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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, March 20, 2015 at 1:23 pm

DRUGS

• A 22-year-old Chehalis resident detained for alleged shoplifting at Wal-Mart last night, a misdemeanor, was found with a brown substance that got him arrested for possession of heroin, a felony. Officers called about 7:15 p.m. to the 1600 block of Louisiana Avenue booked Jordan L. Larson into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department. A bulge in the chest area of his shirt turned out to be a DVD player, according to police.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police responding about 1 o’clock this morning to the 400 block of Prairie Rose Street for an incident in which a 38-year-old man allegedly smashed out a window of his wife’s vehicle were looking for Steven G. Ward. The Centralia man reportedly also violated a protection order, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Police were called yesterday regarding an overnight  vehicle prowl at the 1400 block of Lewis Street in Centralia.

• An individual on the 1500 block of Lewis Street in Centralia called police after finding a broken off key in her door lock to her vehicle yesterday morning. Entry was not made, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called to the 500 block of Hamilton Avenue yesterday morning about a vehicle prowl.

FRAUD

• Chehalis police were called yesterday to the 1400 block of Airport Road about possible fraud related to bank cards in which they said they were contacted by several customers who said their card information was used by someone, some locally. The case with Riverside Golf Club’s restaurant is under investigation, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license, driving with no license; responses for disputes, theft, hit and run, trespassing, possible child molestation, child reporting being slammed against a wall by an adult, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets, questions about chickens in the city limits … and more.

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Heroin overdose for one leads to prison for another

Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 7:36 pm
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Robert T. Lusk faces Lewis County Superior Court Judge James Lawler this afternoon in Chehalis.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Chehalis man who provided the heroin that killed 23-year-old Tyson J. Anderson two years ago admitted what he did in court today, and will go to prison.

Robert T. Lusk, 37, has been locked up awaiting trial since his arrest last June.

Anderson died of a drug overdose one night – after he and his girlfriend went out to dinner and then shopping at Wal-Mart – at her apartment in Centralia. It took more than a year, but Centralia police tracked down who he’d gotten it from.

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Tyson J. Anderson, April 2013

Lusk pleaded guilty today to controlled substance homicide, clearing his throat slightly before answering the judge, hands cuffed in his lap.

The offense doesn’t include any elements of maliciousness or intent for a person to die. Only that he delivered the heroin to Anderson, that Anderson used the heroin and Anderson died from the heroin.

Anderson was a fairly new drug court participant at the time, and the father of a little girl.

Lusk faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The standard sentencing range that applies, given his criminal history, is 68 to 100 months of incarceration.

In exchange for his guilty plea, Lewis County prosecutors dropped a second charge of delivery of heroin, related to the same incident. Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead indicated to the judge this afternoon, that would have been “folded into it anyway.”

Halstead put in its place one count of first-degree driving with a suspended license, a charge actually out of Thurston County.

Defense attorney Erik Kupka and Halstead scheduled a hearing for sentencing on April 1. They said they have agreed to recommend to the judge at that time that Lusk be given 68 months and one day.
•••

For background, read “Centralia heroin death leads to criminal charge for person who allegedly supplied the drug” from Wednesday June 11, 2014, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 5:38 pm

COLLISIONS

• A 39-year-old Randle man was hospitalized with neck and back injuries after he was driving his motorcycle too fast at a corner in Onalaska and collided with a county sign and a gate yesterday afternoon. A deputy dispatched to the approximately 4:15 p.m. wreck at the 3600 block of Centralia-Alpha Road found the 2001 Yamaha YZF totaled,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Robert J. Williams was taken by ambulance to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Chief Deputy Stacy Brown. He was cited for driving with a suspended license, speeds too fast and also for illegal plates, Brown said. The plates were from Washington but the registration indicated the motorcycle was registered in Oregon, Brown said. The case is being looked into further, she said.

• A 37-year-old woman who totaled her car when she wrecked it on the 100 block of Jubb  Road south of Chehalis last night was taken to the hospital because of severe back pain and then arrested for driving under the influence. A deputy responding about 9 p.m. to the 100 block of Jubb Road learned the driver Shelley D. Jordan, 37, of Winlock, had walked to a residence where 911 was called, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Jordan was treated and then released, and booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

DRUGS

• A 43-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and second-degree identity theft last night. Denny W. Leighton was booked into the Lewis County Jail following contact with officers around 11 p.m. at the 1200 block of Mellen Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CEMETERY PILFERING

• An individual reported to police yesterday morning that flowers and solar lights were missing from their daughter’s grave on the 100 block of Caveness Drive in Centralia.

GOING INSIDE EMPTY HOUSE

• A 34-year-old Centralia man was cited for trespassing into a vacant house on the 1500 block of Grand Avenue in Centralia about 8:20 a.m. yesterday. Jeremy J. Phillips was issued his citation and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• A Vietnam veteran accused of touching a young relative in Centralia about seven years ago when she was a third grader accepted a plea offer this morning as his trial was about to begin. Robert A. Kinney, 61 when he was arrested in July, made an Alford plea to first-degree child molestation in Lewis County Superior Court. It was just Monday when Judge Richard Brosey helped persuade Kinney not to represent himself at trial, and resume representation by a lawyer. His sentencing will come later.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, protection order violation; responses for disputes, theft, hit and run, found bicycle, suicidal person, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets, homeless man out by a garbage bin drinking … and more.

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Centralia police officer asks judge to order citizen to stop harassing him

Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 10:56 am
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Mike Lowrey, far left, and Bo Rupert, far right, are seated before Lewis County District Court Judge Wade Samuelson.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Centralia police officer is seeking an anti-harassment order against a 20-year-old local man, who has been calling him crooked and corrupt on social media.

“He posted pictures of my family on Instagram, after he posted I should be executed,” Officer Michael Lowrey said.

“I think he’s taken it too far.”

Twenty-year-old Bo D. Rupert is currently prohibited from contacting Lowrey or Lowrey’s four children, based on a temporary court order put in place last month.

The two men have gone before a judge in Lewis County DIstrict Court twice, but an anti-harassment hearing has not yet been conducted because Rupert requested the two different judges remove themselves from the case.

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Bo Rupert

Rupert contends Lowrey has, while on duty, taken part in stopping him from videotaping public employees, unlawfully demanded his identification, and on various occasions when their paths have crossed in public, called him vulgar names.

The final straw, according to Rupert, was a day in which he claims Lowrey got a teenager banned from a local business, after the teen told the officer he wanted to speak with his uncle, and said his uncle was Rupert.

“Pretty much I had all I was going to take off him, after that,” Rupert said. “My pictures on Instagram and the amount of worry it made him feel, measured up to nothing compared to how I felt about my nephew.”

Lowrey, who has been a Centralia police officer for about 15 years, is making the request as a private citizen, his lawyer Shane O’Rourke said after the most recent hearing, held Monday morning in Lewis County District Court in Chehalis.

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Michael Lowrey

O’Rourke said his client is aware that as a public servant, he has to tolerate a certain level of unpleasantness from some members of the public.

“Mr. Rupert is well known for engaging in a particular type of behavior,” he said. “His attempts to antagonize go beyond what you deal with on a day to day basis.”

O’Rourke said police officers are still, first and foremost, citizens and don’t have to be subjected to that.

It is a rare and unusual occurrence, as far as he’s aware, O’Rourke said, for a police officer to ask for such a court order.

The temporary order allows for contact between the two for legitimate police business, he said.

Court documents show the 42-year-old officer made the formal request on Feb. 13. A temporary order was put in place the same day, but did not require Rupert to stay 1,000 feet away, as requested.

Lowrey checked boxes on the petition for order for protection from harassment and stalking form indicating Rupert’s ongoing behavior caused him to feel seriously alarmed, annoyed or emotional distressed.

Lowrey said on Monday it’s not getting videotaped on the job that’s bothering him. He wrote in his request that with the current backlash against law enforcement, he believes it endangers his family when Rupert posts photos of him, off duty, with his young daughter, along with comments that he is corrupt.

In a declaration in support of Lowrey’s petition, Centralia police Sgt. Stacy Denham writes that in his career of more than 20 years, he’s dealt with all kinds of individuals who don’t like police, and go  out of their way to discredit officers simply for entertainment.

“All of these individuals pale in comparison to Bo Rupert,” Denham writes.

He notes Rupert’s numerous convictions for false reporting, calling it an incredible addiction to trying to get others in trouble. He writes that Rupert’s new means of attack is to follow officers around and videotape them, berating them with profanities in an attempt to get a rise out of them.

Denham described Rupert’s activities as escalating into yelling at Centralia Police Department staff through the glass and calling all officers inside a laundry list of unacceptable slurs.

Among the screenshots from social media in the petition is a Facebook post by Rupert in which he wrote:

“The police must be returned to their original purpose to protect and serve WE THE PEOPLE, any that are not and refuse to do so should be executed for treason!!!!!!! Starting with Mike Lowrey, Sgt. Stacey Denham, and Phillip Reynolds”

Rupert, who said he lives part time in Chehalis and part time in Centralia, says he’s a volunteer for a police accountability group called “Peaceful Streets Lewis County”,  the local chapter of a national organization which video records police officers and other government employees while they perform their public duties.

In his general affidavit submitted in response to the case, Rupert writes that he usually picks two nights each week to film, listens for calls over a police radio scanner and arrives on scene staying a safe distance away. He states he also often advises people of their rights and records the interactions.

He claims in writing an instance outside the Centralia library in which Lowrey called him a name, stepped out of his patrol car and said if there were not people around, he would “kick his (blank) ass.”

“It was that moment when I decided from then on I was going to expose his corruption and the content of his character,” Rupert wrote.

In an interview after Monday’s hearing, Rupert acknowledged the Facebook post, paraphrasing it from memory to say, “I wrote to a Facebook status ‘Treasonous officers who create insurrection against the constitution should be executed,’ and I named the officers doing that.”

“I never said I was gonna pickup a gun and shoot Officer Lowrey,” he said.

Rupert said if Lowrey is successful in getting the temporary order made more permanent, he will appeal, because it could have other consequences.

“You can bet I’m not going to let someone use the court system, the legal system, to abuse and oppress people,” he said.

The anti-harassment order hearing is scheduled for March 30, when a pro-tem judge both sides agree upon is to be brought in.

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Toddler’s body still at morgue more than five months after death

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 5:31 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – It was a month ago the Lewis County coroner initiated a civil action, asking a judge to decide which funeral home he can call to pick up the body of a toddler – who died last autumn – from the coroner’s office.

Coroner Warren McLeod felt he was at an impasse because the unmarried parents of 3-year-old Jasper Henderling-Warner couldn’t agree about which mortuary should cremate the child.

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Jasper Henderling-Warner

McLeod yesterday said he’s still waiting, but now it’s for the court system.

“It’s keeping me awake at night,” McLeod said yesterday.

Jasper is the subject of a homicide case, and from his death on October 5 until the end of January, McLeod was not allowed to release his body. The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office had issued a hold order in case lawyers for the accused wanted to get a second autopsy.

Jasper died from what the coroner called chronic battered child syndrome. The Vader couple who were caring for him, Danny and Brenda Wing, remain jailed pending a trial in May.

McLeod hoped the request for a declaratory judgement filed Feb. 11 in Lewis County Superior Court would help move the process along, so Jasper could be laid to rest.

The hope was each parent would be served quickly with a summons and complaint, and respond within the 20 days allowed. And then a judge would hold a hearing and make them agree or make a decision.

However, McLeod yesterday said he learned the legal documents were served by the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office not upon the father, Casey Henderling, but upon Henderling’s roommate in Longview. McLeod said he called Henderling’s phone number on Monday, and was told he no longer lived there.

The mother, Nikki Warner, has been calling his office repeatedly, McLeod said.

But it turns out the Clark County Sheriff’s Office is four to six weeks behind getting documents served. It could be another two to three weeks before they get the court papers to Warner who lives in the Vancouver area, he said.

Meanwhile, Jasper’s body continues to be stored at the Lewis County Corner’s Office in Chehalis.

Jasper’s parents do agree they want to split the ashes following cremation, according to McLeod.

He said he realized in December Henderling and Warner didn’t agree on where Japer’s body would be taken care of, and tried to help them resolve the differences. A no-contact order prevents the parents from communication with each other, according to the court documents.

On Jan. 28, McLeod was freed from the prosecutor’s hold on the body, and tried for two weeks to get unified direction from the parents before filing the civil action on Feb. 11.
•••

For background, read “Toddler’s body lingers at morgue more than four months” from Thursday February 19, 2015, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Updated at 12:25 p.m.

NECK NICKED WITH CHAINSAW

• A man in his mid-50s was rushed to the Salkum fire station yesterday afternoon with chainsaw injuries to his neck and hand. Fire Chief Duran McDaniel said they were dispatched about 4:40 p.m. but then told the patient was being brought to them. Responders met up with them at the main station on U.S. Highway 12. “A family member drove, his wife held pressure on his neck in the backseat,” he said. McDaniel said he didn’t know the details of what happened, but he suspected a chainsaw may have kicked back. “It caught his hand and nicked his neck,” McDaniel said. “Very lucky.” He was taken by medics to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the chief. McDaniel didn’t know the extent of the hand injuries.

ROAD RAGE

• Chehalis police were called about 3:45 p.m. yesterday after a motorist reportedly followed another driver to his home, got out and punched the victim and then drove off. Officers were told by the 21-year-old man the smaller silverish sport utility-type vehicle had been behind him, driving erratically and passing him in a school zone on Cascade Avenue, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The 21-year-old parked at his residence on Southwest William Avenue and the other man got out, made some not-very-nice remarks including, “What are you doing?” and then hit him, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said. The subject was described only as a white male in his late 20s, with one tooth and wearing a long-sleeved shirt with cartoon characters on it, Bailey said. No hair color was mentioned, she said.

TOOLS TAKEN

• A deputy responded last night to the 100 block of Macomber Road outside Chehalis to a report of a burglary in which tools were stolen. Sometime between 6 p.m. on Monday and 1 p.m. yesterday, somebody made off with an electric staple gun, a Craftsman tool bag and two Makita drills with their batteries and chargers, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The owner is still making a list of what is missing, the sheriff’s office reports. A red pickup truck had been seen in the area but it may or may not have been involved, Cmdr. Dusty Breen said.

UNRULY ARRESTEE

• Police arrested a 21-year-old for obstructing and resisting arrest in connection with a warrant arrest about 2:30 p.m. yesterday at the 700 block of Harrison Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department. Tucker W. Bethune, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police. At the same time, a 16-year-old was also arrested for an outstanding warrant and officers are recommending new charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and minor in possession of alcohol.

TRAILER HOME BURNS

• Firefighters got there within two minutes when a fire broke out on a trailer park on the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia late yesterday afternoon but a 20-foot travel trailer is a total loss, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The individual who resided there said he was next door when he was told it was on fire, according to the fire department. The cause is under investigation.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor theft, protection order violation, driving with suspended license; responses for disputes,  hit and run, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets … and more.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Updated at 5:33 p.m.

FISHING BOATS WRECK

• One boat is sunk but nobody drowned after a rear-end collision on the Cowlitz River yesterday afternoon. It happened about 5 p.m. approximately 300 yards downstream from the Blue Creek boat launch. Two men from Bellingham said they were fishing and both jumped into the water to avoid getting struck, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A 45-year-old man from Renton piloting a 19-foot Alumaweld said he and his three passengers were heading upriver and he didn’t see the other  boat until it was too late, according to the sheriff’s office. He said he rescued the two men, Chief Stacy Brown said. The un-named man was cited for reckless boating, Brown said. None were wearing life jackets, according to the sheriff’s office.

TRUCKS STRIPPED OF BATTERIES, FUEL

• Someone siphoned about 100 gallons of diesel fuel from trucks parked in a commercial equipment yard on the 2000 block of Little Hanford Road outside Centralia sometime between Friday and yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 58-year-old victim said also four six-volt truck batteries were missing, according to the sheriff’s office. Security cameras are going to be installed to prevent a repeat, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said today.

CHAINSAW STOLEN FROM ELDERLY MAN

• A 90-year-old Centralia resident called the sheriff’s office after he discovered his hardly-used Stihl MS 16-inch chainsaw last left on his workbench in a carport shed was gone. The theft occurred on the 3500 block of Harrison Avenue sometime since August but before last Thursday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called about 3:50 p.m. yesterday about a burglary at the the 100 block of South Oak Street. The investigation continues, according to the Centralia Police Department.

NO NEED TO PICK POCKET

• Chehalis police were called about 1 p.m. yesterday regarding a wallet that disappeared from a cart when its owner turned away, at the 100 block of Northeast Hampe Way.

STRANGER TAKES PHONE

• Centralia police report a case of third-degree malicious mischief in which an unknown male grabbed an individual’s cell phone and broke it at the the 500 block of Harrison Avenue about 5:30 p.m. yesterday. Further details were not readily available.

TAX FILING FRAUD

• Chehalis police were called yesterday afternoon by an individual trying to file his taxes who discovered his social security number had been used to file a tax return.

CHIMNEY FIRE

• A buildup of creosote on a wood stove door ignited causing a chimney fire at the 300 block of Jefferson Street in Centralia yesterday evening. Firefighters called about 7:40 p.m. report flames were seen at the roof but the fire was contained to the chimney. It had not been cleaned, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

STRANGERS IN CARS

• Winlock schools sent out a letter last week reminding families it’s a good time to talk with children about strangers, following reports of possible attempted child lurings in Pe Ell and also Vader. There’s no reason to think they are related, according to district superintendent Shannon Criss, but warmer weather and more time spent out of doors just around the corner, prompted her to suggest adults should talk with their children about what to do if they feel they may be in danger. Criss said she learned from the high school principal about the Vader incident and asked him to report it to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Stacy Brown yesterday said she learned from Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Dusty Breen that three boys walking home from school in Vader some days earlier said a car stopped and asked if they needed a ride. Brown said the boys gave three different descriptions of the color and kind of car. “It may not have been luring, it may have been someone legitimately asking if they wanted a ride,” Brown said. “We don’t know if it was a nefarious situation.” But, Brown said, parents ought to talk with kids about personal safety. Most youngsters have cell phones, and the first call they should make is to 911, so law enforcement can get in the area quickly to check, and the second call should be to their parents, Brown said. Superintendent Criss offered these tips:

• Tell an adult immediately if they see someone or something that makes them worry or feel uncomfortable.
• Stay with friends and travel in pairs or groups, if possible.
• Avoid short cuts and stay on the main roads where you are visible.
• Always get the teacher’s permission to leave school.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  misdemeanor assault, protection order violation, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, disputes, misdemeanor theft, hit and run, suspicious circumstances; girls fighting after getting off a school bus, an individual asking for help getting to a shelter … and more.

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Police: Centralia resident tries to rob Titus Will

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 11:24 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 26-year-old man was arrested this morning for robbery after he allegedly beat up an employee at a Chehalis auto dealership, trying to get vehicles without paying for them.

Police called about 7:15 a.m. to the 2500 block of North National Avenue were told the employee was approached by the man in the parking lot at opening time, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

“He told the employee he wanted three cars, struck the employee, threatened he was going to kill him and struck him a couple more times,” department spokesperson Linda Bailey said.

The suspect was gone when officers arrived, but was subsequently located by Centralia police, Bailey said.

She said she didn’t yet have all the details, but the victim said his assailant didn’t make much sense. The 55-year-old declined aid, Bailey said.

One witness at Titus Will Chevrolet Buick told officers the man mentioned he had a family to feed, she said.

Jonas K. Doyle, 26, from Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree robbery, according to police.

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News brief: Chehalis Golf course restaurant investigating credit card issue

Monday, March 16, 2015 at 9:27 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Riverside Golf Club’s restaurant in Chehalis has stopped taking credit cards temporarily while they track down a potential breach of their system.

Manager Jena Sorenson said today she was contacted over the weekend by a woman who said her credit card was hacked, after it was used at their establishment.

The woman told her that the charges didn’t go through, but someone attempted to make purchases at Rite Aid three days after a lunch at Riverside, Sorenson said.

The woman posted it on Facebook, and then Sorenson got calls from two others who claimed a similar experience.

Sorenson said at this point, she’s not certain the problem is related to their business, but she’s not taking any chances.

She’s been in touch with their computer software company in case somehow malware has gotten into their system. She’s contacted their credit card processing company, and they’ve started an investigation, she said.

She’s confident it’s not an employee.

She wants to reassure customers nobody is at risk by coming to dine with them, as they just won’t accept credit cards until she’s 100 percent sure it’s safe to pay that way.

Riverside Bistro and Bar is at the golf course on Northwest Airport Road, along the Chehalis River. Her family has owned it for the past nine years, she said.

The golf course uses a different machine and credit card processor, according to Sorenson.

Sorenson was troubled the customer announced her issue on Facebook before even calling the restaurant, and frustrated there wasn’t anything she could do about it over the weekend, she said.

Riverside is as much victims of whatever may have happened, as the customer is, she said. And it can be damaging to a business to have such things shared widely that way, she said.

Credit card companies are pretty good with the protections they provide cardholders and it’s something that’s increasingly common for people in general, according to Sorenson.

“Almost everybody I know has had their credit card compromised,” she said. “This is the age of how people don’t steal your wallet, they steal your credit card (number).”

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, March 16, 2015 at 6:31 pm

BEDROOM BURGLED

• Someone broke into a home on the 3900 block of Jackson Highway south of Chehalis between 3:40 p.m. and 4:40 p.m. on Friday, rifling through a 22-year-old woman’s bedroom. It was the second time within a week it had happened, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The woman was home alone when she heard a knock on the window, and called her roommate who asked a neighbor to check on her, Chief Stacy Brown said. The neighbor took her home and when the roommate returned, he discovered the burglary, Brown said. Missing is $200 worth of quarters, according to Brown.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• A 19-year-old Rochester resident was arrested around 3:30 a.m. today for second-degree burglary in connection with an incident at the 400 block of Kearny Street. Dustin P. McLean was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Further details were not immediately available.

• Centralia police took a report of a burglary at the 1400 block of Windsor Avenue yesterday in which someone broke in and took a portable heater. The item was found in the backyard, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BARN BURGLED CHEHALIS

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning that sometime between last Wednesday and Thursday, someone got into a barn on the 800 block of Logan Hill Road in Chehalis and stole a Craftsman two-piece tool box and a heavy-duty four-wheeled wagon. The loss is estimated at $500, according to the sheriff’s office.

SHERIFF: MORTON BURGLARY SOLVED

• A tip on Friday led to the arrest of two individuals for a November break-in in the Morton area in which a 68-year-old resident lost about $5,000 worth of household goods, fishing poles and tools, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. Deputies were told by someone they had seen the two males with the property and in a subsequent contact by a detective, the suspects admitted involvement in the burglary at the 100 block of Chapman Road, according to the sheriff’s office. Booked into the Lewis County Jail for residential burglary were Ricky D. Osborne Sr. 48, from Morton, and Brian J. Elmore, no age given, also of Morton, Chief Stacy Brown said.

VEHICLE THEFT

• A stolen 2000 Ford F350 pickup truck was recovered yesterday at the 100 block of Cedar Lane in Glenoma, according to the the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The owner, who lost it in Lakewood, couldn’t be located so the vehicle was impounded, the sheriff’s office reports.

CAR PROWL

• Two people were arrested about 11 o’clock yesterday morning when a neighbor saw them trying to get into someone else’s vehicle at on the 600 block of Northeast Franklin Avenue in Chehalis. Stacy L. Weighall, 50, was arrested for second-degree vehicle prowl and then released, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Booked into the Lewis County Jail for theft and vehicle prowl was Michael W. Thomas, 29, of Chehalis, according to police.

• Police were called to Wal-Mart in Chehalis about 5:50 p.m. on Friday where someone had gone inside an unlocked vehicle and taken a cell phone.

• Chehalis police were called about 10 a.m. on Friday regarding an overnight vehicle prowl on the 1400 block of Southwest Mills Street. A cell phone charger was among the items stolen from the unlocked vehicle parked in front of its residence, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

IMPOSTOR ARRESTED

• A 33-year-old man who produced a driver’s license that was not his when contacted by an officer about 3 a.m. today along Southwest Interstate Avenue in Chehalis was arrested for possession of another person’s identification, a misdemeanor, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Phillip R. Johnston, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

GRAFFITI ON RESIDENCE

• A resident of the 400 block of Kearny Street in Centralia called police about 5:20 p.m. yesterday to report graffiti left on the outside of his home. It happened sometime during the previous few days,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

DOMESTIC ASSAULT

• A 43-year-old Chehalis man was arrested on Saturday after an incident the night before in which he allegedly slapped and choked his fiancee during an argument, and threatened several times to kill her. Michael G. McBride was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault and for harassment, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

SLEEPING IN CHURCH

• A 25-year-old Winlock man found asleep on a pew in a church on the 4200 block of Jackson Highway south of Chehalis yesterday morning was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail. Deputies responding sometime after 8 a.m. learned he wanted a place to get out of the rain, get way from an unsafe place he was staying, and to charge his cell phone, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Matthew R. Istre allegedly broke a glass door to get inside but didn’t take anything, according to the sheriff’s office. He was arrested for first-degree criminal trespass and third-degree malicious mischief, Chief Stacy Brown said.

CHIMNEY FIRE

• Firefighters were called noon yesterday to a chimney fire at the 400 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue in Chehalis. There were flames coming out the chimney, but they used their special nozzle to extinguish it, according to the Chehalis Fire Department. There was no damage, Capt. Casey Beck said.

COLLISION

• A 52-year-old Kelso man and his 52-year-old passenger from Onalaska were uninjured when they crashed a pickup truck into a bridge on the 200 block of Krueger Road in Onalaska on Saturday afternoon, Lewis County Sheriff’s office Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning. A deputy responding about 2:45 p.m. noted the truck sustained major damage and the two appeared intoxicated, Brown said.They were transported by ambulance to Providence Centralia Hospital and an arrest for driving under the influence depends upon the results of a blood test, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, malicious mischief, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, disputes, shoplifting, hit and run, vandalism, suspicious circumstances, possible sexual assault, collision on city street; complaints about a female asking customers for money, a man on a bicycle urinating outdoors … and more.

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News brief: Chehalis police looking for info about possible attempted luring

Monday, March 16, 2015 at 4:34 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Police are asking the public to contact them if they have any information about a possible attempted child luring incident that took place on Friday evening near the elementary schools on Southwest Third Avenue off Market Boulevard.

Officers were called about 6:15 p.m. on Friday when a 9-year-old girl said she was approached by a male on foot who told her she was cute and asked her to come to his home, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

The girl, who had her bicycle with her, rode away from the individual who didn’t try to follow her, according to a news release issued this afternoon.

He was described as having a darker complexion and acne, possibly of high school or college age, according to police. She also said he was wearing white tennis shoes, blue “skinny” jeans and a gray and black coat, according to police.

Anyone with information on the incident may contact police by calling the non-emergency number at Lewis County dispatch, 360-740-1105.

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Chehalis bicyclist escapes collision with no broken bones, but with hospital bill

Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Douglas Blankenship was carrying seven pounds of hamburger with him as he bicycled back home to Chehalis after a trip to Reicherts Meats in Centralia.

It happened really fast, he said.

He was headed down Cascade Avenue near the post office, when the door of a parked car opened, he said. He pulled his hand away so it wouldn’t get crushed.

“I was in the air, I went over the handle bars,” he said. “I just tucked my head.”

Blankenship said he hit the ground and when he opened his eyes, three women were sitting next to him, telling him not to move.

The accident about 3:45 p.m. last Monday sent him to the emergency room at Providence Centralia Hospital.

No bones were broken, just a lot of scraped skin and bruised body parts, he said after getting released.

Now, the 40-year-old is wondering if anyone else saw what happened. The police report didn’t make note of any witnesses, he said.

Blankenship said he’s not working, he doesn’t have insurance and he’s got medical bills.

“The doctor said the lady’s insurance should cover it, but when I mentioned about the lady’s insurance, the officer wasn’t really going that route,” he said.

After the incident, the Chehalis Police Department said the driver was getting ready to go into the post office and said she checked but didn’t see him, before opening her door. The bicyclist told police he was traveling close to the sidewalk, although not on it, and went to go around the car when its door opened, police said.

Blankenship said the hospital finished with him around 7:30 p.m. or 8 o’clock that night, and nurses – or someone – paid for a taxi to get him over to the fire department, where his bike and hamburger were.

He was appreciative of all of them for helping him out, he said. But now he’s uncertain what to do next.

“I’m just taking it step by step, this has never happened to me before” he said. “I’m trying to find out if anyone saw it.”

He didn’t think to gather names of witnesses himself before the ambulance took him away, he said.

He said he vaguely recalls a woman in a vehicle across the street, and is hoping she saw what took place, and will contact him. He can be reached at 360-388-388-0114.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 5:00 pm

UNRULY PEOPLE

• A 53-year-old Centralia woman allegedly spit on the face of a police officer as he was talking with her at the 900 block of South Schueber Road in Centralia early yesterday morning. The case is being referred to prosecutor for evaluation of a charge of third-degree assault, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 24-year-old Seattle resident was arrested for disorderly conduct and then for resisting arrest at the 300 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia at about 10:20 p.m. on Friday, according to the Centralia Police Department. Ediberto M. Matul-Ortiz was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

BURGLARY

• Centralia police were called regarding the theft of lawn tools from a garage on the 500 block of Girard Street on Friday.

TWO-FER

• Firefighters were called yesterday morning for a car that collided with the center barrier on Interstate 5 in Centralia, but the damage wasn’t too severe, because the vehicle continued south down the freeway into Chehalis, and then continued going straight at a curve and ran through a fence, across a road and into the fence at the airport. Chehalis firefighters responded about 7:30 a.m. and found the man and woman in the car were unhurt, but troopers were going to take them to the hospital to be checked out, according to Fire Capt. Casey Beck. The car was no longer drivable, Beck said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespass, malicious mischief, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for protection order violation,vandalism, misdemeanor assault, collision on city street, a request to investigate sexual contact between two 6-year-old children … and more.

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Accused Vader drug dealers plead not guilty

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 7:18 pm
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Francisco J. Guerrero, left, and his girlfriend Jennifer M. Hayes, wait while attorneys finish signing documents during their arraignment in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Vader couple arrested after an investigation into what police called a large supplier of heroin in Lewis and Cowlitz counties appeared in court yesterday afternoon with their lawyers for a brief hearing.

Francisco “Poncho” Guerrero, 36, is represented by James K. Morgan; and Jennifer M. Hayes, 33, is represented by John Hays. Both attorneys have offices in Longview.

When police searched the home on Alpine Court on Dec. 29, they seized heroin, cocaine, cash and a handgun, as well as a motorcycle. The investigation was conducted by the Centralia Police Department’s special Anti-Crime Team, Chehalis police detectives and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

For unspecified reasons, police did not arrest them until last week. They have been free on bail and returned to Lewis County Superior Court yesterday afternoon for arraignment.

Hayes is charged with two counts of possession with intent to deliver, involving heroin and cocaine.

Guerrero is charged similarly, along with one count of delivery of heroin and one count of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Both pleaded not guilty yesterday to all charges.

Defense attorney Hays told Judge Nelson Hunt he’d like to schedule a review hearing for next week, as he discovered the prosecutor got a judge to seal the document police presented to secure the search warrant.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello told the judge the state would oppose any request for unsealing. He said the office policy is to withhold that information in order to protect confidential informants, and once that information becomes known by the defense, any possible plea deals are taken off the table.

Judge Hunt agreed they could set a hearing for next Thursday afternoon to take up the matter.

Hunt also scheduled their trials for the week of May 11.
•••

For background, read “Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup – POLICE: VADER HEROIN DEALING COUPLE BUSTED” from Saturday March 7, 2015, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:33 pm

ASSAULT WITH CLUB

• A 20-year-old Centralia man was arrested after he allegedly clubbed an individual over the head repeatedly yesterday in a dispute involving money believed to be stolen from his girlfriend. Officers called about 7 a.m. to the 200 block of West Main Street subsequently located Keaton D. Taylor and took him into custody for second-degree assault, according to the Centralia Police Department. The victim suffered cuts on their head, according to police. Keaton was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

OFFICER SHOVED

• A 55-year-old man who was reportedly being disorderly to his mother and brother at a residence on the 800 block of South Tower Avenue last night was subsequently arrested for third-degree assault. Officers responding to the approximately 11:55 p.m. call say that Jeffrey R. Martin shoved an officer who was standing in his way. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail but released today with no charges getting filed pending further investigation.

TEEN DISCOVERS BREAK-IN AFTER SCHOOL

• A 15-year-old Winlock boy came home from school yesterday to find the front door and a sliding door open and the residence burglarized at the 100 block of Knowles Road. Deputies called about 3:30 p.m. learned that among the missing valuables were a 9 mm handgun, a Winchester M70 rifle with scope, a diamond bracelet, diamond earrings and a Toshiba laptop computer, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $2,600, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

STOLEN TRUCK

• An individual on the 200 block of Southwest 14th Street in Chehalis reported a bronze-colored 1991 Ford Ranger stolen yesterday after an acquaintance who took it a week ago didn’t bring it back, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

“HUFFING”

• A 40-year-old Yelm resident who was reportedly observed urinating next to his vehicle at the Twin City Town Center in Chehalis was arrested for indecent exposure yesterday evening. Brandon K. Hope was also arrested for inhaling toxic fumes after an officer saw an aerosol can and asked about it, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ONE INJURED DURING CAR FIRE

• A male working on his car’s fuel system was hospitalized with minor facial burns after electrical arching ignited nearby gasoline yesterday evening in Centralia, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Firefighters called at 6:40 p.m. to the 400 block of West Magnolia Street described the vehicle damage as moderate to heavy and noted the patient was also to be evaluated for respiratory issues.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, marijuana at high school, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for dispute, vandalism, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, missing pain medication … and more.

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News brief: Toledo woman dead after I-5 car, motorcycle wreck

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 9:28 am
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The scene on Interstate 5 near Toutle Park Road. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Department of Transportation

Updated at 1:12 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 52-year-old motorcyclist from Toledo was killed in a collision yesterday on Interstate 5 in Cowlitz County that was caused by debris on the roadway.

Troopers were called just before 4 p.m. to the scene about three miles north of Castle Rock where a Ford Mustang had landed on top of the center barrier and the motorcyclist had been thrown across it onto the southbound lanes, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Both had been traveling northbound, according to the state patrol.

The wreck partially shut down the freeway for hours.

It began when Patricia L. Warrick, 55, of Ocean Shores, struck an object on the roadway causing her to lose control of her car which hit the motorcycle, according to the state patrol. The 2013 Harley Davidson SLD103 then hit the jersey barrier and went over onto the opposite lane.

The motorcyclist is identified as Nadine A. Beaman, 52, of Toledo.

The investigating trooper reports Warrick was injured and transported to Providence Centralia Hospital. She was treated and has been released by this morning, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Trooper Will Finn, a spokesperson for the state patrol, said he was told the item on the road was a 10-inch by 10-inch by 10-inch piece of metal that appeared to belong to a commercial vehicle, as though it had fell off a semi truck.

Both vehicles were impounded. No charges are expected.

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Centralia drug case leads to lengthy prison term

Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 8:39 pm
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Sebastian Haller waits as his lawyer shuffles through documents after his sentencing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A drug case from last spring in which Centralia police arrested two brothers and their mother at their home on the 1000 block of Yakima Street is over.

Prosecutors dropped charges against 59-year-old Kathy Challender.

Arthur T. Haller-Heilman, 32, took a deal and got 20 months, and should be getting out around September.

Sebastian Haller, 36, went to trial and lost.

He was sentenced yesterday to 16 years in prison.

Defense attorney Sam Groberg appealed to the judge for less time.

“He’s looking at a minimum of seven years, which is a real long time,” Groberg said. “Even though he does have a history, he’s still a relatively young man.”

Lewis County Prosecutor Paul Masiello noted Haller had an offender score of 19 – from previous convictions – meaning he was subject to a longer term.

“I’m sure the court recalls Mr. Haller picked up these charges while waiting for the last case,” Masiello said.

A jury in Lewis County Superior Court two weeks ago found Haller guilty of two counts of delivery of heroin, one count of possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of methamphetamine, possession of methadone, possession of oxycodone and three counts of witness tampering.

Centralia police raided the home the morning of May 8, finding only small amounts of narcotics. Centralia’s then Anti-Crime Team Sgt. Jim Shannon said their primary suspect was in the bathroom flushing the toilet.

The action was part of an undertaking that began two months earlier targeting street-level and mid-level heroin suppliers because of the increase in the number of heroin and opiate related deaths over the previous year in Lewis and southern Thurston counties, according to police.

The city reviewed the Yakima Street case to determine if the property might be subject to seizure and forfeiture as a drug nuisance, according to Shannon.

Masiello and Groberg said yesterday that Haller’s grandparents owned the house, and they understood the couple was cooperating with the city in a deal to sell the property and share the proceeds with the city.

Haller expressed his surprise when Judge Lawler handed down the sentence.

“For getting high?” he blurted out. “You’re talking about 16 years for getting high?”

Lawler said no, it was more than that, and repeated the numerous offenses the jury found him guilty of.

The two lawyers disagreed about how the so-called school zone enhancement should apply. Groberg said he understood two mandatory years consecutive to the rest of the sentence.

Masiello said even though the issue is being questioned on appeals, his office felt the law provided for applying three of the enhancements, separately, meaning an extra six years.

Lawler sided with Masiello.

The judge imposed numerous legal financial obligations, and ordered Haller to pay them at a rate of $25 each month.
•••

For background, read “Drug officer: Another raid, but battling heroin deaths will take more than police” from Friday May 9, 2014, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 1:58 pm

MISSING TV

• Centralia police were called at approximately 5:30 p.m. yesterday to the 400 block of South Buckner Street about someone entering a home and taking a television. Police say a possible suspect has been identified and they are investigating.

MISSING MAIL

• Centralia police took a report yesterday regarding the theft of mail from the 3200 block of Borst Avenue.

MISSING LICENSE PLATE

• A license plate was reported stolen from a vehicle at the 800 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia yesterday.

DRUGS

• A 37-year-old Centralia woman was arrested for possession of drugs following contact with a deputy yesterday afternoon as she was walking along the 100 block of Centralia-Alpha Road near Centralia. The deputy thought she looked someone else who had a warrant, and when she gave her name, she was wanted for a warrant out of the Chehalis Police Department, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A search then turned up white residue that tested positive for amphetamine, according to the sheriff’s office. Christina D. Lozano was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

WRECKS

• A 57-year-old woman was arrested for driving under the influence last night after her car ran into a power pole on the 200 block of Eadon Road outside Toledo. A deputy arriving after the approximately 9:40 p.m. crash found electrical wires hanging over the Chrysler Sebring and the pole broken, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Mary L. Miller was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital and then booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. The car was described as totaled and Miller was also to be cited for having no insurance, driving with a suspended license and for driving with wheels off the roadway.

• A 22-year-old man was arrested for driving under the influence last night after running his car into a brushy area near Switchyard and Onion Rock lanes near Mossyrock. Deputies had been in the Riffe Lake Dam area looking for an assault suspect and a Mustang zipped away, as it turns out according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, because they were scared because they’d been drinking. Jordan L. Bowman, from Mossyrock, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office. The 21-year-old passenger ran way, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. The 1998 Mustang sustained major damage, according to Brown.

• An 18-year-old Centralia resident’s 1988 Pontiac GrandAm was totaled when he rear ended a pickup truck that had stopped in the road waiting for deer to cross early this morning. It happened about 4:20 a.m. along the 2400 block of Little Hanaford Road outside Centralia. The 18-year-old was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with head pain; the driver of the Silverado was reportedly uninjured, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Her truck had minor damage and he was to be cited for following too closely, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, failure to transfer title; responses for alarms, dispute, vandalism, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

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Feds decline to prosecute former Lewis County Jail sergeant

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 7:29 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The U.S. Department of Justice looked into the events that led to the firing of a Lewis County Jail guard last summer involving mistreatment of an inmate and has concluded it will not file any federal criminal charges.

Trevor S. Smith, a 10-year-veteran of the  Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, was terminated last June for abusing his authority and allowing inmates to suffer.

The Chehalis resident was subsequently arrested for computer trespass, for allegedly snooping into secure jail computer records. Earlier this year, Smith was given a 90-day sentence of electronic home monitoring, after a plea deal in which local prosecutors agreed not to file any charges of assault that could have occurred during his time as a corrections officer.

However, before Sheriff Steve Mansfield left office, he had asked the FBI to investigate Smith for inmate civil rights violations, according to Jail Chief Kevin Hanson.

On Friday, the sheriff’s office received a letter from the Department of Justice, informing them their investigation of the complaint was finished.

“After careful consideration, we concluded that the evidence does not establish a prosecutable violation of the federal criminal civil rights statutes,” Section Chief Robert J. Moossy Jr., of the criminal section of DOJs Civil Rights Division, wrote.

New Undersheriff Wes Rethwill informed the Lewis County Board of Commissioners yesterday of the news.

“There’s still more to come, fallout from that,” Rethwill told the board. “But that’s been taken off the table.”

Smith was disciplined in 2013 for directing that an inmate be kept in a restraint chair for approximately twelve hours without food, water or restroom breaks. Then on Jan. 25 of last year, an inmate with mental health issues was not offered any kind of relief – such as water or decontamination – for more than five hours after the discharge of pepper spray into his closed cell. Sheriff Mansfield described both inmates as assaultive.

Rethwill didn’t elaborate to commissioners about what other fallout he expects, but Hanson said a lawyer representing the pepper sprayed inmate has made a request for the documents in the case.

And former Undersheriff-Chief of Staff Steven Walton who handled Smith’s termination, indicated in a document during those proceedings that Smith put the sheriff’s office and the county in “an indefensible position in a future litigation process.”

Moossy in his letter noted the DOJ decision to close the matter should not be seen as a vindication of Smith’s actions.

The Criminal Section of the DOJ Civil Rights Division enforces federal criminal civil rights laws, such as the willful abuse of authority by law enforcement officers that deprives individuals of liberties and rights defined in the United States Constitution or federal law.

They evaluate allegations of civil rights violations to determine whether the evidence and circumstances of the case warrant a federal criminal prosecution.

Hanson said in his 24 years with the jail, they have never asked the FBI to investigate an employee’s treatment of inmates.

Moossy named the inmate from the January 2014 incident as Wellington Waggener.

Waggener, then 24, was arrested by Centralia police on Jan. 18, 2014, after he was told not to come back but returned to a business on the 300 block of North Tower Avenue and then allegedly fought with officers who attempted to detain him.

Less than a month earlier, he was detained by multiple officers in the middle of Interstate 5 in Chehalis, following a call from Green Hill School giving police a heads up about an employee acting strangely and being made to leave the juvenile detention facility.
•••

For background, read “Former jail sergeant admits three felonies, gets immunity regarding inmate treatment” from Wednesday January 28, 2015, here