Posts Tagged ‘By Sharyn L. Decker’

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

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
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Edgar Ramirez-Dado consults with temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She said he raped her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His arraignment is scheduled for June 15.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
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•••

OFFICER ASSAULTED

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

THEFT

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

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

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

VANDALISM

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

LOST AND FOUND

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

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

AND FROM MORTON

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

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

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

AND MORE

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

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

Monday, June 5th, 2017
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Benjamin J. Breitenbach, in red, is led into a courtroom for a bail hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, June 5th, 2017
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•••

Updated at 5:33 p.m.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called just before 6 p.m. on Saturday to the 1400 block of South Gold Street where an unknown person broke the lock off a tool shed and went inside. It is unknown at this time what is missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A female reported that sometime someone cut through a window screen, reached inside a building and stole her purse at the 100 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. The theft was reported just before 3 p.m. on Saturday, and had occurred within the previous hour, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• A 32-year-old woman was arrested yesterday for allegedly attempting to cash two checks over two days in April at Cedar Village IGA in Winlock payable to herself on the account of a woman who said she never gave her permission to take or use any of her checks, according to court documents. Lucia D. Spross, with a residence listed as in Longview in court documents, was booked into the Lewis County Jail. She was charged today with two counts of forgery and a judge in Lewis County Superior Court allowed her release pending trial on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

• Police were called about 8 p.m. on Saturday to take a report of the theft of a credit card in a case associated with the 1200 block of Mellen Street in Centralia.

• A black Schwinn bicycle was stolen from in front of a business in the 200 block of Downing Road in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 11:50 .m. yesterday. The bike is described as having saddle bags over the rear wheel, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called to the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue on Saturday night and again on Sunday morning, first for a report the rear license plate of a Ford Escape had been stolen and then a report that the back plate was missing from a Ford Focus.

BAD BILL

• A customer at the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis who attempted to spend what turned out to be a counterfeit $50 bill on Saturday night clearly didn’t know it was fake, according to the Chehalis Police Department. An officer took possession of the bad bill, according to police.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report yesterday just after 7 a.m. that during evening hours someone threw a rock through the door of a business in the 200 block of West Pine Street.

• An individual reported just before 9 a.m. on Saturday that someone threw a rock through the windshield of her vehicle at the 1000 block of Kresky Avenue in Centralia.

GARAGE FIRE ADNA

• Four fire departments responded about 3:05 p.m. on Saturday to the 200 block of Chilvers Road when black smoke was reported seen coming from the garage of a residence. Arriving crews attacked the fire which was contained inside the garage, according to Lewis County Fire District 6. It was knocked down in just 16 minutes, according to department spokesperson DJ Hammer. The cause is under investigation.

• Firefighters responded to a report of a possible brush fire about 8:40 p.m. yesterday at Deep Creek Road near Bunker Creek Road but found a permitted burn with a proper fire line established around it, according to Lewis County Fire District 6.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 17-year-old girl was transported to the hospital as a precaution after a single-vehicle wreck on the 300 block of Toledo-Vader Road on Saturday afternoon in which the 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix she was driving was totaled. Deputies responding following the approximately 3:30 p.m. incident and the driver indicated she had apparently fallen asleep before her car traveled about 50 yards into a ditch, a culvert and then a tree, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The girl was cited for reckless driving, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, probation violation, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, vehicle collision… and more among 503 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 72-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Suspicious death in K-Mart parking lot still under investigation

Monday, June 5th, 2017
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Detectives begin to examine the interior of a car after getting a search warrant on Sunday.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Chehalis police say it appears the woman found dead yesterday inside a car at K-Mart died from a gunshot wound.

Officers responded just after 10 a.m. yesterday to a call of a suspicious death at the 1200 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

The light green 2001 Kia Rio was situated in a parking space at the far south end of the lot.

Department spokesperson Linda Bailey said a gun was found with the woman.

A search warrant was obtained, evidence was collected and the car impounded, according to police.

Police are awaiting a report from the coroner to confirm the identity, according to Bailey.

There was identification found with her, but the car is registered to someone else, Bailey said. The vehicle has Washington license plates, according to police.

As of this morning, nobody had contacted police about a missing person, Bailey said.

It’s the third time in six weeks a person has been discovered deceased inside a vehicle in the city of Chehalis.

The cause and manner of death in the previous two cases have not yet been released, although they did not include gunshot wounds, according to Bailey.

On April 21, the body of a 16-year-old boy was discovered inside his car parked at the Twin City Town Center, also on Northwest Louisiana Avenue. Cole Burbank of Camas had been reported missing eight days earlier by his parents and police subsequently concluded his Honda Accord had been parked at the shopping center since the day he disappeared.

Early on the morning of May 6, a man was found dead after a car fire, in a Honda Accord parked on residential property just south of the Yard Birds Shopping Center off Northeast Kresky Avenue. Robert A. Mansker, 48, was from Kelso.

The Lewis County coroner has said he is awaiting the results of various tests in those cases.

Bailey said the police department will release details in the new case as they become available.
•••

For background, read “Body discovered in vehicle in Chehalis store’s parking lot” from Sunday June 4, 2017, here

Body discovered in vehicle in Chehalis store’s parking lot

Sunday, June 4th, 2017
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Detectives begin to examine the interior of a car after getting a search warrant.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Police are investigating after a person was found dead inside a car parked in the lot at K-Mart in Chehalis today.

Chehalis Police Department Sgt. Rick McNamara said it was reported about 10 o’clock this morning.

He didn’t have much information and said a press release will be issued.

Officers, detectives and personnel with the Lewis County Coroner’s Office were gathered this afternoon at the south end of the lot on Northwest Louisiana Avenue.

The light green passenger car was parked at the far side of the lot and blocked off by police tape and a semi-circle of responders’ vehicles.

McNamara said they were working on finding out the identity of the person, he believed was a female. They had just secured a search warrant in order to get inside, he said.

The car has Washington license plates but the sergeant declined to say if police yet knew who the registered owner is.

It was just six weeks ago when the body of a 16-year-old boy from Camas was discovered in a Honda Accord parked in the lot of a shopping center just to the north of K-Mart, the Twin City Town Center. While the coroner is still waiting for the results of toxicology tests on Cole Burbank, authorities have said his death was not suspicious.

McNamara this afternoon said police don’t know yet if foul play might be involved in this death, but it’s customary to investigate as a suspicious death.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, June 2nd, 2017
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•••

Updated

STUDENT ARRESTED FOR SHOOTING THREAT

• A 16-year-old Onalaska boy who allegedly threatened to get a gun, bring it to school and shoot a classmate “point blank” was arrested yesterday and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said the alleged comment was made on Wednesday at Onalaska High School and was investigated that day and yesterday. Breen said a deputy was initially called to the school about 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday by another 16-year-old boy who discovered two tires were slashed on his vehicle. The boy said he suspected who had done it and that it stemmed from an exchange where he called the other boy a derogatory term after the other boy tried to poke him with a nail file in the buttocks during class, Breen said. The threat about the firearm occurred later in the day, according to Breen. When a deputy contacted the suspect’s father, the suspects father turned over four laptop computers which appeared to have been stolen from the school unbeknownst to the school, according to the sheriff’s office. The suspect was arrested for felony harassment and second-degree theft, according to Breen.

TWO MORE IMPLICATED IN VADER BURGLARY

• Deputies arrested a 36-year-old woman in Vancouver yesterday in connection with a March residential burglary at the 1000 block of state Route 506 in Vader in which  more than $40,000 worth of property was stolen. Stephanie M. Linke previously lived in the Vader area, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Linke’s significant other, 42-year-old Dustin I. Wynn, was arrested in the same case last month, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said. Another suspect believed to have been involved was referred for charges that same day, Breen said. She is Kacie L. Conmy, 29, of Longview, and was transferred to the Lewis County Jail last week to face charges in the case. The sheriff’s office said among the valuables stolen were two vehicles, 13 guns and more than 50 antique model cars.

DRUGS

• Dakota W. Davidson, 22, of Centralia, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine after contact with police about 1 o’clock this morning at Harrison Avenue and Galvin Road, and then booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called to the 400 block of Lakeshore Drive at 9:50 p.m. yesterday on a report of a vehicle prowl, according to the Centralia Police Department. Taken were tools in a bag, according to police.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor domestic assault, driving with suspended license, driving with no license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, suspicious circumstances, vehicle accident … and more among 171 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, June 1st, 2017
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•••

DOMESTIC ASSAULT

• A Toledo man was arrested last night after he allegedly punched then repeatedly threw a family member to the ground after taking the phone away from her as she attempted to call 911 because he had poked his finger into her forehead, and assaulted another family member by throwing her into a wall and chair when she tried to intervene. Deputies called just before 11 p.m. to the 500 block of Evans Road found that Lloyd W. Swanson had also allegedly punched a glass curio cabinet, punched holes in the wall and punched through a screen door, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Swanson, 47, reportedly threatened to kill one of the family members, according to the sheriff’s office. His right forearm was cut, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said. Swanson was booked into the Lewis County Jail for felony harassment, and faces other potential charges such as fourth-degree assault, malicious mischief and interfering with domestic violence reporting, according to Breen.

OTHER ASSAULT

• A 19-year-old Centralia resident who allegedly spit in a security guard’s face at the 900 block of South Scheuber Road yesterday afternoon was arrested for fourth-degree assault. Colt M. Conzatti was issued a citation following the approximately 3:20 p.m. call and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called over to Green Hill School yesterday to take a report of custodial assault that occurred on Saturday. A 16-year-old student-inmate allegedly hit an employee, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

FALSE NAME

• A 23-year-old Centralia man who allegedly gave someone else’s name as his own during a traffic stop last night at the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue was arrested for identity theft. Bradley G. Dubay, 23, was allegedly driving with a suspended license and he was booked in to the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called to the 900 block of South Market Boulevard about 11 a.m. yesterday for a vehicle prowl in which a center console was stolen from a Jeep Wrangler.

VANDALISM

• Police were called about 11 a.m. yesterday to the 1500 block of Crescent Avenue in Centralia for vandalism to a moped.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A driver and his passenger were injured and transported to Providence Centralia Hospital last night after a rollover wreck on state Route 6 about 10 miles east of Pe Ell. Austin T. Lewis, 20, of South Bend, was traveling eastbound in a Honda Civic when the car left the roadway, rolled and came to rest in a ditch, according to the Washington State Patrol. He and his passenger, Danielle G. Elder, 20, from Camas, had both been wearing seat belts, according to the state patrol. Troopers called just after 9 p.m. to the scene note the car was totaled. He was cited for unsafe lane travel, according to the investigating trooper.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, breach of public peace, protection order violation, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, third-degree theft, harassment, suspicious circumstances, vehicle accident, misdemeanor domestic assault, third-degree malicious mischief  … and more among 138 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Possible reprieve for dog implicated in goats’ deaths

Thursday, June 1st, 2017
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Detained in back of patrol car April 1, 2016. / photo from Lewis County Sheriff’s Office file

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County officials are contemplating a change in the law that would potentially offer one more chance for a 2-year-old pit bull terrier otherwise destined to be euthanized.

The tan and white dog was impounded last summer from its Winlock home, after it and its companion were accused of killing two neighbor goats and biting a pony’s face. Tank was declared a dangerous dog through a county administrative process and his owner didn’t follow through with meeting the stringent and costly requirements to continue to keep such a pet.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer earlier this month informed the Board of County Commissioners he learned that instead of putting the dog down, the Lewis County Animal Shelter changed its name to Hank and adopted him to a new family, without disclosing his pertinent background.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office investigated and retrieved Hank from his new home. Meyer said he would ask an outside prosecutor to investigate the actions of two county employees.

There is no provision under the county code to declassify a dangerous dog, according to Meyer.

But yesterday, the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office presented to the county commissioners a draft amendment to the code which would, if passed, allow any person claiming an interest in an animal designated as dangerous to seek an order from Lewis County District Court to erase the label of dangerous.

Currently the owner of a dog deemed dangerous may have an administrative hearing to dispute the claim and can appeal that to a hearings officer, according to Lewis County Civil Deputy Prosecutor David Fine.

“This amendment gives a third option,” Fine said.

As written, the rules indicate the court would evaluate the animal, using the same criteria as the administrative procedure has already used.

But the judge would be able to take into consideration new evidence including present behavior, character and disposition of the animal, according to Fine.

The rural Centralia woman who adopted Hank in January is pleased to hear there’s a possible reprieve for the dog she brought into her family.

“We’ve done everything right,” Jann Propp-Estimo said yesterday afternoon. “All I want is Hank back.”

Propp-Estimo said they visited the Lewis County Animal Shelter to find a companion for their dog Bruce. She had Hank microchipped before leaving the shelter, got him his rabies shots and made sure he got a physical, she said.

Soon it became apparent Bruce didn’t care for the newcomer.

Her grown son and 9-year-old grandson live in town, but have dinner at Propp-Estimo’s home daily, and were happy to move Hank into their household, she said. She hired a contractor to build a new fence for their Centralia yard.

“We loved that dog, he was the best dog,” she said. “He stole our hearts.”

On May 9, a Lewis County sheriff’s deputy visited the family, explained there was a legal issue and Hank should not have been adopted out, according to the deputy’s report. The pit bull terrier was returned to the animal shelter.

The investigative report into how it came about that the shelter adopted out a dog designated as dangerous indicates what Prosecutor Meyer has already said.

There was a feeling the dog wasn’t really dangerous and Shelter Manager Amy Hanson reached out to an animal group to see if they could find a suitable owner.

Hanson noted in emails and interviews staff saw no signs of aggression to people, other dogs, cats or even kittens.

“This dog is truly something special! Never jumps up on you, will sit politely when asked, shakes hands and loves his stuffed toys. You know how dogs can get when they have been in the shelter setting for even a few days, well Tank completely continues to be a polite sweet dog at all times,” Hanson wrote.

Lewis County Civil Deputy Prosecutor Eric Eisenberg, who is among the county’s civil lawyers who advise county departments, was asked by the humane officer, the health department and the shelter what the options were for the dog under county code and was researching potential changes to the code.

He went on family leave, returned to work and went on leave again, and then once he learned the dog had been adopted out, notified his supervisor, according to Eisenberg and the deputy’s report.

Lewis County Board of County Commissioners Chair Gary Stamper said yesterday, after commissioners were presented with the draft amendment to the code, the change potentially could save Hank.

“It still doesn’t solve everything, but it moves it to the next level,” Stamper said.

The item titled,”Judicial removal of dangerous animal designation” will appear on the commissioner’s Monday morning meeting agenda. A public hearing will be set to discuss the matter.

Propp-Estimo said she has hired Bellingham animal lawyer Adam Karp, and has already reached out to the dog’s first owner and even the owner of the goats to learn more about the issue with livestock.

He was just a year old when that happened, and some blame his mother, a pit bull terrier named Sadie who was said to have been moved to another state, for instigating the attack, she said.

“Poor Hank, got left hanging out to dry,” she said.
•••

For background, read “Prosecutor: Lewis County employees broke rules regarding seized dog” from Thursday May 18, 2017, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017
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•••

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police arrested a 40-year-old woman for possession of a stolen vehicle last night in a case associated with the 300 block of South Gold Street in Centralia. Jennifer L. Barber, of Centralia, was also wanted on outstanding warrants and was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning a deputy took a report on Monday of the theft of a red 2006 Ford F350 from its owner’s driveway at the 3500 block of Cooks Hill Road in Centralia. The vehicle disappeared sometime between 8 a.m. on Saturday and 6 a.m. on Sunday, according to the sheriff’s office. Missing with the truck are a Glock handgun and a laptop computer, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

FRAUD

• Chehalis police were called 200 block of Northwest Pacific Avenue yesterday morning about potential cyber fraud, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• A victim of a vehicle prowl at the 1300 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis called police just before 2 p.m. yesterday. A cell phone was taken from the unlocked vehicle, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A tool box was stolen from the back of a vehicle at the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 2 p.m. yesterday.

BAD BILL

• An officer was called about 1 p.m. yesterday to a business at the 1200 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis where a customer attempted to spend a possibly counterfeit $50 bill, and then shortly after that to the 1900 block of South Market Boulevard where a business kept a possibly counterfeit bill received from a customer, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The officer took possession of the bad bill, according to police.

• Chehalis police were called about 9:20 a.m. yesterday to the 2100 block of North National Avenue where an individual reported receiving a fake $20 bill.

SMALL FIRE

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports a case for reckless burning is being referred to juvenile prosecutors in connection with a 10-year-old boy allegedly using a lighter, igniting and damaging siding to a garage, windows and a mattress at the 300 block of Central Avenue in Onalaska on Monday.

LITTERING

• Centralia police arrested a 30-year-old woman for littering for allegedly discarding a lit cigarette onto the ground at the 100 block of South Pearl Street about 9:30 a.m. yesterday. Candice R. Baughman was issued a citation and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department. The same officer attested a 29-year-old woman for the same offense about 4:40 p.m. at the 600 block of West Main Street, according to police. Brittney N. Burgard was similarly arrested and then released.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, contempt of court, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, disorderly person, suicidal person, third-degree theft, unfounded report, harassment, suspicious circumstances, vehicle accident … and more among 151 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017
2015.0518.2013.1113.sirenslights5860.secondone

•••

Updated at 1:12 p.m.

FELONY ASSAULT

• A 53-year-old Mineral man was arrested last night for allegedly beating up his girlfriend at the 100 block of Washington Street in Mineral, leaving her with a possible broken nose and two black eyes, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy dispatched about 9:30 p.m. was told by the victim that Gerald L. Harris grabbed her by the throat restricting her breathing, shoved her against a wall and struck her, according to the sheriff’s office. When Harris was located, he allegedly was in possession of a white crystal substance that field tested positive for meth, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said. Harris was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault and possession of methamphetamine, Breen said.

ASHFORD BREAK-IN

• A deputy responded early yesterday morning to a residential burglary at the 300 block of Skate Creek Road North in Ashford in which approximately $1,500 worth of valuables were missing. The 27-year-old victim reported it occurred between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Among the items missing were a passport, a social security card, precious stones, a PlayStation 4 and various sporting goods, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said a deputy found a glass pane was missing from a back door where someone reached inside and unlocked the door.

OFF ROAD VEHICLES MISSING

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning that three 2014 Polaris ATVs and a 20-foot tilt trailer are missing from where they had been stored in a parking lot of a business on the 1100 block of state Route 6 west of Chehalis. The loss is estimated at $47,000, according to the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office was called about the theft on May 15 and after follow up on Friday, the items were confirmed stolen, according to Chief Deputy Dusty Breen.

OUTBUILDING BURGLARY

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning someone broke into a pump house at the 200 block of Hawkins Road sometime between October of last year and May 20.

• Centralia police were called just after 9 a.m. yesterday for an overnight burglary to a shed at the 1300 block of Crescent Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 4:10 p.m. on Sunday to take a report of a car stolen from a parking lot at the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue. The victim phoned back later in the evening to advise he found his vehicle in an opposite parking area and a backpack plus softball equipment were missing,  according to the Chehalis Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police were called to the 200 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue on Sunday afternoon by an individual who said he found his door kicked in and cash missing. Police are awaiting a statement from the victim, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

POSSIBLE SCAM

• A 78-year-old Chehalis woman was advised to contact her bank and cancel her credit card after making a phone call and giving up account information following the directions from a message that showed up on her computer screen, according to the Chehalis Police Department. An officer called just before 1 p.m. on Sunday to the 1500 block of North National Avenue took down a report of the possible scam, according to police. Department spokesperson Linda Bailey took the opportunity to advise that people should avoid giving out information over the phone.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police took a report of a vehicle prowl at the 100 block of High Street just before 11 a.m. yesterday in which a back pack with school supplies was stolen, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Tools, a coat, backpack and the vehicle battery were stolen in an overnight  car prowl at the 500 block of North Rock Street in Centralia reported just after 10 a.m. yesterday. A window was broken out, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called to a parking lot at the 100 block of Northeast Hampe Way just after 10 p.m. on Friday following the discovery of a car prowl in which a window had been shattered. A gray Under Armour bag plus a blue wallet were stolen, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

RIVER RESCUE FOLLOW UP

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning nobody was injured in Sunday’s rafting accident on the Cowlitz River south of Salkum, and said it was a man and two 10-year-old boys they pulled out, who had become stuck in a pile of brush in the heavy current. Their boat had capsized in the area off the 1400 block of Spencer Road, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies had responded about 5:10 p.m. on information about someone screaming for help. Two women had fallen out further up the river and everyone was safely removed from the water, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said. They were from the Tacoma area, according to Breen.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 26-year-old Toledo resident said he swerved to miss a deer that jumped out onto the 200 block of Spencer Road causing his Ford Mustang to strike several fence posts early yesterday morning. A deputy responding just after 5 a.m. reports that Michael R. White was uninjured but there was damage to the front end and side of his car. White was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for driving under the influence, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, obstructing, trespassing, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license, operating a motor vehicle without an interlock device, minor in possession and/or consumption of alcohol; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, disorderly person, suicidal person, suspicious circumstances, vehicle accident … and more among 162 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, May 29th, 2017
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Rogers Road wreck. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 6

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 19-year-old Chehalis man was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with major trauma to his arm yesterday afternoon after his vehicle collided with a utility pole and knocked down power lines at the 200 block of Rogers Road south of Chehalis. Firefighters called about 3:45 p.m. indicate the driver got himself out of the vehicle and deputies took steps right away to control the bleeding. He was transported to the airport and then flown to Seattle in stable condition, according to DJ Hammer with Lewis County Fire District 6.

ON THE RIVER, IN THE LAKE

• A 13-year-old boy was transported to Morton General Hospital as a precaution yesterday after a near drowning at the Riffe Lake Campground off Osborne Road. Firefighters called about 5:25 p.m. found the teen on the shore, conscious and alert when they arrived. “Bystanders got him out before anything happened,” Lewis County Fire District 3 Chief Doug Fosburg said. “It was a juvenile who misjudged how cold the water was and how much energy it took to get across a channel,” he said.

• A group of people were rescued from the Cowlitz River yesterday south of Salkum. Lewis County Fire District 8 Chief Duran McDaniel said he personally was not on the call but EMTs joined members of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office in a boat to answer the approximately 5:10 p.m. call. McDaniel said three adults and two children were traveling the river in an inflatable boat or boats and fell into the water. “The Cowlitz is not a place to go out in inflatable boats anytime,” McDaniel said.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called to the 600 block of South Pearl Street about 7:40 a.m. on Saturday where someone had broken into a closed business but nothing appeared to have been taken, according to the Centralia Police Department. The business no longer leaves valuables on site due to previous thefts, according to police.

CAR PROWL

• A vehicle prowl was reported about 10:20 p.m. yesterday at the 1200 block of North Washington Avenue in Centralia in which pills and a bottle of nail polish was stolen, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An individual reported about 11:30 a.m. on Saturday that sometime overnight someone entered her vehicle at the 100 block of Lilac Lane in Centralia and stole her purse,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• An individual reported $200 missing from her wallet at the 1300 block of Alexander Avenue in Centralia at about 5:40 p.m. yesterday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An individual reported the theft of two large tool boxes that contained miscellaneous hand and power tools from the 600 block of M Street in Centralia at about 8:30 a.m. on Friday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

GENERAL MAYHEM

• A 49-year-old Centralia resident was arrested after police were called about 7:40 p.m. on Saturday to the 2400 block of North Pearl Street after he was witnessed allegedly stopping traffic, yelling at passing cars, pulling signs out of yards and causing general mayhem for no apparent reason, according to the Centralia Police Department. Brian L. Schmidt was booked into the Lewis County Jail for disorderly conduct, according to police.

EARTH SHAKES

• A 2.3 magnitude earthquake struck at 1:16 p.m. yesterday roughly halfway between Morton and Cinebar, according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. The quake was less than a mile deep, according to PNSN.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, probation violation, no contact order violation,  drinking in public, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, driving with no license, operating a motor vehicle without an interlock device; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, suicidal person, suspicious circumstances, vehicle accident … and more among 526 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 72-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Missing Rochester woman found wrecked off U.S. Highway 12

Monday, May 29th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 70-year-old Rochester woman reported missing last week was located yesterday afternoon down a 30-foot embankment where her car had wrecked and hit two trees along U.S. Highway 12 about two miles north of Oakville.

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Sharon L. Leaming

Sharon L. Leaming was injured and airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers called to the scene at 1:30 p.m. report Leaming’s Chevrolet Lumina was totaled.

Leaming had been traveling eastbound and suffered a medical event causing her to drive off the shoulder, according to the state patrol.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office took a missing person report on Thursday and learned Leaming had left home Tuesday morning for North Cove and headed home later in the day but never arrived. Her cell phone was “pinged”  on Thursday to a location near Oakville but a search was unsuccessful, according to the sheriff’s office.

Driver with flashing grill lights, badge arrested after police chase

Friday, May 26th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 54-year-old man who had a silver badge pinned to his vest and a can of pepper spray in his pocket when he was arrested at the end of long police pursuit on U.S. Highway 12 yesterday is being investigated for possible criminal impersonation.

James P. Sauter, of rural Chehalis, was finally caught when he turned his truck into a field and got it stuck on a log about 21 miles east of White Pass, according to authorities.

It began just before 1:30 p.m. when troopers were notified of a possible hit and run involving a white Dodge pickup truck with emergency lights installed in its grill.

Callers reported the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed and forcing other drivers to pull off the road and when law enforcement began to follow it near Morton, the truck continued east in excess of 100 mph, according to court documents.

Troopers report the truck passed other vehicles using the oncoming lane, on the right shoulder and on blind corners until they eventually lost sight of it, only to get reports later it had a vehicle pulled over on the shoulder east of Packwood.

The driver allegedly activated his grill lights during the pursuit.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead writes in charging documents the hit and run allegation and the possible impersonation continue to be investigated.

The badge turned out to be a Centralia Fire Department badge, according to Halstead.

Sauter was charged today with one count of felony eluding in Lewis County Superior Court. Bail was set at $10,000.

He was just brought before a judge on Monday for possession of a controlled substance after police located pills on Sauter for which he allegedly did not have a prescription, when he was arrested three days earlier after an incident in downtown Chehalis allegedly trying to get inside a woman’s vehicle. He had been arrested and then released by Centralia police earlier that morning for allegedly aiming a laser pointer at passing motorists.

On Monday, Sauter’s bail was set with a $10,000 signature bond and he conveyed to the judge he would be able to produce the prescription bottle for the pills. A judge today revoked his bail in that case.
•••

For background, read “Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup – UNRULY PERSON” from Monday May 22, 2017, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, May 26th, 2017
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•••

Updated at 5 p.m.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• A deputy called about 10:30 a.m. yesterday to take a report of damage to a recreational vehicle at the 3300 block of Harrison Avenue was called back after its owner discovered valuables missing, including a 22 caliber pistol, a gold watch and $3,700 cash, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The break-in occurred between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

FRAUD CHEHALIS

• A business on the 1300 block of Northwest State Avenue in Chehalis called police just before 11 a.m. yesterday following the discovery someone had created checks using the business’s account, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The loss appears to be in the thousands of dollars, according to police.

DRUGS

• A deputy called about 10:50 a.m. yesterday to the 100 block of Katula Road west of Chehalis and told a 23-year-old woman had punched her roommate in the face subsequently located the suspect and found she had a meth pipe, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Cassandra L. McBride, 23, of Pe Ell, was arrested for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office. A charge of fourth-degree assault will be recommended, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

• A 24-year-old man arrested for a warrant when contacted in a vehicle he was observed in was subsequently arrested for possession of heroin yesterday in Lewis County. Court documents allege Cornelio T. Delarosa, of Centralia, had a backpack with him which contained a scale, cotton balls, syringes, a cooker and baggies and that residue on the scale field tested positive as heroin. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail in the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team case and charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with possession of heroin. His bail was set at $10,000.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report about 7:30 a.m. yesterday regarding graffiti to an air conditioning unit at the 1200 block of West First Street.

MISSING PERSON FOUND IN HOSPITAL

• A Chehalis man reported missing yesterday morning was located at a hospital in Vancouver, where he was taken after a vehicle accident. His wife called police about 8:30 a.m. yesterday to say her husband had not returned home since going to Home Depot the night before, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Police Sgt. Gwen Carrell said she didn’t know the details of where the wreck occurred, or if she could reveal his condition, only that it happened south of Lewis County.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, harassment, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, vehicle accident … and more among 170 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.