia home. They are the children of Cheney’s daughter’s then-boyfriend.

Their father called police in July when he picked them up and found  bruises and swelling on much of their bodies, according to authorities.

The little one’s black eye was so bad, the eye was almost completely closed, Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead told the judge.

Cheney, 44, was arrested in September, and one of the charges came because she previously had given a very detailed statement to law enforcement of how it was 22-year-old Chandra M. Munsey – her daughter – who hurt the children, according to Halstead.

Munsey was arrested, jailed and charged in the case shortly after it happened, but  prosecutors dismissed the charges after numerous interviews confirmed her alibi, and subsequently charged her mother instead.

Cheney’s husband was among those sitting in the benches behind her in Lewis County Superior Court. Her daughter was not.

Halstead told the judge they now know the boys’ injuries were caused by a spoon.

Both he and Cheney’s lawyer recommended she be sentenced to 47 months, calling it a compromise plea deal.

Defense attorney Shane O’Rourke made a fairly lengthy argument, in an attempt to persuade the judge to not to give her more time.

“As for the injuries, they’re bad, and we’re not going to dance around that,” O’Rourke said.

But there were no broken bones, he said.

“This was a case with enormous risks for her,” he said. “And I would agree there were going to be significant challenges for the state to prove its case.”

Cheney pleaded guilty to second-degree assault of a child, third-degree assault of a child and attempted malicious prosecution. Witness tampering charges were dropped.

When Judge James Lawler pronounced the sentence, he said there were reasons to go higher, but he would respect the process of the plea negotiations.

Both Halstead and O’Rourke told Lawler chemical dependency was likely an issue that contributed, so the judge also required Cheney get evaluated and follow advised treatment.

He ordered her to have no contact with the victims and he ordered her to pay the fines and fees recommended by Halstead.

“I hope when you’re done, you spend the rest of your life making up for this,” Lawler told Cheney. “So nothing like this can ever happen again.”

The two boys remain in foster care, according to Halstead.
•••

For background, read “Centralia woman arrested for the child assaults she blamed on her grown daughter” from Thursday September 17, 2015, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 11:02 am
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•••

Updated

STOLEN FIREARM

• Chehalis police were called about 11:15 p.m. yesterday to a home on the 500 block of Northwest New York Avenue following the discovery that a handgun was stolen. It went missing in recent days and police are investigating, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

INTERCEPTED DELIVERIES

• Police were called just after noon yesterday to a residence at the 800 block of West First Street in Centralia to take a report of the ongoing thefts of packages being delivered there. This case is still under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

JEWELRY MISSING

• Officers took a report of a theft of rings from the 600 block of Centralia College Boulevard yesterday. This case is still under investigation, according to to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Officers responding to an approximately 5 p.m. call to the 2000 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia yesterday for an attempted vehicle prowl arrested an individual. Officers arrived and  located the suspect who reportedly refused to cooperate and tried to leave, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police say James V. Mitchell, 24, was subdued, arrested for resisting arrest and obstructing a law enforcement officer and then booked into the Lewis County Jail.

• Centralia police were called just after 6 p.m. yesterday to the 2300 block of Eureka Avenue in Centralia where someone had entered an unlocked vehicle and removed a gift bag.

• Someone prowled a vehicle at the 600 block of West Maple Street in Centralia and stole sunglasses, gloves, and, an air freshener, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department at about 9 o’clock yesterday morning.

• Centralia police were called about 8:30 a.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl at the 200 block of West Oakview Avenue in Centralia. Taken was some change, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FRAUD

• An officer was contacted by a Chehalis resident yesterday who said he got a letter regarding his application opening an account, but he hadn’t made such an application. A report was taken and the victim will need to contact his bank, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRUGS AND THEFT

• A 37-year-old man stopped while driving out of Gee Cee’s Truck Stop was subsequently found to allegedly be fleeing the scene of the fuel theft the deputy was responding to yesterday morning. The deputy found a gas can, a siphon hose and then also a syringe on the front passenger seat loaded with suspected methamphetamine, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Ty J. Pinard, 37 and described as transient, was arrested for third-degree theft, reckless driving and a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, according to the sheriff’s office. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

ON THE ROAD

• A Chehalis man pulled over for suspected impaired driving apparently inadvertently put his vehicle in reverse instead of park, nearly running into the patrol car parked behind him and then allegedly tried to hand the deputy a $100 bill. He was arrested following the approximately 2:30 a.m. incident today, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The two were stopped at Chamber of Commerce Way and State Street and the deputy had asked Joshua L. Hayworth to put his car in park while he looked for his license, registration and proof of insurance, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. After the driver got his car stopped within 6-inches of the patrol car’s bumper, the deputy asked again and that’s when the motorist tried to handover cash, according to Brown. Hayworth, 23, had a Washington driver’s license but he also had a Missouri license that was suspended, Brown said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for driving under the influence and for the suspended license, Brown said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for alarm, hit and run, landlord-tenant dispute, collision on city street … and more.

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News brief: Yew Street house searched for drugs, couple booked

Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 9:54 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Drug detectives yesterday arrested two individuals – following a two-month long investigation – at their Centralia home, next door to a child daycare facility.

Officers served a search warrant at the 700 block of Yew Street and also arrested three others with outstanding warrants, according to police.

Methamphetamine and other drug related items were located in the residence, according to a news release distributed by the Centralia Police Department.

The Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team which conducted the investigation is made up of officers from the Centralia Police Department, the Chehalis Police Department and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Arrested for delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance were Steve Williams, 57, and Beth Williams, 52, according to Sgt. Brian Warren.

While detectives were searching, a 26-year-old who arrived at the home was taken into custody for a warrant, and allegedly became combative, trying to kick and bite officers, according to police. The woman, Alisha A. Holmes, was arrested for third-degree assault and booked into the Lewis County Jail, police report.

The news release indicates an un-named individual woking with police has made multiple purchases of methamphetamine from the couple during the investigation.

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News brief: JNET scoops up pounds of drugs, looking for more

Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 8:48 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The local multi-jurisdictional team of drug detectives seized more than 60 pounds of drugs in its first year of operation, not including marijuana or illegal pills, according to its just released year-end report.

The Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team is made up of officers from the Centralia Police Department, the Chehalis Police Department and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Chehalis Police Chief Glenn Schaffer this morning shared the 2015 statistics, showing the group served more than 60 search warrants and made 139 felony drug arrests last year.

“Sheriff Rob Snaza, Chief Carl Nielsen, and Chief Glenn Schaffer all agree that what JNET has been able to accomplish has been truly impressive, and we look forward to continuing to pool our resources and work together to combat drugs and drug related crimes that negatively affect our communities,” he stated in news release.

Other numbers from the report include:

• 27 other drug-related arrests
• 74 outstanding arrest warrants cleared
• 117 guns confiscated
• 141 pounds of marijuana confiscated
• 1,022 marijuana plants seized
• Almost 9,000 illegal narcotic pills seized

The 61 pounds of drugs scooped up by JNET were comprised of more than 42 pounds of methamphetamine, over five pounds of cocaine and 14 pounds of heroin, according to Schaffer.

The three agency leaders vow to continue to investigate cases that range from low level dealers, to upper level suppliers and couriers county-wide.

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Interstate 5 shooter remains at large

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 7:32 pm
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The suspect Jeep looks like this one pictured.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Troopers are still hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed a shooting on Interstate 5 last week, or saw the road rage incident and chase that took place in the 13-mile stretch north of Chehalis.

It happened around 11 a.m. on Wednesday and nobody was injured, but at least one shot shattered the rear window of a car.

The suspect is a older man who was driving a black Jeep Cherokee and the victim was driving a silverish-gray four-door Mazda hatchback, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Police have interviewed the Mazda driver, but have not located the Jeep, according to the state patrol.

As of yesterday, there was nobody who reported seeing the shooting, Trooper Will Finn said. They’re hoping an appeal for tips will help them out, and maybe even prompt the shooter to turn himself in, Finn said.

A detective out of Vancouver has been assigned to investigate.

Detective Jen Ortiz said this morning only two calls were made to 911. One was from an individual who saw the Mazda with its back window already broken out, around milepost 83. The other was from the 25-year-old man from Spanaway who was shot at, she said.

Ortiz hadn’t yet heard from any members of the public offering information, she said.

According to the victim, the events began in south Thurston County around milepost 93 or the Scatter Creek Rest Area and continued southbound into Lewis County.

He told police he got “brake checked” by the Jeep and admitted he returned the favor.

The state patrol says the driver of the Jeep pointed a handgun out of the driver’s side window and fired at least one shot.

The two continued at a high rate of speed in and out of traffic until milepost 80 – north of the Chehalis Wal-Mart exit – when the driver of the Mazda lost sight of the Jeep. The 25-year-old  victim got off the freeway at exit 77, which is state Route 6 and Main Street and met up with police.

The Jeep is described as a black, mid 2000s base-model Jeep Cherokee with non-tinted windows and Washington license plates.

Its driver was described as a white male in his 60s to 70s with gray hair and a gray beard.  The Jeep had a passenger described as a white female in her 80s, wearing a red shirt with an oxygen tube in her nose.

Anyone with information regarding the incident, the Jeep, its driver or passenger, is asked to call detective Ortiz at 360-449-7948.
•••

For background, read “Car shot at, chased down Interstate 5 in Lewis County” from Wednesday December 30, 2015, here

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News brief: Wanted man lays on couch ignoring police at his open front door

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 5:57 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A sheriff’s deputy was treated at the emergency room for facial lacerations and bruising after getting punched in the eye when attempting to take a rural Chehalis man into custody yesterday.

It happened after a short standoff at the 62-year-old subject’s home in which after deputies knocked and the door swung open on its own, the man remained laying on his couch with his eyes open, ignoring them, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office says he wouldn’t respond to deputy’s commands so they fired a bean bag round, which hit him in the stomach and drew no reaction.

They then deployed a Taser, which missed, but prompted the resident to charge the deputies, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

Edward K. Baker allegedly punched the one deputy, giving him a black eye and continued to fight, trying to bite another deputy until he was finally restrained.

The events took place on the 400 block of Leudinghaus Road yesterday morning.

Brown said it began when a deputy traveling on state Route 6 observed Baker driving a high rate of speed, but then lost him at about 8:45 a.m.

Baker was wanted on a warrant from the state Department of Corrections and had run from deputies a few days earlier, the sheriff’s office said. Brown said he is someone they’ve dealt with in the past, and they have “officer safety concerns” about him.

Baker was arrested for two counts of third-degree assault, resisting arrest and related offenses, according to Brown. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

Brown said the deputy with the black eye also dislocated a finger during the incident.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 1:03 pm
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•••

PROWL, PROWL, PROWL

• Centralia police were called for an interrupted vehicle prowl just before 11 p.m. yesterday at the 2100 block of North Pearl Street. The suspect was not located, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police responded to four other car prowls yesterday beginning at about 9:15 a.m. at the 800 block of Park Way where someone stole change and some necklaces from an unlocked van.

• Someone stole a jacket, perfume and a check from an unlocked vehicle during the night at the 300 block of North Iron Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday.

• An officer was called about 11:30 a.m. yesterday regarding paperwork stolen from an unlocked vehicle parked at the 700 block of E Street in Centralia.

• Centralia police were called yesterday about a car prowl at the 1300 block of Lincoln Street that occurred during the night. The vehicle was ransacked and clothing was removed, some of which was found in a neighbor’s yard, according to the Centralia Police Department. It too had been left unlocked, according to police.

MALICIOUS MISCHIEF

• Chehalis police were called by a parent yesterday about the air getting let out of the tires of their child’s vehicle at the 200 block of Southwest 16th Street. Further details were not available.

LOST AND FOUND

• A wedding ring set found on a Chehalis sidewalk was turned into the police department yesterday afternoon. Department spokesperson Linda Bailey said it was picked up on South Market Boulevard in the block south of Main Street and if anyone has lost such an item, they should call the department and describe it.

ELECTRICAL FIRE

• Firefighters were called about 8 o’clock yesterday morning to a planting bed near the Lewis County Mall where for an unknown reason a power line broke and dropped, igniting wood chips and two trees. The crew re-routed traffic, waited for PUD to cut the electricity and then extinguished the fire, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

ROCHESTER FIRE

• Firefighters were called about 1 p.m. yesterday to a house fire at the 19000 block of Old Ranch Lane Southwest in Rochester where flames were coming through the roof. Damage to the home was minimal, and its occupants got out safely, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority. “The response time was key in that regard, and they were able to bring that under control quickly,” Chief Russ Kaleiwahea said. The cause is likely to be undetermined, however, everything is pointing to a bathroom exhaust fan, the chief said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, protection order violation, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, runaway juvenile, parental custodial issue, collision on city street … and more.

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News brief: Thurston deputy shoots suspect attempting to flee in deputy’s patrol vehicle

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 8:29 am
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Investigators from outside agencies will gather information on the fatal shooting south of Tumwater. / Courtesy photo by Thurston County Sheriff’s Office

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Detectives, including from the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, are investigating a fatal shooting by a deputy in Thurston County yesterday.

It happened shortly after 4 p.m. south of Tumwater on 93rd Avenue S.E.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office reports the deputy was standing on the running board of his backwards-moving patrol vehicle, trying to pull the suspect out from behind the wheel.

The deputy tazed him which had no effect and after colliding with a vehicle on 93rd Avenue, the deputy shot the suspect, fearing for the safety of the public and himself, according to the sheriff’s office.

The suspect had jumped into the driver’s seat and tried to drive off in reverse after punching the deputy in the face numerous times, according to the sheriff’s office.

The un-named deputy is a 19-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and has been placed on administrative leave, according to Lt. Cliff Ziesemer.

The man who died at the scene has not been identified, Ziesemer reported last night.

The investigation is being conducted by the Regional Critical Incident Team comprised of detectives from Lewis, Mason and Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Offices.

Ziesemer indicated the encounter occurred because the deputy stopped to investigate after a pedestrian saw him passing by and ran onto some private property. Ziesemer said the two spoke for a few minutes before the man attacked the deputy.