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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 12:18 pm
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•••

INJURY COLLISIONS

• A 28-year-old Packwood resident riding a dirt bike without a helmet was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after crashing yesterday. Deputies responding about 5:45 p.m. learned from witnesses the man was traveling along Elkhorn Drive in Packwood when he lost control and wrecked near Cannon Road and Holiday Lane, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown described his injuries as serious and the damage to the 2000 Kawasaki as minor. The sheriff’s office suspects alcohol was involved, according to Brown.

• A 51-year-old driver ended up with a possible broken hand or wrist when she wrecked yesterday afternoon, her Jeep Cherokee rolling end over end along the 400 block of Chilvers Road west of Chehalis. Deputies responding to the approximately 5 p.m. incident were told she was traveling westbound when her vehicle left the roadway and struck a raised driveway entrance, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The Bellevue woman had been wearing her seat belt; the vehicle was totaled, according to the sheriff’s office. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

VEHICLE THEFT

• A white 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 pickup truck with Illinois plates was stolen sometime during the night from the 100 block of South Cedar Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 7:30 a.m. today.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called about 8 p.m. yesterday about a vehicle prowl at the 700 block of Pioneer Way.

• Someone stole a tent from the back of a truck parked at the 800 block of South Silver Street. An officer called about 3:50 p.m. yesterday learned it must have occurred during the night.

• A vehicle was broken into and its stereo stolen on the 700 block of Bengal Court in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called at 10 a.m. yesterday to the 900 block of West Main Street to take a report an individual’s vehicle got spray painted.

BURNING BUSHES

• Firefighters were called about 6 o’clock yesterday evening when hedge trees caught fire in a planting bed at Applebee’s restaurant on Northwest Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis. It was near the road and likely was ignited from a cigarette butt, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, suspicious circumstances, vandalism, collision on city street … and more.

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Burning bushes along Northwest Louisiana Avenue. / Courtesy photo by Lori Cusson

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Prosecutors: Winlock park shooter grew tired of ex-girlfriend disrespecting gang

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 9:16 pm
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Joseph M. Lowery is charged with attempted first-degree murder in Lewis County Superior Court, an offense with a maximum penalty of life in prison.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 20-year-old who grew up in Winlock is being held on $500,000 bail, accused of leaning into the bushes and taking aim with a pistol – from some 50 feet away – at his former girlfriend as she sat alone next to a stream in the woods.

Shyann Gallimore, also 20, was struck in the back with what authorities believe was a 22 caliber bullet.

But it could be as long as two weeks before the round is removed, and examined.

“It ricocheted off something, and lodged in my shoulder,” Gallimore said yesterday.

The young woman was taken by a friend to Providence Centralia Hospital where she was treated and sent home the same night. Gallimore is home in Winlock, where she lives with friends she said are taking care of her.

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Courtesy photo from Gallimore.

The incident took place on the outskirts of Winolequa Park in the South Lewis County community. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said it happened about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“This is a safety issue,” Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sara Beigh said as she addressed bail for the suspect yesterday afternoon.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey agreed the amount was appropriate.

The sheriff’s office reported the suspect had threatened violence before against the victim and made reference to an ongoing dispute.

Prosecutors in charging documents allege the suspect told deputies he had become tired of Gallimore disrespecting the “Juggalo family.”

Joseph M. Lowery is charged with attempted first-degree murder.

Prosecutors say he and a 16-year-old boy who was with him that evening admitted they are members of the Juggalo gang. And that on a previous occasion, Lowery had allegedly told the teen if he ever saw Gallimore in “his” woods, he would shoot her.

And that he would “put it on the hatchet,” a Juggalo term meaning promise, according to prosecutors.

Juggalo is a name used by fans of performance artists called the Insane Clown Posse. Federal law enforcement agencies identified Juggalos as a non-traditional type gang in 2011.

Whatever exactly the reason for the weekend shooting, temporary defense attorney Joely O’Rourke alluded to another possibility yesterday afternoon when the suspect was given a court appointed attorney.

“I suspect Mr. Arcuri will be asking for a mental health evaluation,” O’Rourke told the judge.

His mother was among those in the courtroom, to support him, O’Rourke said. And he has absolutely no criminal history, she said.

The sheriff’s office and charging documents give the following account of what took place:

Gallimore was at a mutual friend’s home on Limmer Road earlier on Saturday, and when she learned Lowery was headed there, she called a friend to pick her up near Winolequa Park to make sure she didn’t walk home alone. Gallimore was afraid of Lowery.

She walked to a trail leading to the park and was sitting down and on the phone with the friend when she heard a pop, felt pain in her back, reached around to touch and then found blood on her hand.

The friend, who Gallimore said is a roommate and like a little brother to her, took her to the hospital. That’s where deputies responded to learn what happened.

An X-ray revealed an object in her back consistent with a .22 caliber round. An injury near the middle of her back is consistent with a bullet wound.

When deputies located the 16-year-old later that night at a residence on Sears Road, he told them he and Lowery knew Gallimore was at Limmer Road and were on their way there, but as they got to the park, Lowery asked him for the .22 revolver in his backpack.

They went into the woods and as they walked up the trail they saw her, sitting next to the stream. The teen said Lowery told him to keep walking, and then Lowery leaned into the bushes and aimed the gun.

The teen said he heard a pop, he heard Gallimore yelling, and they ran away up a trail.

The 16-year-old, who also lives in Winlock, was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center and yesterday, Judge Brosey found probable cause to hold him, as prosecutors requested, as an accomplice in the crime of attempted first-degree murder.

His bail was also was set at $500,000.

Prosecutors wanted more time to make a final decision, but the nature of the proposed potential charge, a class A felony, made it automatic the 16-year-old be handled in adult court, according to Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher.

However, today, Meagher said further review of the case indicated the more appropriate charges for the teen were only second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and tampering with evidence. And prosecutors decided not to charge him as an adult.

The charges were filed today.

The 16-year-old, who had been moved to the Lewis County Jail, went before Judge Brosey once again this afternoon, for a juvenile detention hearing.

Deputy Prosecutor Joel DeFazio and a juvenile probation officer urged the judge to continue to hold the teen until his arraignment.

A major concern is the gun has not been recovered, Judge Brosey was told.

The teen was to be sent back to the juvenile detention following the hearing. Court appointed attorney Shane O’Rourke is representing him

The teen’s arraignment is Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Lowery’s arraignment is Thursday at 10:40 a.m.
•••

For background, read “Sheriff’s Office: Winlock woman shot in back in park by ex, survives” from Monday July 20, 2015, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 2:49 pm
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•••

ENTERPRISING THIEVES

• After last year’s theft of as much as a mile of underground street light wiring along Rush Road south of Chehalis, county workers welded the metal lids to the utility boxes closed and poured concrete around them to prevent a reoccurrence. Yesterday afternoon, a deputy was called the area of Maurin and Rush roads after the discovery someone used some kind of tool to pry through the concrete and then cut out and remove an as-yet-unknown amount of wiring. Seven of the junction boxes were damaged, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said it happened sometime since Friday.

INMATE THREATENS JAIL STAFF

• A 41-year-old man from Clarkston, Wash. arrested for misdemeanor trespassing after a disturbance involving a clerk at the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia yesterday evening found himself in further trouble after arriving at the Lewis County Jail. Brad D. Kincheloe allegedly told a corrections officer that he was going to kill her in front of her family, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office says Kincheloe was abusive and uncooperative and was further booked for felony harassment.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called to a residence under renovation at the 1000 block of Yakima Street about 11:20 a.m. yesterday regarding a break-in.

• Police were called about 9:15 p.m. yesterday about electronics stolen from a home on the 1800 block of Shamrock Drive in Centralia. A possible is suspect is someone the victim allowed inside the residence, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called about 7:30 a.m. yesterday about a vehicle prowl at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in which someone broke out a window and stole a wallet. The victim’s credit cards were subsequently used at local businesses, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case is under investigation, according to police.

• Change from the console of a vehicle was among the property missing after a car prowl on the 700 block of Southeast Adams Avenue in Chehalis, according to a report made to police about 5:30 a.m. today

• Chehalis police were called to the 200 block of Southwest William Avenue about 9:25 p.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl.

OTHER THEFT

• A road sign was discovered stolen this morning from West Main Street and Tilley Avenue in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

PASTURE CATCHES FIRE

• Tenino area firefighters yesterday afternoon attacked a slow creeping fire burning through grass and brush which was threatening a barn off Tilley Road South near the 160th Trail Southeast. The elderly resident was home alone and asleep when crews arrived, but they woke him up, according to Thurston County Fire District 12. The fire surrounded numerous large portions of automobiles in the middle of a pasture, but what caused it is undetermined, Battalion Chief James Fowler said. Less than an acre was charred and nobody was injured, Fowler said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, driving with a suspended license; responses for misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, concern about children seen riding in the bed of a pickup truck, opossum running back and forth on sidewalk at Twin City Town Center, request for officers to move along persons believed to be homeless behind a business and elsewhere… and more.

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News brief: Motorcyclists hurt in Morton, Pe Ell

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 9:17 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 64-year-old Glenoma resident was injured last night when he wrecked his motorcycle on state Route 7 in Morton.

Troopers responding to the approximately 10:10 p.m. call found that Martin E. Sprinkle had been traveling southbound when he lost control in the gravel on the right shoulder. The 1993 Harley Davidson FLSTC came to rest in the southbound lane, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Sprinkle had been wearing a helmet, according to the state patrol. The wreck is blamed on inattention.

The investigating trooper reports he was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle,

Sprinkle is listed in serious condition in the intensive care unit this morning, a hospital spokesperson said.

Earlier in the day, a motorcyclist was hurt in a collision just west of Pe Ell.

Firefighters and medics were called at 12:05 p.m. to state Route 6 in or near the construction area at McCormick Road, according to Lewis County Fire District 11.

“I’m not certain if he got hit, but I think he got hit by a car,” Fire Chief Michael Krafczyk said this morning.

The chief said he wasn’t at the scene and had not yet been briefed on the incident.

The patient was transported to Pe Ell School where a helicopter met responders, and flew him to Harborview, according to Krafczyk.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, July 20, 2015 at 9:26 pm
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•••

Updated

POLICE: THREAT TO OFFICER GETS MAN LOCKED UP

• Bail was set at $10,000 for an individual a deputy prosecutor called a self-described gang member who allegedly threatened a police officer yesterday evening when he was detained near East Summa Street and Pacific Avenue in Centralia. Officers responded about 7:30 p.m. to assist the sheriff’s office after a passenger reportedly ran away from a single-vehicle accident, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police say when the subject was detained, he was upset and made death threats. Twenty-two-year-old Deymen Flores-Martinez was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police. He was charged today with felony harassment – for allegedly threatening Officer Doug Lowrey –  in Lewis County Superior Court. Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sara Beigh indicated the threat involved bodily harm. Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke told the judge Flores-Martinez has no criminal history. Judge RIchard Brosey agreed the defendant who has lived the past 10 years with his parents locally could be released from jail pending trial if both his parents co-signed for his bail.

TOY TAKEN IN BURGLARY

• Chehalis police were called about 1:30 a.m. today when a resident returned home to Southeast Park Hill Drive and discovered a back sliding door unlocked and belongings such as a stuffed toy and clothing missing. The investigation so far has turned up a 10-year-old neighbor suspect, too young to be arrested, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

INMATE’S HOME BROKEN INTO

• Police arrested a 23-year-old homeless man for residential burglary after discovering him inside his brother’s Toledo home yesterday. Toledo Police Department Officer Randy Pennington had booked the brother into the jail for trespassing and was told he worried someone might break into his residence while he was locked up, according to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office. Pennington and another officer went to the home and inside they found Taylor K. Rebman, who appeared to have been hiding in a closet, charging documents state. There was a backpack containing the resident’s laptop computers in a closet, which Rebman said he was he was bringing back to hide there, charging documents state. Rebman was booked into the Lewis County Jail and charged today with residential burglary. His bail was set at $10,000 this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

ALCOHOL SPIRITED AWAY

• Centralia police responded to the 500 block of South Tower Avenue just after 3 o’clock this morning to a report someone broke out the window of a business and stole bottles of liquor. Centralia police report an employee chased and confronted the suspects and threats were made to the employee when he asked for the alcohol back, according to the Centralia Police Department. No suspect was found but the investigation continues, according to police.

WATERCRAFT VANISH

• A 44-year-old Centralia resident reported on Saturday evening that someone had stolen his two kayaks and paddles from where he keeps them near the river near the 3800 block of Mayberry Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is stated at $998.96, according to the sheriff’s office.

CAR PROWL

• Somebody broke out a window of a sport utility vehicle at Schaefer Park off Big Hanaford Road outside Centralia and stole a purse, cash, checkbook, wedding ring and a vacuum cleaner, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened on Friday evening between 5:30 p.m. and 6:55 p.m. and deputies have a person of interest, according to the sheriff’s office.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called about 6 o’clock this morning to a business on the 500 block  of North Market Boulevard where a glass back door had been broken out.

• An 18-year-old was arrested overnight for allegedly breaking the windows out of a bus stop in Centralia. Officer responding around 1:40 a.m. to the area of B and Sixth Street located Kristopher W. Laseke in the area and arrested him for third-degree malicious mischief,  according to the Centralia Police Department. He was then released pending his court date, according to police.

• Chehalis police were called about 6:30 a.m. today after the discovery of graffiti spray painted onto a building at the 400 block of West Main Street.

DRUGS

• A Thurston County Jail inmate brought to stay at the Lewis County Jail yesterday morning was arrested for a drug violation when a search allegedly turned up turned up medications – antidepressants and narcotics – not prescribed to her, according to the according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Karen B. Overmiller, 44, of Olympia, said she’d gotten them from another inmate in Thurston County, according to the sheriff’s office. One of them was Suboxone, according to prosecutors.

ANIMAL ISSUE

• Centralia police responding yesterday evening to a report of possible neglect of three dogs by a neighbor on the 1300 block of Delaware Street found one of the animals was dead and causing a smell. However, they learned the homeowner was out of town and had arranged for relatives to watch, feed and water the dogs, which they had been doing, according to the Centralia Police Department. A relative arrived while officers were present, according to police. The situation is under investigation, with follow up expected from the city’s animal control officers, Centralia police indicated this morning.

ON THE ROAD

• Chehalis police were called in the middle of the day on Friday after an individual saw a couple exit a Subaru Impreza in the middle of the street near William Avenue and Southwest 13th Street and walk away. The car was impounded, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A motorist suffered minor injuries when her car struck the median and rolled, coming to rest on its top yesterday afternoon on Interstate 5 in Centralia, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Firefighters called at 4:45 p.m. to the southbound lanes near the Mellen Street interchange found the 32-year-old driver had gotten out of her vehicle on her own, according to the fire department. She was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, Fire Capt. Terry Ternan indicated.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, underage drinking, protection order violation, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, trespassing, harassment, parking issue, traffic problem, noisy neighbors, misdemeanor theft, child bit by dog, possible runaway child, possible misdemeanor assault, suspicious circumstances, protection order violation, collision on city street, traffic circle conflict, concern over bad checks, concern about derogatory statements on Facebook, children alone in parked vehicle, dog alone in parked vehicle appearing in distress, business owner asking for panhandler to be removed from parking lot, request to check the well-being of a horse with apparent injury … and more.

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Sheriff’s Office: Winlock woman shot in park by ex, survives

Monday, July 20, 2015 at 9:36 am

Updated at 11:01 a.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 20-year-old Winlock resident is in custody for attempted murder after allegedly shooting his ex-girlfriend in the back near a park in Winlock on Saturday evening.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports the victim had been at a mutual friend’s home earlier and when she learned he was headed over, called a friend to pick her up near Winolequa Park.

The victim was scared of him as he had made threats of violence towards her in the recent past, so went into the woods near the park to wait, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said in a news release this morning.

Brown said the 20-year-old woman was struck in the back by a .22 caliber round while she was talking on her cell phone with the friend at about 6:30 p.m. The friend took her to Providence Centralia Hospital where she was treated and she has since been released, according to the sheriff’s office.

Chief Brown stated investigators discovered a 16-year-old Centralia boy accompanied the suspect to the park. He was located around midnight at a residence on Sears Road and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, Brown said.

The suspect, was located yesterday afternoon  behind his residence in the 200 block of Northwest Arden in Winlock. The sheriff’s office says he admitted to shooting the victim because of an ongoing dispute.

Joseph M. Lowery was booked into the Lewis County Jail for attempted first-degree murder.

The un-named teen, from Centralia, reportedly witnessed the incident, and allegedly had handed the gun to Lowery, so he was also arrested for attempted first-degree murder.

They are both tentatively scheduled to go before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon.

 

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News brief: Child airlifted after scooter and vehicle collide in Centralia

Monday, July 20, 2015 at 8:53 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A child was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after he was struck by a vehicle in an apartment complex parking lot in Centralia yesterday evening, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

Firefighters and medics called at 7:10 p.m. to the 2600 block of Cooks Hill Road report the 6-year-old boy was conscious and talking, but suspected of having internal injuries.

He was taken by ambulance to Providence Centralia Hospital and then flown by helicopter to Seattle, according to Fire Capt. Terry Ternan.

The youngster was riding on a small three wheeled stand-up type scooter and lost control, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Police this morning are reporting they concluded the boy traveled in between two parked cars and out into the lot just as a vehicle was driving by.

Police say the child ran into the vehicle and fell down. The understood his injuries to be minor, according to a summary of the incident from the department.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, July 19, 2015 at 2:22 pm
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•••

Updated at 7:26 p.m.

FIRE, FIRE, FIRE

• Members of West Thurston Regional Fire Authority joined other local firefighters late yesterday afternoon when a fire broke out in the Capitol Forest near the Cedar Creek Corrections Center. Crews were called around 5 p.m. to what was roughly five acres of heavy timer burning, according to Fire Lt. Rob Smith. It was approximately in the area of the D8000 Line, Smith said. As of 11:30 p.m. it stopped growing, he said. Personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources took over the incident but at least one tender was assisting them today with water, Smith said.

• Chehalis firefighters were called about 8 p.m. yesterday to a grass fire that began creeping up the side of a residence on the 700 block of Northwest Maryland Avenue. They were able to extinguish it before it got inside, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

• Chehalis firefighters were called at about 8:30 p.m. yesterday to Yard Birds Mall  for a small fire apparently caused by a light ballast overheating. It was in the northeast corner of the sprawling structure on the 2100 block of North National Avenue according to Fire Capt. Casey Beck.

• Chehalis firefighters were called just before 3:25 a.m.  today for a residential structure fire on the 800 block of Northwest Ohio Avenue. “It turned out to be a porch on fire,” Fire Capt. Casey Beck said. The flames were quickly extinguished and did not spread, Beck said.

• Nobody was hurt but there was an estimated $3,000 damage from a cooking fire at a house on the 100 block of North Iron Street in Centralia. Riverside Fire Authority reported yesterday that the flames were out upon their arrival to the incident about 8:30 p.m. on Friday. It started on the stove and the burning dish was put in the kitchen sink but the plastic blinds on the window ignited, Capt. Tim Adolphsen wrote. There was some damage to upper cabinets and the window frame as well as some to lower cabinets when towels used to smother the flames fell to the floor, according to Adolphsen.

ROCK TOSS

• A 19-year-old Centralia woman was booked into the Lewis County Jail after an officer saw her throwing large rocks at passing vehicles along the 1300 block of Harrison Avenue at about noon yesterday, according to the Centralia Police Department. Shannon L. Wachter was arrested for attempted third-degree malicious mischief, according to police.

THEFT

• Police were called to the 100 block of West Bridge Street in Centralia about 12:15 p.m. yesterday about theft of a hood ornament, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A backpack dropped onto a front porch and left unattended for short time on the 300 block of East Main Street in Centralia disappeared, according to a report made to police about 10:30 p.m. on Friday. It contained clothes, a purse with credit cards and money, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called to the 2000 block of Borst Avenue where a female told them while she was swimming someone stole her backpack and cell phone, around 8 p.m. on Friday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Someone stole fuel from vehicles parked at the 1600 block of South Gold Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 9 a.m. on Friday.

MORE THEFT

• Centralia police were called to the 1000 block of Eckerson Road in Centralia about 10:30 a.m. on Friday to take a report of the theft of cash from the business.

• An officer was called about 1 p.m. on Friday regarding money stolen from a bank account, associated with the 200 block of West Main Street in Centralia.

TICKET TIME

• Over a less than four hour period beginning late yesterday afternoon, officers in Centralia contacted six drivers – most for minor traffic violations – and learned they were driving with suspended licenses. Each was arrested without incident and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• Just after 2 a.m. today, a Centralia officer contacted a driver for a minor traffic violation at Harrison Avenue near Interstate 5, discovered he had a warrant and then located unspecified controlled substances on him, according to the Centralia Police Department. David D. Marrs, age 25, was booked into the Lewis County Jail,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

ON THE ROAD

• Officers responded a non-injury motorcycle versus vehicle accident at the 100 block of South Silver Street near the library in Centralia at about 8:50 p.m. on Friday.

• Two men were reportedly uninjured when their pickup truck ran off Interstate 5 about two miles south of Chehalis early this morning, striking a light post and the  guard rail. It happened in the southbound lanes near the Labree Road interchange just before 7 a.m. today, according to the Washington State Patrol. The investigating trooper reports Jose R. Garcia-Roberto, 23, from Lakewood, and Jose D. Jimenez-Garcia, 28, from Kent, ran off into a field in the area . A police dog apprehended them, according to the state patrol. The 2001 Ford F150 pickup was described as totaled. Troopers were investigating the incident for possible driving under the influence, hit and run and obstructing, according to the state patrol.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence; responses for hit and run, collision on city street, collision on Interstate 5 … and more.

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Court cases stalled for Centralia man while mental evaluation sought

Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 6:29 pm
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Wellington M. Waggener hasn’t been back to Lewis County Superior Court since he threw himself over the half wall behind the defendant’s table shortly after this photo was taken on Wednesday afternoon.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Centralia resident arrested three times in four days – twice for his alleged actions inside the jail – won’t be arraigned anytime soon.

Wellington M. Waggener, 26, is scheduled to return to court for a review next month.

He was to have the opportunity to make his pleas on Thursday morning to four felony charges, but the judge signed an order for a mental evaluation to be conducted by Western State Hospital.

The former Centralia College basketball player was booked into the Lewis County Jail after a Friday night incident in which a woman said she found him in her bed at a Centralia motel, touching her with his hands.

While being housed in the medical observation portion of the jail on Sunday, he allegedly spit on a corrections officer’s face as he was being served dinner.

Then on Tuesday morning, he allegedly threatened to kill two other of the officers, telling one of them that he would kill her if he saw her outside the jail and telling the other he wanted to slit his throat.

Defendants can’t be arraigned unless they are competent to understand the charges against them.

The judge had already noted at Waggener’s first appearance in Lewis County Superior Court that he was familiar with Waggener, and that he may need to be on some mental health treatment.

Then on Wednesday at his second bail hearing, the handcuffed and shackled  6-foot 9-inch tall defendant threw himself over the half wall that separates the public seating area from the front portion of the courtroom. Guards dragged him out of the courtroom.

It was about 18 months ago that jail staff left Waggener in a cell to suffer for more than five hours without any water for relief after an entire three-ounce can of pepper spray was discharged into his cell. Lewis County had a check for $300,000 delivered to his lawyer last month as a settlement regarding the incident.

The sergeant held responsible was fired.

According to charging documents in his newest case, at about 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Waggener became angry when told he couldn’t take a shower at that moment, and 40 minutes later tried to flood his cell.

He was still being held in the medical observation unit.

When a corrections officer responded, he allegedly said he would shoot her, he would kill her if he saw her on the streets. He acted like he had a rifle in his hand and told he’d like to see her head explode, charging documents state.

Charging documents go on to allege that when questioned, Waggener said they were not threats, but promises.

It was a few hours later when he allegedly told a jail sergeant that he wanted to slit his throat.

He asked the sergeant if that scared him, and the sergeant said no, charging documents state. He allegedly said it should, because when he was released, he would do it.

When Waggener was interviewed about it, he said he’d been asleep all day and made no threats.

He is currently charged with residential burglary with sexual motivation as well as custodial assault, for which his bail was set at $25,000. He is also charged with  two counts of felony harassment, for which bail was set at $50,000.

Waggener’s review hearing is on the court calendar for Aug. 8.
•••

For background, read:

• “Former Lewis County Jail inmate paid $300,000 for pepper spray abuse incident” from Wednesday July 15, 2015, here

• “Centralia man jailed after woman tells of waking up to stranger in her motel room bed” from Tuesday July 14, 2015, here

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Read about charges filed in prison death of Centralia man …

Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 9:54 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Everett) Herald reports the inmate accused of stomping a Centralia man to death inside a mental health unit at the prison in Monroe in May has been charged with aggravated murder.

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Gordon “Casey” Powell Jr.

Gordon C. Powell Jr., 45, died May 18. He was serving a five year sentence for breaking through the glass door of distillery on North Tower Avenue and stealing liquor, and later tussling with a police officer last fall.

News reporter Diana Hefley writes that Benjamin Cory Price, 35, allegedly confessed to the attack, saying he’s been training as a government assassin since the age of 4.

“He called Powell a “Satan buddy.” He also said Powell used telepathy to tell him that if he assaulted him, Price would finally get to talk to police and a lawyer,” Hefley wrote.

Read more about it here

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Surviving driver from fatal Onalaska wreck ordered to wear alcohol monitor while case pending

Friday, July 17, 2015 at 9:53 pm
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Three wooden crosses mark the roadside of Monday night’s collision. / Courtesy photo by Ayla Marie Withey

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The driver of the second vehicle in the Onalaska crash that killed three teens told the investigating trooper he’d drank a beer about five hours earlier, but his breath and his entire van smelled of alcohol, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Joseph W. Rogerson, 36, and his wife were returning home to Chehalis from getting a shovel at Cowlitz Timber Trails when they collided head on with a sport utility vehicle carrying eight young people on state Route 508 near Hyak Road.

The state patrol has said both vehicles crossed the centerline and the investigation is ongoing.

The Monday night tragedy has left a community grieving.

Wooden crosses have been placed beside the road at the scene and a vigil is set for tomorrow night, where organizers hope mourners will encircle the entire Carlisle Lake mill pond.

The state patrol’s initial reports indicated the black 2002 Land Rover Discovery was occupied by four 18-year-olds and four 13-year-olds from Onalaska and Chehalis.

However, the police report indicates slightly different ages.

Dead at the scene were the driver, Arnold W. Mullinax, 17, and Taylor N. Thompson, 12, both from Onalaska, according to Trooper Torson Iverson’s report.

Dakota L. Dunivin, 18, from Chehalis, died the following day at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. All the deaths were caused by blunt force trauma and listed as accidental.

Trooper Iverson writes he arrived shortly after 10 p.m. that night, and saw emergency lights ahead, and then a silver van partially blocking the westbound lane, and the Land Rover on its top in the center of the road.

The bulk of his report focuses on Rogerson, the driver of the Ford Freestar minivan.

The man was crying as he answered questions, and said he’d been doing CPR on someone for about five minutes. When asked if he was hurt, he said he didn’t know.

“Rogerson stated he was driving ‘and all of a sudden, it’s like, you just never think someone like you is going to be involved … all of a sudden bam’,” Iverson wrote.

Rogerson agreed to perform field sobriety tests, during which at some points he stumbled and also swayed from side to side, the trooper wrote. He declined a portable breath test.

From the beginning, the man told the trooper the other vehicle basically was in his lane, and that it ran into him

Three troopers located what they believed to be the point of impact, deep gouges in the roadway, right on the centerline, between the yellow lines that form the centerline, according to the report.

Rogerson, who mentioned the next day was his first day at work as a medical assistant, was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital by ambulance, where the trooper met him to have his blood drawn for testing.

The report does not include his blood alcohol level.

Rogerson was booked into the Lewis County Jail for driving under the influence on the instructions of his sergeant and the prosecutor, Iverson wrote.

The following day, Rogerson appeared in Lewis County District Court where he pleaded not guilty. A $5,000 appearance bond was posted on his behalf.

Among his conditions of release, is that he may not consume any alcohol or go into a bar. The court order stated he had to be equipped with a SCRAM – an alcohol monitor bracelet – before leaving the jail.

And he may not drive without an  ignition interlock device installed in his vehicle.

Rogerson was appointed Chehalis attorney Jacob Clark. His court file does not indicate when he will return to court.

The state patrol indicated the night of the accident that if the investigation reveals his driving is the cause of the collision, the charge could be elevated.
•••

For background, read “Two dead, at least three injured in head on crash in Onalaska” from Tuesday July 14, 2015, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, July 17, 2015 at 1:10 pm
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As much as an acre of property off Ferrier Road is left charred. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 15.

CAUSE OF FIRE ON WINLOCK PROPERTY UNKNOWN

• Local firefighters spent approximately three hours extinguishing a brush fire that spread through tall grass on property at the 1700 block of Ferrier Road south of Winlock. Crews dispatched at 11:05 a.m. on Wednesday found  homeowners using garden hoses and an area burning of roughly 200 feet by 200 feet, according to Lewis County Fire District 15. Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Anderson said he didn’t know what ignited it, but noted that probably nine out of 10 such fires on this side of the mountains are caused by some kind of human activity. It was the fifth brush fire in District 15 in the past month, Anderson said. One unit stayed on the scene until about 4:30 p.m., he said.

SMOLDERING SMOKES DROP ONTO AWNING

• Firefighters called yesterday afternoon to a report of a fire atop the awning of a downtown Centralia business discovered a smoldering small pile of cigarettes from an ashtray that had fallen from the window of a second-story apartment earlier in the day. Crews responding about 3:20 p.m. to the 300 block of North Tower Avenue made sure it was extinguished, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The metal-covered awning was undamaged, according to Capt. Scott Weinert. RFA took the opportunity to remind smokers of some fire prevention tips, such as, put cigarettes out, all the way, in an ashtray or in a bucket with sand.

PLAYING WITH FIRE

• Chehalis police were called yesterday about kids allegedly starting fires the night before in the area of Northeast Adams Avenue. A warning was given, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

LOST AND FOUND

• A savings bond was turned over to the Chehalis Police Department yesterday, after it was dropped off at a local bank by someone who said it was found in their rental house. The name on the bond is James Waltz, and if anyone has any information on that person, they are asked to call the police department.

THEFT

• Centralia police this morning reported that an officer was called at 3:42 p.m. yesterday about cash stolen from a deposit bag associated with an address on the 1000 block of Eckerson Road.

• An individual called Chehalis police yesterday from the 300 block of Southwest Fifth Street about a vehicle prowl in which someone broke into a window sometime during the previous two weeks.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, resisting arrest, misdemeanor assault, protection order violation, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, disorderly person, suspicious person, possible theft of cell phones, dispute involving a pellet gun, complaint of dog pooping in someone else’s yard … and more.

 

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Prosecutor: Chehalis shooting was about a woman

Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 10:46 pm
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Chan H. Oscar is seated with his lawyer David Arcuri at his sentencing hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Chan H. Oscar’s voice broke and he looked down as he apologized to the friend he called his cousin, for shooting him on a Chehalis street.

The round from the 9 mm semi-automatic handgun grazed an eyebrow and traveled through Kevin St. Catherine’s wrist.

St. Catherine did have a full time job and commuted to Bremerton, Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead told the judge. But he’s had two surgeries and won’t be able to bend his wrist.

“He won’t be able to work,” Halstead said.

The two men, are both from the Caribbean, are both Chehalis residents and their families have known each other for quite some time, Halstead said.

“Unfortunately, on this particular day, things got out of hand,” he said.

Oscar was in Lewis County Superior Court yesterday morning, to be sentenced for second-degree attempted murder. He’d made an Alford plea, not admitting guilt.

Halstead as he made his recommendation, told the judge Oscar wasn’t the instigator, that the two 36-year-olds had agreed to go fight. It had to do with a woman, Halstead said.

Defense attorney David Arcuri spoke on behalf of his client, telling of St. Catherine being the aggressor, tracking Oscar down at the Motel 6 where he assaulted him.

“And it wasn’t until my client opened his coat and showed he had a firearm, that Mr. St. Catherine backed off,” Arcuri said. “Our evidence would have showed Mr. St. Catherine said words to the effect, you’re not the only one with a gun.”

The incident took place the night of May 13,  on Southwest William Avenue near Fourth Street in Chehalis. Their two vehicles met up there.

“No doubt Mr. Oscar is culpable for discharging that firearm” Arcuri said. “But one has to appreciate how terrifying that could be.”

Oscar was taken into custody a few hours later, a loaded handgun found on his person.

Arcuri asked for 108 months in prison for his client. Halsted asked for 160.

Judge Richard Brosey imposed 156 months, which is 13 years.

He also ordered three years of community custody with the state Department of Corrections upon Oscar’s release.

And no contact for life with the victim.

Prosecutors dismissed a charge of rendering criminal assistance against 50-year-old Lenard A. Carlile, who was a passenger in the vehicle that police found Oscar in when they took him into custody that night.

•••

For background, read “Police: Chehalis resident jailed for shooting cousin on neighborhood street” from Thursday May 14, 2015, here

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Stranger with knife sentenced to time served

Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 9:15 pm
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Sean M. Ferrel listens to lawyers and the judge as he learns he is about to be released from jail.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Both the prosecution and the defense agreed to a sentence even lower than the standard due to ongoing mental health issues for a man who walked into a rural Centralia home with a serrated steak knife in his hand.

Sean M. Ferrel, 43, from Bremerton interrupted a couple at the residence near the far end of Little Hanaford Road, and was held at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived early last summer.

Ferrel made a so-called Alford plea to first-degree burglary, and appeared before a judge yesterday to be sentenced.

The man who was just passing through Lewis County, and now plans to head south to California has been waiting in the Lewis County Jail for more than a year now, and should be released with time served, Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead told the judge.

“I’ve spoken with the victim and the victim is on board,” Halstead said yesterday morning. “He doesn’t want to testify, he has other things going on.”

Halstead asked the judge to order Ferrel to get evaluated for and comply with substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Defense attorney Sam Groberg said his client had been to Western State Hospital three times since his arrest.

“He still has ongoing mental health issues he continues to deal with,” Groberg said.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge James Lawler said what he heard made sense. He agreed to the recommendation, and imposed 384 days.

But Lawler told the defendant he would be on community custody with the state Department of Corrections for 18 months.

“That means you need to check in with DOC at the Lewis County Mall when you get out,” Lawler said.

He put in place a no contact order regarding the victim and explained to Ferrel he now had two strikes against him.

“That mean, if you have a third strike, you’ll go to prison for the rest of your life,” Lawler said.
•••

For background, read “Stranger with knife walks into rural Centralia home” from Friday June 27, 2014, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 1:46 pm
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•••

MACE IN FACE LANDS GROWN SON IN JAIL

• A 41-year-old Winlock man was arrested overnight after he allegedly pulled a can of mace from his pocket and sprayed his 70-year-old father in the face. According to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, it was just before midnight when Tobiah N. Graham was reportedly being too noisy and he and his dad got into a dispute. Deputies arriving to the 1300 block of Ferrier Road arrested Graham for fourth-degree assault and booked him into the Lewis County Jail according to the sheriff’s office.

AUTO THEFT

• A blue BMW was reported stolen from the 1100 block of South Gold Street in Centralia yesterday morning,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• Centralia police were called to the 100 block of Jalyn Street about 11:30 p.m. yesterday about the theft of medication.

VANDALISM

• A 30-year-old Centralia man was arrested for third-degree malicious mischief yesterday after allegedly damaging a window at the 200 block of West Reynolds Street in Centralia. Jason R. Ferris was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

COLLISIONS

• Police responded to an 8:45 p.m. call yesterday of a hit and run, involving a building at the 1200 block of Belmont Avenue.

• Centralia police were called just before noon yesterday for a collision involving a vehicle and a bicycle at Harrison and View avenues.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting; responses for dispute, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

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News brief: Bridge over Cowlitz River struck by big rig

Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 8:58 am
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Damage on truss of Cowlitz River Bridge. / Courtesy photo by Department of Transportation

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The right lane of southbound Interstate 5 and the on-ramp at the Cowlitz River Bridge south of Toledo are closed for bridge inspection this morning.

Earlier this morning, a semi-truck hit a portion of the steel truss that supports the bridge over the Cowlitz River, according to the state Department of Transportation.

WSDOT bridge inspectors are one the scene, at milepost 59, assessing the damage.

Drivers should use caution and expect delays. There is no estimate for reopening the lane or the ramp, according to a spokesperson for the state agency.

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Former Lewis County Jail inmate paid $300,000 for pepper spray abuse incident

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 9:46 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County paid a former inmate $300,000 not to sue the county, its jail or any of its employees for mistreatment he suffered while incarcerated.

The then-24-year-old Centralia man was housed at the facility in January of last year, described as a person with mental health issues who was being held in the medical observation area.

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Wellington M. Waggener

An entire three-ounce can of pepper spray was discharged into his cell to get him to give back keys he’d grabbed off a guard through the cuff port, and then he was left to suffer for more than five hours without being given any kind of relief – such as water or decontamination.

There was no running water in the cell at the time, having been shut off the day before due to his attempt to flood the cell.

Then-Sheriff Steve Mansfield called the incident disgusting and embarrassing for the sheriff’s office, after he fired the corrections sergeant he held responsible for what happened.

Undersheriff Wes Rethwill today said the settlement was handled not by the sheriff’s office, but by the Lewis County risk manager.

“Obviously this is an incident that took place involving an employee, that employee is no longer here,” Rethwill said. “The sheriff at the time took appropriate action.”

The sheriff’s office operates the jail. Mansfield was replaced by newly elected Sheriff Rob Snaza in January. Rethwill is new to office as well.

Lewis County RIsk Manager Paulette Young said a lawyer representing the county and a lawyer representing the inmate reached an agreement with the help of a mediator.

“We thought that would be the best way to settle the claim without going to a lawsuit,” Young said. “If Mr. Waggener  had sued us, it would be a civil rights violation in federal court.”

The check was written on June 2, and delivered to the former inmate’s attorney, she said.

Wellington M. Waggener was in the jail because he’d been arrested by Centralia police after he returned to a downtown business he’d been barred from, and then allegedly fought with officers who attempted to detain him.

Now 26 years old, Waggener is being held once again at the Lewis County Jail.  The Centralia man was booked on Friday night in connection with an incident a local motel for which he has been charged with a felony.

Then yesterday morning, he allegedly threatened to kill two jail guards.

He was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with two counts of felony harassment.

The 6-foot 9-inch tall former Centralia College basketball player was handcuffed and shackled at his waist and ankles as many defendants often are.

As his bail hearing came to a close he threw himself over the half wall that separates the public seating area from the front portion of the courtroom.

The four corrections officers already present were on him fairly quickly.

“Oops, I slipped,” Waggener said, as he lay partially on the first bench, with his lower half of his body still on the proper side of the wall.

Trena Krause, who was seated in the courtroom waiting for another matter, heard someone holler, get back, and jumped and walked over the benches to get to the rear of the room.

“The way he was acing, I completely figured he was on drugs, or mental,” Krause said. “I think he was just making an as* out of himself.”

Waggener stayed limp as the guards dragged him off the bench and out of the courtroom, back down to the jail.

Temporary defense attorney Joely O’Rourke had been about to tell the judge Waggener would qualify for a court appointed attorney, when Judge Richard Brosey suggested she inquire about his assets, in particular if he’d received a settlement to the tune of $300,000 from the county.

Centralia attorney Don Blair was appointed already for his other case.

Judge Brosey said the matter could be discussed further tomorrow, at Waggener’s arraignment.

The $300,000 check was paid by Washington County’s Risk Pool, Lewis County’s insurer.

It was made out to the law firm representing him, in trust for Waggener.

Young said today Waggener never filed a lawsuit or a tort claim, regarding his treatment at the jail last year.

The family’s attorney made a public disclosure request for the documents about the incident, she said.

“We knew where that was going,” she said. “We had an attorney, we went to mediation.”

Lawyers on both sides mutually reached out to each other, she said.

The agreement, signed May 22, means Waggener would release all claims against the county and it’s employees, among those named, Jail Chief Kevin Hanson and former Corrections Sgt. Trevor S. Smith.
•••

For background, read:

• “Sheriff’s Office: Fired corrections officer allowed inmates to suffer” from Friday July 18, 2014, here

• “Centralia man jailed after woman tells of waking up to stranger in her motel room bed” from Tuesday July 14, 2015, here

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Corrections officers grab Wellington M. Waggener as he lay on the first bench behind the defendant’s table in Lewis County Superior Court today.

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Waggener remains limp as corrections officers move him out of the public seating area of the courtroom.

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Waggener is dragged out of Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey’s courtroom this afternoon.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 1:34 pm
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•••

MISSING STOLEN PROPERTY FOUND ON CENTRALIA TRAIL

• A stolen motorcycle and a stolen ATV were found in tall grass along a trail north of the viaduct and Delaware Avenue in Centralia yesterday evening after the owner of the ATV called 911 to say she saw her ATV near the railroad tracks behind Schaefer Park. Deputies and Centralia police surrounded the area and a detective subsequently saw two people with a similar description of the suspects who had been seen on it, according to the  Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Arrested for possession of stolen vehicles were Ronald A. Yeager, 24, from Bucoda, and Qierstin Ramsay, 19, from Chehalis, according to the sheriff’s office. They were booked into the Lewis County Jail. Recovered and returned to their owners were a 1988 Yamaha XT350 and the 2005 Honda TRX90 ATV, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

BURGLARY AT CENTRALIA BUSINESS

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday that someone forced their way into a business on the 2000 block of Gallagher Road in Centralia and stole five steel-bladed knives with elk horn handles as well as a cash drawer, a camera and a scanner. The loss to Centralia Fur and Hide is estimated at $975, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Stay Brown said it happened between 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.

MORE THEFT IN CENTRALIA

• Someone stole tools at a garage sale on the 1000 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday.

• Centralia police were called just before 8 o’clock yesterday to the 700 block of South Pearl Street regarding the theft of lawn maintenance chemicals and decorative lights.

• A four-wheeled ATV was reported stolen from a shed on Monday at the 2400 block of Eureka Avenue in Centralia.

• A 34-year-old was arrested for first-degree burglary by Centralia police on Monday night in a case associated with the 1200 block of Mellen Street in Centralia. Ryan A. McCarter, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges and he was released from jail yesterday.

FRAUD IN CENTRALIA

• Police were called about 10 o’clock yesterday morning to the 200 block of West Magnolia Avenue in Centralia regarding identity theft. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called to the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue on Monday afternoon about a fraudulent check.

• Centralia police took a report on Monday morning from an individual who said someone else was using their social security number.

JAIL OFFICERS THREATENED

• Wellington M. Waggener, 26, of Centralia, was arrested at the Lewis County Jail yesterday for two counts of harassment as he allegedly told a corrections officer he wanted to see her head explode and that he would kill her  if he saw her outside the jail. The Centralia man was booked into the jail on Friday night in connection with an incident a local motel for which he has been charged with a felony. The inmate allegedly also, early yesterday morning, told a jail sergeant that he wanted to slit his throat and that when he was released, he would do so, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

BRUSH CATCHES FIRE

• Firefighters were called twice yesterday to small brush fires that broke out at the 2200 block of Centralia-Alpha Road east of Chehalis at the Thousand Trails Campground. The first was just after 1 p.m. and the second was reported about 3:40 p.m. in a different area of the property, according to Lewis County Fire District 6. Firefighter Kyle Eiswald said personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources responded to take over.

• Fire broke out in tall grass along railroad tracks on South King Street in Centralia shortly after a locomotive passed through the area, prompting citizens to try to put it out with buckets on Monday evening. Firefighters called at 5:30 p.m. finished extinguishing the fire that burned a small section of fence as well as an area estimated to be 60 feet long by 30 feet wide, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Responders also put a second fire against the tracks just north of there, the fire department reports.

• Another fire broke out at TransAlta coal mine’s South Field, drawing firefighters from two fire departments and the state Department of Natural Resources. It was about 10 p.m. on Monday when an employee at the mine advised that vegetation was burning an area estimated to be less than three acres, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The crews were assisted by heavy equipment from the mine and the main fire was contained by midnight, according to Riverside. It was about a mile from the wildfire eight days earlier also on property owned by TransAlta, according to Fire Chief Mike Kytta.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, hit and run, probation violation, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, shoplifting, hit and run, misdemeanor theft, assault, barking neighbor dog, suspicious circumstances, a male falling asleep in the hallway of a hotel … and more.

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Centralia man jailed after woman tells of waking up to stranger in her motel room bed

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 9:06 pm
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Wellington M. Waggener is brought before a Lewis County Superior Court judge for a bail hearing.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 26-year-old who recently earned an associates degree in criminal justice and was arrested over the weekend by Centralia police for rape was not charged with that offense.

Wellington M. Waggener appeared before a judge yesterday where prosecutors asked he be held on $100,000 bail.

Waggener was detained at the Travelodge on Harrison Avenue on Friday night after a 28-year-old woman told police she was sexually assaulted in her room by someone she did not know.

Police on Saturday morning indicated the Centralia woman told them that a black man entered the room and forced sex on her. But charges filed on Monday in Lewis County Superior Court state the woman told an officer she woke up in bed and her clothes had been removed, and a strange male in her bed was touching her body with his hands.

Waggener reportedly followed the woman to the lobby where she went to call 911.

“Apparently he was not acting very rationally,” Centralia Police Department Sgt. Kurt Reichert said.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey yesterday afternoon noted he was familiar with the Centralia man, and suspected there were other issues that needed to be addressed.

“I know he’s been working with Cascade for some time, and may need to be on some mental health treatment,” Brosey said.

Charging documents offer some of the following details and allegations about what occurred:

Police were called at 10:10 p.m. on Friday for an alleged rape. The male was described as a tall black man with dreadlocks wearing a wife beater shirt.

Officer Buddy Croy arrived and saw Waggener in the lobby, who matched that description and who officers are familiar with. He was holding a cup of coffee and indicated he was leaving in an idling Jeep parked just outside the lobby doors.

“Croy asked Waggener if he was at the hotel with a girl, at which time Waggener started talking in circles and not making sense,” Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead wrote in the affidavit of probable cause.

Waggener talked about random things and at one point said he was just trying to get some sex and was going to pay $40 to get it.

The alleged victim, who is not named in charging documents, spoke with a different officer.

Officer Josh Mercer learned from the woman that she and her boyfriend had gotten into an argument and the boyfriend left the motel room.

She said she went to bed but left the door open so he could get back in when he returned.

She told Officer Mercer she was awakened by someone she thought was her boyfriend, but at some point realized it was not.

The charging papers continue on to state that Waggener left the room and the woman attempted to call police but couldn’t because the phone didn’t work, so she went to the lobby.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Sheila Weirth told the judge yesterday afternoon the high bail was needed given the nature of the charges and Waggener’s previous convictions twice of third-degree assault, felonies, and also for trespass, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Temporary defense attorney Joely O’Rourke suggested $10,000 bail, unsecured was suitable, given Waggener’s strong ties to the community.

“He moved to Centralia three years ago to play basketball for Centralia College, and did very well,” O’Rourke said.

She noted he received his associates degree there and had no warrant history.

Judge Brosey set bail at $25,000.

Waggener is charged with residential burglary with sexual motivation, for allegedly entering the dwelling of the woman. The documents don’t indicate whether she lives at the motel. The crime is a class B felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

He is also charged with custodial assault, for allegedly spitting on a corrections officer’s face as he was being served dinner Sunday evening in the jail. That offense carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Waggener is employed, but brings home only about $600 each month, O’Rourke told the judge, asking for a court appointed lawyer to represent him.

Centralia attorney Don Blair was appointed.

Before the short hearing ended, O’Rourke told the judge the defendant wanted her to request he be furloughed from Thursday until Monday, to allow him to go to work.

The judge suggested Waggener could talk with Blair about that.

Waggener’s arraignment is scheduled for Thursday morning.
•••

For background, read “Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup – POLICE: WOMAN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED AT CENTRALIA MOTEL” from Saturday July 11, 2015, here