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News brief: Nobody found inside after search through house fire rubble

Friday, June 16, 2017 at 5:52 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – No victims were found after a search was conducted through the remains of a house that burned yesterday in Centralia.

The vacant single-story house at the end of Alexander Street was fully engulfed in flames when a crew arrived following a 4:19 a.m. call yesterday reporting a tree on fire, according to authorities.

The roof collapsed making access to the interior impossible, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

Fire Chief Mike Kytta indicated yesterday afternoon that once the fire was brought under control, an excavator was brought in to remove debris to facilitate extinguishing the remaining fire.

They accessed the building to search for any victims and found none, according to Kytta. Centralia police have said officers frequently discovered unauthorized individuals inside the house.

The cause of the fire is classified as undetermined and the investigation remains open, according to Kytta.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Vacant Centralia house burns” from Thursday June 15, 2017, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, June 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm
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•••

BURGLARY

• A deputy responded about 3:10 p.m. yesterday to a residential burglary at the 100 block of Morris Road in Randle in which the victim returned home to notice items out of place and then discovered a jewelry box, hunting knives and family memorabilia were missing, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A red Craftsman riding mower, an oxygen tank and an acetylene tank were stolen from the 300 block of Toledo-Vader Road sometime between May 31 and Saturday,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

IMPERSONATION ATTEMPT

• A 27-year-old Toledo man was arrested yesterday for identity theft after he allegedly gave someone else’s name as his own when contacted by a deputy. Darrell R. Jackson was wanted on an outstanding warrant and it turned out the person whose name he gave was also wanted, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The alleged deception was noticed when he was brought to be booked at the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said this morning. Jackson allegedly got upset and broke a pay phone in a holding cell. The initial contact came when a deputy stopped a vehicle at the 100 block of Bethany Lane in Winlock about 2:30 p.m. and arrested Matthew T. Johnson, 46, of Winlock, for driving under the influence. Jackson was a passenger, according to Breen.

ARREST

• A 43-year-old Chehalis woman who went to the Chehalis Police Department to pick up some of her belongings there yesterday afternoon was arrested for second-degree possession of stolen property related to alleged checks which did not belong to her, according to police. Jennifer L. Davis, was also wanted on an outstanding warrant and was booked into the Lewis County Jail. Prosecutors however declined to file the felony charge at this time.

AUTO THEFT

• A 2005 Chevy Impala that had been reported stolen from Oakville was recovered at the 300 block of North Railroad Avenue in Centralia at about 5:45 p.m. yesterday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• An officer was called to the 100 block of Pioneer Way in Centralia about 9:25 a.m. yesterday where an unknown person had broken out a car window and stolen a cell phone, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, suspicious circumstances, third-degree theft, protection order violation  … and more among 134 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 12:26 pm
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•••

SASQUATCH REPLICA MISSING

• Centralia police were contacted about 2:30 p.m. yesterday regarding the theft of a concrete Big Foot statue from a home on the 1600 block of Oxford Avenue.

GOLF CLUBS MISSING

• A deputy was called yesterday to investigate a burglary to a garage at the 1400 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia in which Craftsman tools and Tommy Armor golf clubs were taken. The loss is estimated at $1,260, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office said the break-in occurred between May 15 and Monday.

SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT MISSING

• A security camera was stolen from a residence in the 300 block of Centralia College Boulevard, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department just before 9 p.m. yesterday.

• A closed-circuit television camera was stolen from the outside of a building on the 10 block of Southwest Chehalis Avenue, according to a report made to the Chehalis Police Department yesterday.

PUD SCAM

• A business on the 700 block of West Main Street reported to Chehalis police yesterday they’d received a call from someone pretending to be with Lewis County PUD and threatening to shut off their electricity. It was a scam, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ASSAULT ALLEGED

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning to Green Hill School to take a report of an incident that occurred a week earlier in which an 18-year-old student-inmate allegedly threw a game controller at a staff member.

THREAT ALLEGED

• Centralia police responded to a complaint of harassment yesterday from the 100 block of West Magnolia Street by issuing a summons to a 38-year-old Toledo resident. The episode involved allegedly threatening emails, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, probation violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, unfounded complaint, suspicious circumstances, third-degree theft … and more among 154 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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News brief: Vacant Centralia house burns

Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 10:18 am
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Smoke rises from the 1400 block of Alexander Street. / Courtesy photo by Joseph Bonomi

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Centralia police and firefighters responded to a call early this morning to a fire at a vacant single-story house frequented by unauthorized inhabitants.

It was found fully involved in flames and its roof eventually caved into its basement, according to the Centralia Police Department.

The home on the 1400 block of Alexander Street has been boarded up for some time, police Sgt. Kurt Reichert said.

Reichert said it’s a location where patrol officers have frequently found individuals staying there or trying to stay there. It has no electrical service, according to Reichert.

The fire department was not able to get inside and investigators likely won’t be able to either for quite awhile because of the remaining heat, Reichert said.

He said he understood a bull dozer would be brought in and that after materials are moved away, the basement will need to be pumped.

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News brief: Mineral Fire Department audit shows fuel misappropriation

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 5:32 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has forwarded a case to prosecutors of second-degree theft in connection with a volunteer firefighter’s alleged misuse of a gas card.

Brady J. Mounce was a volunteer with Lewis County Fire District 9 in Mineral and allegedly used a district card for just over $1,500 in personal use between 2013 and 2014, according to the sheriff’s office.

Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said this morning said a report from the Washington State Auditor’s Office came back early last week and showed Mounce misappropriated more than $5,000 worth of fuel from the district.

Some it occurred in the Morton area and some in Eatonville, according to Breen. Similar charges have been filed in Pierce County, Breen said.

Mounce, 23, of Mineral has not been arrested and a charging decision will be made by the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office.

Breen said the audit overall showed $20,300 worth of fuel misappropriated from the district but it couldn’t be determined who was responsible. He didn’t note the time period involved.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 10:26 am
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•••

Updated at 2:23 p.m.

THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS STOLEN FROM HOSPITALIZED WOMAN

• A 34-year-old Winlock woman was arrested yesterday at the end of a two-month long investigation which concluded she withdrew more than $43,000 from two accounts belonging to a woman who was hospitalized and subsequently died. Aurora S. Fulmer allegedly made more than 100 transactions in approximately a one-month period that ended on Feb. 8, according to the sheriff’s office. Fulmer was contacted yesterday, taken into custody and booked for seven counts of forgery and two counts of first-degree theft, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said this morning. Breen said the case is associated with an address on the 100 block of Fircrest Road in Centralia, but didn’t say how or if the suspect knew the victim.

MISSING MONEY

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning a case for second-degree theft is being referred to prosecutors in connection with a Sunday call to the 400 block of Jones Road in Centralia in which a father reported $800 cash vanished from the home during the two-hour time period when his 17-year-old son was left unattended there.

MOTOR MISSING

• Chehalis police were contacted just before 9 a.m. yesterday about a 6 horse power motor having been removed from a boat at the 1900 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue. The black Mercury long shaft motor was valued at $300, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

HARASSMENT

• Chehalis police were called about 9:40 a.m. yesterday to take a report of harassment over social media involving juveniles.

BEGGING IN THE STREET

• A 42-year-old man who police say was warned multiple times for aggressive panhandling and impeding traffic was arrested after an officer saw him standing in the middle of the road at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, allegedly trying to stop cars while asking for money. An officer responding about 1:35 p.m. yesterday took Todd D. Strenge, of Olympia, into custody and booked him into the Lewis County Jail for disorderly conduct, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• A pair of Centralia men are accused of stealing nearly $30,000 worth of materials from their employer, a recycling business that specializes in high pressure cylinders and gas tanks located on the 2600 block of Commercial Boulevard in Centralia. The theft wasn’t reported until after a December call to Cylinder Depot Inc. about damage to a back door as if someone tried to break in. A manager told a deputy he suspected 27-year-old Matthew B. Meyer and 31-year-old Christopher A. Clements who had been fired for allegedly stealing, according to court documents. When the deputy contacted the company’s owner, Brian Ogier, he was told the theft was discovered in October when Ogier learned the two men had been taking the stolen brass cylinder valves to Hand and Hand Recycling, according to charging papers. Ogier reported a loss of $29,959, according to the documents. Charges of first-degree theft and also first-degree trafficking in stolen property were filed in Lewis County Superior Court on May 16. The suspects were summonsed to appear in court yesterday afternoon, but only Meyer showed up. He was allowed release pending trial on a $5,000 unsecured bond. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Jeffrey Schapp said the summons mailed to Clements was returned with a message saying he had moved to Ohio. Judge Andrew Toynbee ordered a no-bail bench warrant for Clements.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, vandalism, civil issue, suspicious circumstances, third-degree theft, disorderly person … and more among 131 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 3:32 pm
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•••

Updated at 5:26 p.m.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called about 5:35 a.m. today to the 900 block of B Street where an individual said someone broke into his garage during the night. It is unknown what was taken, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case is under investigation.

HARASSMENT

• Chehalis police were called about 2:30 p.m. yesterday to take a report of one juvenile harassing another juvenile via social media.

• Chehalis police were contacted about 3:15 p.m. yesterday about harassment involving juveniles.

CAR PROWL

• Several items were taken from a vehicle that was parked in the 600 block of G Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police at 10:10 a.m. yesterday.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 11:45 a.m. yesterday to take a report that a Seattle Times newspaper box valued at $500 was missing from the 1300 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue.

• Police responded to the 100 block of East Main Street in Mossyrock about 8:35 a.m. yesterday to a report of someone writing a fraudulent check to the store. The case is  pending the receipt of further information, according to the Morton Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Chehalis police and firefighters were called about 1:15 p.m. yesterday to the Twin City Town Center on Northwest Louisiana Avenue where a car pulling into a parking spot in front of an unoccupied business space accidentally struck the front glass entrance, leaving the driver shaken up, but not injured. It appeared her foot slipped onto the accelerator instead of the brake, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

• Centralia police reported today they have referred the case involving a 24-year-old Centralia man for possible criminal charges, related to the car that was discovered upside down in China Creek on Sunday morning. Officers and firefighters responding just after 7 a.m. to the area near the 500 block of North Gold Street determined the vehicle was unoccupied and the wreck had occurred sometime during the night, according to the Centralia Police Department. Search dogs as well as a water rescue team were summoned to search the water and the banks but nobody was located, according to police. Officers were finally able to track down the owner of the vehicle, who admitted to being the driver. Police say that Colton C. McDonald told them his vehicle was unable to negotiate the S-curve and went off the road, rolling and landing on its top in the water, according to police. “Both he and his female passenger were able to get out of the vehicle and walked from the scene,” the police department stated in a press release. The passenger was later located and it was determined she had non-life threatening injuries, according to police. The case is still under investigation as speed and/or alcohol may be a contributing factor, according to police.

• A 37-year-old man was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday morning and charged today with three counts of second-degree assault in connection with an incident on Saturday night in which he allegedly rammed his vehicle into a vehicle occupied by his wife and two of her companions. Police called just before 8 p.m. to the 1200 block of Mellen Street in Centralia were told Bert A. Holmes had been arguing with his wife and she went inside the Chevron gas station while he was circling the location outside looking for her, according to charging documents. When she came out, she got into the backseat after the two asked her if she needed a ride out of the area and then Holmes allegedly drove over the curb, gunned his engine and struck their vehicle in the rear passenger area knocking it out of its parking spot, before fleeing, according to court documents. Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer this after recounted an “alarming” number of previous convictions, with several involving domestic violence involving his wife. Meyer asked for and the judge agreed that bail should be set at $250,000.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, displaying falsified trip permit; responses for alarm, dispute, vandalism, civil issue, misdemeanor assault, suspicious circumstances … 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.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, June 12, 2017 at 11:02 am
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•••

Updated

SCREWDRIVER ASSAULT

• A 35-year-old Chehalis woman was arrested after deputies responded to a 5 a.m. call on Saturday where a 43-year-old man from Lacey said the woman he was dating stabbed him with a screwdriver leaving him with injuries to his neck, arms and hand. Deputies arriving to the 100 block of Oyler Road in Ethel learned the couple had been arguing and the victim was able to get her off him, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He was treated at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office. Amber R. Wilson-Delaney was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said this morning.

VEHICULAR ASSAULT

• Centralia police reported yesterday morning they were looking for a 37-year-old Chehalis man who allegedly rammed his vehicle into an occupied parked vehicle during a dispute at the 1200 block of Mellen Street. Officers called just before 8 p.m. on Saturday about the incident report the suspect fled the scene but his vehicle was later located and impounded.

TOY GUN ASSAULT

• Centralia police were called about 3:20 p.m. on Saturday when an individual reported that two teens confronted him and pointed a pistol at him at the 1300 block of Kayu Lane in Centralia. They then told him it wasn’t real and shot it in the air before fleeing  according to the Centralia Police Department. He thought maybe it was an Airsoft gun, according to police.

BURGLARY

• A residence in the 1100 block of E Street was reported to have been broken into yesterday and multiple items are missing. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Scott N. Edwards, 35 of Centralia, was arrested for damaging his girlfriend’s windshield of her car during a dispute at the 600 block of North Pearl Street which was reported at about 7 p.m. on Friday, according to the Centralia Police Department. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

• Chehalis police were called about 6:15 p.m. on Friday to a report of someone slashing tires on a vehicle parked at the 100 block of Southwest McFadden Avenue.

OTHER STUFF

• Chehalis police were called about 10:30 a.m. on Friday and told that a woman in her 60s had pulled down her pants and urinated in front of the store on the 1400 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue. The arriving officer issued a warning, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police responded to a 911 call from a male at about 2:15 a.m. on Saturday who said he was intoxicated and needed a ride. The caller said he realized he was too drunk to drive so he pulled over and parked in front of the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The arriving officer was unable to locate the caller, according to police.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police responded to a vehicle upside down in China Creek at the 500 block of North Gold Street at about 7:10 a.m. on Sunday. Police indicated that further details would be forthcoming.

• Deputies responding to a single-vehicle wreck about 11 a.m. on Saturday at the 800 block of Rhoades Road in Winlock arrested the 64-year-old drivier for driving under the influence. The Geo Metro had left the roadway, gone into a ditch and struck a fence, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. James L. Marthini, of Toledo, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Centralia police were called about 1:10 p.m. on Friday to a collision between a bicycle and a vehicle at the 900 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. It resulted in minor injuries, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ON THE RIVER, OFF THE RIVER

• Two kayakers whose craft overturned on the Cowlitz River near Packwood were rescued on Saturday afternoon and treated for potential hypothermia, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office swift water rescue team along with search and rescue personnel responded to the call just before 5 p.m. near the La Wis Wis Campground, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said there was no way to get to the two men by land. They were monitored for exposure related injuries by the Packwood Fire Department. The victims were 44 years old from Portland and 45 years old from Del Mar, California, according to Breen.

WINLOCK HOUSE CATCHES FIRE

• Nobody was hurt but a two-story house in Winlock is a total loss after it went up in flames on Saturday night, according to Lewis County Fire District 15. Crews called at 11:36 p.m. to the 900 block of Northwest Kerron Street could see flames as they left the station, as the home was less than two blocks to the north, according to Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Anderson. The residence was vacant, Anderson said.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, third-degree theft, resisting arrest, reckless driving, misdemeanor assault, reckless endangerment, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, protection order violation, third-degree malicious mischief, interfering with domestic violence reporting; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, shoplifting, hit and run, barking dog, trespassing, harassment, gas drive off, suspicious circumstances, vehicle collision, disorderly person, dog alone in parked vehicle … and more among 431 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 72-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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News brief: Cedar Creek escapees captured in Capitol Forest

Monday, June 12, 2017 at 9:01 am
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One of two missing inmates is arrested on Sunday afternoon. / Courtesy photo by state Department of Corrections

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Two escapees from Cedar Creek Corrections Center near Littlerock were apprehended yesterday afternoon without incident about six miles north of the facility.

Richard Harvell, 30, and Sage Bear, 26, were arrested together about 3:50 p.m., according to the state Department of Corrections.

They were found in the Capitol Forest, according to DOC.

Both men are pending transfer to a state prison facility and medical treatment for minor injuries sustained while escaping, authorities stated yesterday afternoon.

DOC said early yesterday morning the pair left about 9:40 p.m. on Saturday from the minimum custody institution at 12200 Bordeaux Road west of Littlerock.

Harvell was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm out of Snohomish County and began serving a 44-month sentence on March 15. Bear was convicted of first-degree manslaughter out of King County in January 2009 and had been scheduled for release in  July of next year.

DOC offered thanks to the many individuals who provided tips to the phone lines.
•••

For background, read “Law enforcement searches for prison escapees from Cedar Creek” from Sunday June 11, 2017, here

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Law enforcement searches for prison escapees from Cedar Creek

Sunday, June 11, 2017 at 9:24 am
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Richard Harvell, 30, and Sage Bear, 26, escaped last night

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Two inmates have escaped from the minimum custody Cedar Creek Corrections Center near Littlerock, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Law enforcement and DOC are searching for Richard Harvell, 30, and Sage Bear, 26, who escaped about 9:40 p.m. yesterday, according to a statement from DOC posted on its Facebook page and Twitter account at about 3:30 a.m. today.

Authorities advise anyone who sees either man not to approach them, but to call 911 or call Cedar Creek Corrections Center at 360-359-4100.

Harvell was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm out of Snohomish County and began serving his 44-month sentence on March 15, 2017. His expected release date had been tentatively set for March 19, 2019.

Bear was convicted of first-degree manslaughter out of King County and began serving his 130-month sentence on January 27, 2009. His expected release date had been tentatively set for July 9, 2018.

Correctional employees initiated inmate recount of the entire facility and escape procedures at approximately 10 p.m., according to the statement. The facility notified local law enforcement and activated inmate recovery teams.

Cedar Creek houses approximately 480 male inmates at the facility at 12200 Bordeaux Road west of Littlerock.

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Chehalis teenage robbery suspect’s state of mind in question

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 6:58 pm
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Jose M. Almanza is rolled into the courtroom for his bail hearing.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 19-year-old who got stabbed in the shin when he allegedly tried to forcibly take an acquaintance’s backpack is scheduled for an arraignment next week, but authorities said they plan to seek a mental evaluation.

Jose M. Almanza, 19, of Chehalis, was arrested early last Tuesday morning and then charged later in the day with second-degree attempted robbery.

Prosecutors said Almanza had been admitted to the hospital days earlier for being under the influence of Spice and that he was incoherent when officers spoke with him at the hospital on Tuesday, according to court documents.

He said he was “sorry”, asked “how is everyone” and stated “I thought he gave me the backpack,” when he was questioned, according to the documents.

His arrest came after police were called about 4:50 a.m. on Tuesday for a physical altercation near the freeway onramp at the Main Street-state Route 6 interchange, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

Police learned from the 41-year-old victim that Almanza had showed up at his nearby camp around midnight and was given an extra tent to stay in, but as time went on, Almanza became agitated, so the older man decided to leave and walk towards town, according to court documents.

The victim said Almanza followed him and began to demand his backpack, and when he refused, Almanza punched him in the face, court documents relate. The 41-year-old pulled out a folding knife from his pocket and when they went to the ground and Almanza continued to hit him, he stabbed Almanza in the leg, created some distance and called 911 for help, according to the court documents.

Both men were taken to the hospital to be treated. The 41-year-old man’s partial denture was broken, according to prosecutors.

When Almanza was brought in to Lewis County Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon, he was rolled in in a wheel chair.

Defense attorney Rachael Tiller told the judge he he had been working full time in the industrial park, but if his bail was very high he would lose that income. She said her client had no criminal history.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher told the judge Almanza’s parents were in the courtroom and very concerned about his mental condition. Meagher asked that bail be set at $50,000.

Judge Andrew Toynbee agreed.

“The state anticipates there will be a request for a competency evaluation,” Meagher said.

Charging documents state Almanza was arrested for fourth-degree assault around the same time he was hospitalized for being on Spice and was just released from jail on Monday.

He was given a court appointed lawyer and his arraignment was put on the court calendar for Thursday.
•••

For background, read “Chehalis: Victim pulls knife on alleged thief” from Tuesday June 6, 2017, here

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Centralia resident dies in shootout with Vancouver police

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 8:51 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Authorities have identified the Vancouver bank robbery suspect who died after exchanging gunfire with police as 50-year-old David W. Hamilton of Centralia.

Hamilton died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

At approximately 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday, officers responded to a robbery of the IQ Credit Union in which a rifle-carrying, ski mask-wearing subject ran into the bank, robbed it of an undisclosed amount of money and then fled, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

The individual was seen getting into a white vehicle and responding officers then spotted the subject getting into a second vehicle and driving away, according to police. A pursuit ensued, a PIT maneuver was conducted on the fleeing vehicle and shots were exchanged between the suspect and officers, according to police.

No officers were injured, but three officers were put on leave, according to the Vancouver Police Department. An investigation was initiated by the Regional Major Crimes Team.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, June 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm
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•••

THEFT, THEFT, THEFT

• A stolen handgun was recovered yesterday in the possession of a 14-year-old Centralia boy, according to authorities. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports that deputies learned the owner’s son took the Rossi 38 caliber revolver without permission, went out shooting with friends and the friends took the gun when they all returned home on Saturday. A 14-year-old and a 16-year-old, both from Centralia, were arrested and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for theft of  firearm, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Chehalis police were called about 3:30 p.m. yesterday to a business on the 300 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue to take a report that someone had entered the property and removed a starter motor, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A 45-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday for second-degree vehicle prowl and third-degree theft for allegedly taking an intake manifold from a neighbor’s truck, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The victim reported the item stolen on Wednesday after getting a call from his cousin who works at an auto body shop in Centralia about an individual who came in and tried to sell it, according to the sheriff’s office. The cousin recognized the item due to a sticker and some writing on it, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said. Winston C. Trent was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Breen.

DRUGS

• A 43-year-old Chehalis woman detained for allegedly shoplifting about 4:30 p.m. yesterday at the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue was subsequently arrested  for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Jennifer L. Davis was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police were called to the 600 block of Harrison Avenue about 11:15 a.m. yesterday for a collision involving a car and a bicycle.The woman on the bicycle ended up with a sore arm, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, disorderly person, hit and run, trespassing, suspicious circumstances, vehicle collision, third-degree theft, disorderly person … and more among 146 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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News brief: Chehalis piano tuner loses workshop to fire

Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 11:12 am
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Shop building reignites hours after fire department leaves. / Courtesy photo by Tayler Williams

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The shop building used by a rural Chehalis man who refurbishes and tunes pianos is a total loss after a noontime fire was extinguished and then reignited yesterday evening.

Lewis County Fire District 6 Chief Tim Kinder said it was about 6:45 p.m. when a neighbor called and reported the structure was fully involved in flames.

Firefighters from District 6 and three other departments had spent about an hour and a half earlier in the day putting out a fire in the same building at the 300 block of Logan Hill Road. That ended with main structure still intact, according to the fire district.

Kinder said they knocked the second fire down within about 15 minutes but stayed on scene until after 9 p.m. moving materials to make sure there were no hots spots remaining.

He said the building held pianos on one side and the actual shop on the other side. He estimated the loss of building and contents at about $30,000.

The second fire spread to the adjacent carport and threatened the house, he said. The cause is under investigation.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 10:26 am
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•••

Updated

BURGLARY CHEHALIS

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports a 2005 Honda Foreman 500 ATV plus a Stihl brush cutter were stolen from a shop behind a residence on the 100 block of Pattee Road near Chehalis sometime between 4 p.m. last Thursday and 3 p.m. on Tuesday. The loss is estimated at $3,000.

FRAUD

• Police arrested a 19-year-old Centralia resident for forgery yesterday morning after he tried to cash a check written out to himself for $320 at Umpqua Bank on the 200 block of North Pearl Street and it turned out the check’s owner had recently cleaned out his vehicle at a car wash and thrown away temporary checks because he thought they were no longer any good. Officers called to the bank about 10:30 a.m. were told by Michael W. Severance that two individuals waiting around the corner in a car had told him to cash it, according to charging documents. Severance was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called about 1 p.m. yesterday to the parking lot at Wal-Mart on the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue where an individual reported two tool boxes had been stolen from the back of his truck. The 26-inch Milwaukee brand red and black boxes contained carpentry and power tools, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 11:30 a.m. yesterday about the theft of tools from an unlocked vehicle at the 500 block of Harrison Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A glass smoking device with white residue was found in the rear of an officer’s patrol vehicle after a suspect was taken out at the jail, leading to the arrest of the suspect for possession of methamphetamine, according to the Centralia Police Department. Bibiana Martinez-Torres, 30, of Olympia was being transported to the Lewis County Jail for resisting arrest and third-degree suspended license following contact with an officer about 12:40 a.m. today at the the 1500 block of North Scheuber Road, according to police.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report about 8:40 a.m. yesterday of graffiti placed during the night on a building at the 1500 block of Kresky Avenue.

INVESTIGATION

• Centralia police report they began investigating yesterday morning a report of inappropriate touching involving juveniles.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, protection order violation, minor in possession/consumption of alcohol; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, disorderly person, suspicious circumstances, vehicle collision … and more among 166 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 5:18 pm
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NEIGHBOR FOILS BURGLARY WINLOCK

• Deputies were called about 8 a.m. yesterday to the 100 block of Awmiller Road in Winlock right after a 911 caller caught three people in a silver 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser with an Oregon license plate in the midst of burglarizing a neighbor’s residence. When confronted, the two males and one female apologized and removed items from their vehicle back into the house, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Responding deputies were unable to locate the suspect vehicle but did find forced entry to the garage and back door of the home, according to the sheriff’s office.

BURGLARY CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police were called about 2:30 p.m. yesterday to a home on Southwest Sixth Street where an unknown person had entered a residence and rifled through their belongings. Nothing seemed to be missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THREAT

• A 72-year-old man was arrested late yesterday afternoon after deputies were called to Linda Vista Drive outside Chehalis because he had allegedly told his wife they were both going to be dead, as he was going to shoot her then himself, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Jerry A. Hill was booked into the Lewis County Jail for felony harassment, according to the sheriff’s office.

ASSAULT

• Halis C. Hankins, 22, of Chehalis, was arrested for hit and run and third-degree assault in a case last night associated with the 800 block of South Gold Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BAD BILL

• Centralia police were called yesterday morning to the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue where a counterfeit bill had been received the evening before.

• Chehalis police were called about 4:40 p.m. yesterday to a business on Southwest Interstate Avenue where an individual tried to spend a counterfeit $5 bill, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Gang graffiti was discovered spray painted on the side of the viaduct at the 100 block of East Sixth Street in Centralia yesterday morning, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BRUSH FIRE BREAKS OUT

• Four fire departments responded to a fire about 6:30 p.m. yesterday at the 100 block of McLaughlin Road near a former mill site found vegetation burning in a dry creek bed covering approximately 25 feet by 30 feet. Crews had the fire under control and knocked down within 15 minutes, according to Lewis County Fire District 6.

LUCKY DAY

• Firefighters were called this afternoon to the 900 block of Burnt Ridge Road for a man pinned in a toppled over commercial forklift. Just as the rescue truck arrived, neighbors managed to dig the dirt out from beneath the operator’s ankle and got him free, according to Lewis County Fire District 8. Chief Duran McDaniel said the ankle had only been stuck, and wasn’t broken.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, reckless driving, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, suspicious circumstances, vehicle collision … and more among 129 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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At the 900 block of Burnt Ridge Road. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 8

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News brief: Garage catches fire in Chehalis

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 5:04 pm
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Shop building on Logan Hill Road. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 6

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – There was heavy damage from flames and smoke but the main structure of a garage south of Chehalis was saved after a fire broke out today.

Firefighters called just before noon to the 300 block of Logan Hill Road were told no one was inside the building, according to Lewis County Fire District 6.

The fire was contained to the garage and nobody was hurt, according to Firefighter DJ Hammer.

A building inspector was requested to check the shop building for structural integrity, according to Hammer. The cause is being investigated.

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News brief: Indecent liberties conviction brings prison time for Centralia man

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 2:32 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 49-year-old Centralia man was sentenced today to 20 months in prison for indecent liberties in a case in which a young woman said he molested her while she was sleeping in his fifth-wheel trailer while she was withdrawing from heroin.

Keith D. Keene pleaded guilty on May 10 to the felony offense, but made an Alford plea, in which he admitted no wrongdoing.

He appeared in Lewis County Superior Court this morning before Judge Andrew Toynbee, with his lawyer Don Blair.

Keene was charged earlier this year in the case detectives began investigating last July following a tip from an inmate at the Lewis County Jail who said they knew of multiple women sexually assaulted by Keene.

The original charges included the cases of two other women in their 20s who told of similar instances, but those charges were dismissed as part of the plea deal, according to Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm.

The victim in the case in which Keene was convicted was 19 years old in November 2015 and told police he had offered her to use his bed and when she she woke up to Keene pressing himself against her, she immediately got up and went outside. She said it happened just before she went to rehab.

The judge gave Keene credit for 32 days of time already served and imposed three years of supervision after his release.
•••

For background, read “Centralian accused of taking advantage of multiple younger women” from Saturday February 11, 2017, here

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News brief: Chehalis K-Mart parking lot death was suicide

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 11:55 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Authorities say the woman whose body was found inside a car at K-Mart’s parking lot this weekend died of suicide.

Twenty-five-year-old Jennifer E. Zamora was from Centralia, according to the Lewis County Coroner’s Office.

Chehalis police began investigating following an approximately 10 a.m. call on Sunday to the 1200 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue about a person deceased inside a 2001 Kia Rio in a parking space at the far south side of the lot.

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod indicated this morning Zamora died of a gunshot wound to her head. Police said a shotgun was located with her.

Chehalis Police Department Sgt. Gwen Carrell said it appears it happened sometime during the night, but police are still tying up loose ends in the case.

Six deaths this year in Lewis County have been ruled suicide, as of two weeks ago.

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Chehalis man picked up on $100,000 warrant for alleged sexual assault

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 8:29 pm
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Edgar Ramirez-Dado consults with temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An intercepted message on a Centralia Middle School issued iPad arranging to buy $10 worth of marijuana from a somebody led to an arrest yesterday outside a Centralia convenience store, of a 22-year-old Chehalis resident also wanted on a $100,000 arrest warrant in a rape case.

Edgar Ramirez-Dado was arrested at the 400 block of West Main Street for allegedly planning to sell a little baggie of weed to two boys, ages 16 and 14, according to court documents.

He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for that and numerous outstanding warrants, including one that was issued late last year when a charge of second-degree rape was filed in a case investigated by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Lewis County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher today requested and was granted bail in the amounts of $100,000 and $50,000 for the two cases.

Ramirez-Dado was represented by temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court. Judge Andrew Toynbee appointed Centralia lawyer Don Blair to the cases.

Charging documents indicate a sheriff’s deputy met with a 26-year-old woman in mid-December 2015 when she described a party the night before with a lot of people in which she and her friend consumed a large amount of alcohol.

She said she was introduced to Ramirez-Dado and recalled being dragged by her arms by him into a bedroom and laying on a bed, before two girls came in and pulled her out, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm wrote in charging documents.

She had a couple more shots and the next thing she knew, she was in another room with Ramirez-Dado, according to Bohm.

Bohm wrote that the alleged victim recalled Ramirez-Dado pulling her panties off from beneath her dress and her telling him no and to stop, but she was too weak and drunk to push him away.

She said he raped her.

Charging documents indicate a deputy received a sexual assault report from Providence St. Peter Hospital in January 2016, but don’t explain why charges were not filed until nine months later.

The documents in the new case state that it was just yesterday when a school resource officer alerted a Centralia drug detective of the drug deal arrangement made through a messaging app on the school iPad.

Knowing the details, members of the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team followed one of the boys to the Apex market on Main Street in Centralia.

Police contacted the 16-year-old and Ramirez-Dado inside a vehicle parked there. Inside Ramirez-Dado’s backpack, they allegedly found more than an ounce of marijuana buds, a scale and plastic bags.

Ramirez-Dado is charged with second-degree rape, a class A felony with a maximum penalty of life in prison. He is also charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and involving a minor in drug dealing. Those offenses each carry a maximum penalty of five years.

Meagher told the judge he felt the $100,000 bail was in order in the rape case because of the violent nature of the alleged offense and also because there was some indication an attempt was made to make sure the victim did not tell people what happened.

The 26-year-old victim also told a deputy that when it was over, Ramirez-Dado told her not to come out of the room for a few minutes so it would look like they were not together, according to charging documents.

His arraignment is scheduled for June 15.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 12:09 pm
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•••

OFFICER ASSAULTED

• A 36-year-old Chehalis woman was arrested for allegedly hitting an officer in the face after an officer responded to a call related to a medical issue just after 7 p.m. yesterday at the 700 block of Southwest Chehalis Avenue. Jessica M. Tagle was arrested for third-degree assault according to the Chehalis Police Department. After getting treatment for an unspecified reason, Tagle was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 11:45 a.m. yesterday to the 300 block of Southwest Third Street to take a report that during the night someone stole a light bar off a truck. It is described as a 5D Cree brand, 50-inch, 672 watt, LED set of lights, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• An officer was called again yesterday morning to the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia about a license plate getting stolen off a vehicle there.

• Centralia police were called about 11:35 a.m. yesterday for a vehicle prowl at the 300 block of South Diamond Street in which vehicle registration papers were taken.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called about 5:10 p.m. yesterday on a report of graffiti on the block house in Fort Borst Park in Centralia.

LOST AND FOUND

• A man’s wedding band was found and turned in to the Chehalis Police Department yesterday.

• A handgun was found in the roadway yesterday on Northwest Pacific Avenue in Chehalis, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Police are hoping to locate its owner. It was not loaded, according to police.

AND FROM MORTON

• Morton police report they are investigating a theft reported last Wednesday afternoon in which a wallet was taken from a vehicle parked in front of a business at the 100 block of Third Street.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Chehalis police were called just after 4 p.m. yesterday to the 200 block of Southwest Third Street after a motorbike struck a parked Chevrolet Equinox and then left. The door and the bumper were damaged, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, protection order violation, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, suspicious circumstances, vehicle collision, third-hand report that someone in a car may have stopped and told a child there was “free ice cream down the block” … and more among 156 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Chehalis: Victim pulls knife on alleged thief

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 10:17 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 19-year-old Chehalis resident is jailed after a fight in which he reportedly tried to take a man’s backpack and got stabbed in the shin in return, early this morning alongside Interstate 5 in Chehalis.

Police say the two are acquaintances who had been camping near the state Route 6 bridge.

Officers responded to an approximately 4:50 a.m. call of a physical altercation near the freeway onramp at the Main Street-state Route 6 interchange, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

Police department spokesperson Linda Bailey says officers learned the 19-year-old demanded and then forcibly attempted to take the backpack. He allegedly struck the 41-year-old Curtis man in the face, causing a laceration.

That’s when the 41-year-old victim stabbed the teen in the leg with a folding knife, according to Bailey.

Both were taken to the hospital, treated for non-life threatening injuries and then released, according to police.

However, Jose M. Almanza,19, of Chehalis, was arrested for second-degree robbery and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Bailey.

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Toledo man charged with rape for encounter that stemmed from dating website

Monday, June 5, 2017 at 6:41 pm
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Benjamin J. Breitenbach, in red, is led into a courtroom for a bail hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Bail was set at $25,000 this afternoon for the Toledo resident accused of raping a woman this weekend he had met on a social media dating website.

Benjamin J. Breitenbach, 37, allegedly admitted to law enforcement to having sex with the alleged victim but said it was consensual, according to court documents.

Breitenbach was arrested after being contacted at his home about 10 p.m. on Saturday.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy responded to a call about 6 p.m. on Saturday and spoke with the woman who said the two communicated on the site Plenty of Fish and she went to his home that afternoon on the 200 block of Kangas Road.

She said she had met him on the site about a month earlier.

“(She) further explained she and Breitenbach had been exchanging small talk for approximately 10 minutes when he suddenly attacked her on the sofa,” Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm wrote in charging documents.

He allegedly grabbed her breasts, twisting them causing a great amount of pain, and used that leverage to push her into an adjacent bedroom where he raped her despite her protests.

He left the room, she was able to depart in a near hysterical state and called 911, according to Bohm.

The sheriff’s office this morning reported the 41-year-old woman sought medical attention.

Breitenbach denied to law enforcement any kind of roughness, according to Bohm.

He was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with second-degree rape, a class A felony with a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller this afternoon told a judge Breitenbach is employed but she believed he qualified for a court appointed lawyer. Centralia attorney Don Blair was appointed.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher asked the judge to hold the defendant on $25,000 bail, because of the violent nature of the alleged offense.

Meagher said Breitenbach had only three warrants in the past, related to minor driving offenses.

Judge James Lawler agreed with the request but stated he had thought the state would have asked for a higher amount.

Breitenbach’s arraignment is scheduled for Thursday morning in Lewis County Superior Court.
•••

For background, read “Claim: Meet-up associated with dating website leads to rape in Toledo” from Monday June 5, 2017, here