Posts Tagged ‘By Sharyn L. Decker’

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Updated at 5:51 p.m.

BURGLARY

• An individual who left their Centralia home for about 20 minutes yesterday returned to discover someone had broken in and stolen jewelry. An officer was called to the residence on the 2700 block of Eureka Avenue at about 3 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police responded yesterday about 3 p.m. to a possible burglary at an apartment on Southeast Washington Avenue but nothing appeared to be missing. A door may have been left unlocked, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

FIST FIGHT

• A Chehalis police officer took a report at Green Hill School for boys yesterday regarding a fist fight between a pair of student-inmates in which an employee trying to break it up ended up getting hit. An 18-year-old is in trouble for punching a 17-year, who is in trouble for punching the staff member in the face, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called about 1:15 p.m. yesterday to a parking lot at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia when an individual found someone had taken a purse from an unlocked vehicle. They didn’t actually observe him take it, but a possible suspect is a male in his mid-20s wearing a green hoody who had been standing near the vehicle and then took off southbound, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police responding yesterday to a vehicle prowl at the 800 block of Southwest 21st Street in Chehalis learned someone stole power tools from the back of a pickup truck sometime between 10 p.m. the night before and 8 o’clock that morning, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The loss is about $1,500, according to police.

DISORDERLINESS

• A 42-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday after he was contacted walking up the middle of Maple Street apparently intoxicated and refused to talk with an arriving officer. Police Sgt. Stacy Denham said Paul L. Ramirez was heading towards Tower Avenue. “Not on the side, or on the shoulder, but right down the centerline,” Denham said. Ramirez was belligerent and wouldn’t identify himself so he  was booked into the Lewis County Jail for obstruction, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• Chehalis police are investigating the possession of a small amount of suspected marijuana by a 14-year-old student at Chehalis Middle School, following a call yesterday afternoon.

COLLISIONS

• A 64-year-old driver escaped injury when he swerved to miss a herd of elk last night in Packwood and slammed into a tree. A deputy called about 10:30 p.m. to mile marker one on  Cannon Road noted major front end damage to the man’s 2014 Honda Pilot, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• The roadway was closed only briefly on U.S. Highway 12 east of Rochester yesterday after a log truck driver apparently lost consciousness and his loaded vehicle left the roadway, rolling onto its side. Aid responding to the approximately 12:10 p.m. accident near Hilt Street extricated the 57-year-old man from Randle and transported him to Providence St. Peter Hospital as a precautionary measure, according to responders. “We’re just very thankful he went to the right and not to the left into the oncoming lane,” Washington State Patrol Trooper Guy Gill said. The truck hit a guard rail and ran into the embankment for the railroad tracks and trees, leaving it with substantial damage, Gill said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, misdemeanor  assault, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, suspicious circumstances, minor collision on city street, rear-end collision on county road, parking lot hit and run … and more.

2014.0114.logtruckrochester

U.S. Highway 12 near Hilt Street in Rochester. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol Trooper

Sheriff’s Office Association joins Onalaska woman to help feed children

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – There are hungry kids in Onalaska.

Tawyna White, one of the four “lunch ladies” at the rural school district who has helped cook and serve meals since 2005 sees it and has been contemplating for the past couple of years what to do.

“When kids eat lunch or breakfast, sometimes they come up and tell me they’re still hungry,” White said. “So I wonder, if they’re getting hungry when they’re getting food here, are they hungry on the weekend?”

The school district southwest of Chehalis teaches somewhere around 750 children, and two-thirds of them reside in households whose financial situations qualify them for free or reduced price lunches, according to White.

Part of White’s job involves processing those applications and the need seems to be growing, she said.

Onalaska has its share of “homeless” families, a descriptor that includes those who reside with relatives, non relatives or maybe even in just a travel trailer, but it’s not only them, White said.

“A lot of families are just struggling to make ends meet,” she said. “It seems to be especially since the recession; it hasn’t gotten any better for out here yet.”

Even with food stamps and a local food bank some children don’t get enough to eat, she said.

The idea White has been considering, is something already done at an elementary school in Centralia and also in Longview, she said.

It’s a way to help make sure needy students don’t go hungry on weekends.

It’s called the backpack snack program and the way it works is each qualifying child will receive a backpack filled with snacks and food to take home each Friday and  then on Monday, they would return it to the school again to be replenished at the end of the week.

The program is starting now, with whatever donations of new or used-but-in-very-good-condition backpacks and non-perishable food items the community can give.

“I just decided before Christmas break, I’m going to get it going now,” White said.

They’re not yet set up to accept cash donations. And they can’t take fresh fruits or vegetables or anything that is perishable because there is no place to store it, she said.

Her ultimate goal is to send food home with everybody that needs it, she said. She estimates that’s between 200 and 300 youngsters. “But that’s just a dream right now.”

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Association learned of White’s plan last week. Yesterday, they put up a collection box at the sheriff’s office in Chehalis.

Items can be brought there, or to the Pizza Girl on state Route 508, or to the Onalaska Elementary-Middle school office between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The following is a list of what they could use. They don’t need to actually be name brand goods:

• Back packs, new or in very good condition
• Chicken Top Ramen
• Beef Top Ramen
• Quaker Instant Oatmeal
• Carnation Instant Breakfast drink mix
• Nutri-grain Breakfast bars
• Instant Mac ‘n Cheese
• Quaker Chewy granola bars
• Stretch Island Fruit Co. fruit leather strip
• Tree Top fruit chews
• Del Monte fruit cup
• Annie’s Homegrown cracker / cookie
• Austin’s Cracker (peanut butter / cheese)
• Capri Sun Juice
• Canned soup
• Any other non-perishable nutritious items that a child would enjoy

•••

CORRECTION: This news item has been updated to reflect the correct name of the Pizza Girl.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

DOMESTIC INCIDENT

• A 32-year-old Toledo man was arrested yesterday after a deputy responding to a dispute learned the argument came about because he allegedly had put some prescription medication into his wife’s drink earlier. It was an anti-anxiety medication, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The couple had been drinking, Sgt. Rob Snaza said. Following the approximately 4:30 p.m. call to the 800 block of Spencer Road, the man was booked into the Lewis County Jail for delivery of a controlled substance, according to Snaza. The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office however, declined to file the felony charge and he is scheduled to be released.

MISSING VEHICLE FOUND

• A vehicle stolen from Lakewood turned up at the 500 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia yesterday morning, according to the Centralia Police Department. It was returned to its owner, according to police.

BOWS STOLEN

• A deputy responded about 10:30 a.m. yesterday to a report of a burglary to a shop building at the 100 block of Allman Road near Winlock. The 49-year-old victim said someone got inside and stole two compound bows, one a Matthews brand and the other a Reflex brand, sometime since 4:30 a.m., according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $700, according to the sheriff’s office.

“PUBLIC ASSIST”

• Chehalis police responded about 11:35 a.m. yesterday to a convenience store on the 600 block of West Main Street about a woman drinking beer in the parking lot. It was the fifth call during the shift about the individual who has been hallucinating and not making any sense, according to police. The 41-year-old woman from Olympia had previously declined an offer to be taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation but this time she was told she could go voluntarily or the officer could make her go, police said. She agreed and was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, Officer Linda Bailey said.

COLLISION

• A 25-year-old Winlock resident was booked into the Lewis County Jail last night for driving under the influence after she wrecked her car along the 600 block of Shorey Road outside Chehalis. A deputy learned that about 5 p.m., a Chevrolet Lumina had traveled from Wal-Mart, along Louisiana Avenue toward Newaukum Drive and at one point drove through a yard and at another point nearly struck vehicle head on, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Carly Ridley’s car was described as totaled after it went off the road, and she sustained minor cuts to her head, according to the sheriff’s office. She was treated at Providence Centralia and then taken to the jail, Sg. Rob Snaza said.

CHEHALIS OVERPASS REPAIRS WILL CLOSE NORTHBOUND I-5 AGAIN

• Nighttime drivers will encounter a third and final full closure of northbound Interstate 5 at 13th Street in Chehalis on Friday, as crews return to remove concrete forms and complete touchup work on the damaged overpass. The repair work follows a Dec. 31 incident in which part of an oversized load struck the bridge where it crosses over the freeway. Drivers will be re-routed using the on and off ramps between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, possibly misdemeanor theft, possible violation of protection order, collision on city street, car into a ditch on a county road … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Updated at 8:37 p.m.

ADULT SON SUSPECTED OF DIPPING INTO BANK ACCOUNT

• A 51-year-old Morton resident was arrested for allegedly taking more than $8,000 from his father’s bank account. Police last week investigating the case involving the forgery of checks and Sterling Savings Bank in Morton on Friday booked Darryl D. DeVore into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree theft, according to the Morton Police Department.

ARGUMENT BETWEEN NEIGHBORS GETS UGLY

• A 28-year-old man is jailed after a fight which reportedly began when he showed up to the alley behind his Centralia neighbor’s house holding a knife and yelling for an acquaintance to come out. When the female’s boyfriend confronted Anthony E. F. Spencer, Spencer allegedly advanced toward him and was punched in the face, according to charging documents.  Police responding about 11:20 p.m. on Friday to the 1400 block of Oxford Avenue arrested Spencer for second-degree assault and possession of a controlled substance and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Eighteen Oxycodone pills were found in his pants pocket, charging documents state. He was charged today with those two offenses and bail was set at $25,000.

ATTEMPTED BURGLARY

• A Centralia resident called 911 about 4:30 a.m. yesterday after hearing someone trying to break through his back door. Deputies responding to the 100 block of Union Avenue learned the 57-year-old was in his kitchen and yelled, prompting the subject to flee, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Law enforcement checked the area but didn’t find anyone, Sgt. Rob Snaza said.

HOT WHEELS

• Chehalis police responding about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday to the 1400 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis where a passenger in a car said he took the keys because the driver was driving crazy ended up arresting the driver for possession of a stolen vehicle. Curtis L. Pappan, 42, from Moclips, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The vehicle had been reported stolen from Aberdeen, police said. A search of the car turned up items such as green leafy material, drug paraphernalia and pills in side a case, Officer Linda Bailey said.

NOT HOT WHEELS

• Centralia police were called about 10:30 p.m. on Friday regarding a 2006 Honda Civic hybrid car stolen from the 1800 block of North Pearl Street, However, by morning, officers learned an apartment manager there had the car impounded and towed away, according to the Centralia Police Department.

‘I HEARD AN EXPLOSION IN CHEHALIS’

• The sound of an explosion in Chehalis on Saturday night brought police to the area of Southwest Salsbury Avenue and 22nd Street where a melted plastic Pepsi bottle was collected for examination. It happened about 11 p.m., according to the Chehalis Police Department.

BURGLARY NEAR PE ELL

• A deputy was called yesterday to a residential burglary at the 100 block of Mauerman Road North west of Chehalis in which binoculars, cameras and fishing gear were among the valuables stolen. It happened sometime during the previous week, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at more than $800, according to the sheriff’s office.

BURGLARY NEAR CHEHALIS

• A deputy responded about 11 a.m. on Saturday to the 100 block of Terra Bonita Drive outside Chehalis following the discovery of a residential burglary in which approximately $2,000 worth of valuables were stolen. Among the items taken sometime after 1 o’clock that morning were a smoker, a Blu-ray system and several knives, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

BURGLARY NEAR ROCHESTER

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that several toy cannons were taken from a shop building at the 1200 block of Lincoln Creek Road west of Centralia sometime between Wednesday and Friday. The loss is listed at about $1,000, according to the sheriff’ office.

BURGLARY NEAR CHEHALIS

• Sometime between Friday and Saturday, someone entered a detached shop at the 1600 block of Rice Road in Chehalis and removed a radiator belonging to a 1972 Chevrolet Blazer, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

TEEN ARRESTED FOR STOLEN FIREARMS

• Centralia police reported yesterday that a 16-year-old boy was arrested during an investigation into two stolen pistols that began late Friday night at the 1100 block of Long Road in Centralia. The teen relative of the victim was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for first-degree burglary and theft of a firearm, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 27-year-old Centralia resident was arrested about 9 a.m. on Friday at the 500 block of Hunt Street in Centralia for possession of heroin and methamphetamine. Christian D. Brown, who was also wanted for numerous warrants, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. A 17-year-old boy who was with Christian was also arrested for a warrant, according to police. The investigation was still continuing, police reported on Saturday.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police took a report on Friday afternoon from the 800 block of Northwest Hood Place regarding the discovery of the driver’s side window broken out of a pickup parked in a carport.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE: SEX CRIME

• A former Adna area resident was brought before a judge today to face allegations he molested a younger relative when they lived together following the December 2007 flood. Edward J. Guenther, now 23, was extradited from Virginia where he is is serving in the U.S. Navy. The girl, now 14 who has moved away, described instances in which Guenther fondled her and once raped her, according to charging documents. Guenther who was jailed on Friday is on indefinite leave from the service, defense attorney Bob Schroeter told a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court. The girl told a detective it began when he was 17 and she was 9 and occurred over a two-year period, according to charging documents. Charges were filed in December of one count of first-degree child molestation and one count of first-degree child rape. His bail was set at $50,000. Guenther’s arraignment was set for Thursday.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor assault, violation of protection order; responses for alarms, disorderly person, shoplifting and other misdemeanor theft, minor collision on city street, parking lot hit and run, something spray painted on a bus stop shelter, stolen BMX bicycle, found BMX bicycle … and more.

DWLS 3rd: Lewis County man loses at state Supreme Court

Sunday, January 12th, 2014
2014.0112.2013.march.tvw.johnson.supremecourt

The Washington State Supreme Court listens to oral arguments in March in the case of Stephen C. Johnson. / Courtesy image from TVW

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Lewis County case which could have eliminated an enormous part of the state’s system of driver’s license suspension has ended without that result.

In a five to four decision, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld a Lewis County man’s conviction for driving while license suspended in the third degree.

The court declined to address Stephen C. Johnson’s attorneys’ claim of “driving while poor” concluding Johnson wasn’t poor enough in the right way to have standing to make the challenge.

However, the nine justices did decide Johnson was poor enough he should have been entitled to appointed counsel for his appeal. The case was remanded to Lewis County District Court to address that issue.

The case was argued to the Supreme Court last March by Olympia attorney Kevin Hochhalter and Lewis County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Shane O’Rourke. It’s opinion was issued on Thursday.

Johnson appealed the conviction on two grounds, first, his attorneys argued the DWLS 3rd statute did not actually forbid his continued driving, in his particular case, after he contested and lost his 2007 civil infraction for driving with an expired license.

He was fined $260, he did not pay and the court notified the state Department of Licensing he failed to pay, so they suspended his license. His arrest for DWLS 3rd – a criminal misdemeanor – came in September 2008 when a Lewis County sheriff’s deputy spotted his truck driving without a rear bumper or mud flaps and pulled him over.

Johnson contended that because the notice of infraction did not expressly require him to pay a fine, he had not violated its terms. The majority of the court disagreed with him.

In a nine-page dissent authored by Justice Charles K. Wiggins, he and the remaining members of the court however, sided with Johnson’s lawyers on that point.

On the second aspect of Johnson’s appeal, his lawyers argued that because he is indigent, the suspension was invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment to to the United States Constitution’s due process and equal protection clauses.

But that argument, that the state or the court should have but didn’t inquire about his ability to pay the $260 infraction –  before sending off notice to DOL  – simply did not get examined by the Supreme Court.

The Lewis County man may be poor, but he had assets, according to the court.

In the record was his testimony he had no income and had not worked for 30 years, but owned a $300,000 home free and clear.

The court said Johnson could have borrowed money to pay the original traffic fine.

Since he didn’t meet the necessary definition for indigence, the full court agreed, he didn’t have standing to challenge the suspension on that basis.

Finally, however, for the purposes of qualifying for a court-appointed lawyer for his appeal, Johnson should have been found indigent, the court said.

Under Washington state statute he met its requirements in that he received state aid in the form of food stamps and energy assistance, the court wrote.

The Supreme Court ordered Lewis County District Court to enter an order designating Johnson indigent, or indigent and able to contribute, and if the latter, then determine the costs he should bear for his appeal.
•••

For background, read the decision here.

Watch and listen to appeals attorney Kevin Hochhalter and Lewis County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Shane O’Rourke address the court in March, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Updated at 7:30 p.m.

CHEHALIS BURGLARY SUSPECT FOUND IN CENTRALIA

• A 26-year-old Chehalis man was arrested yesterday evening not long after a burglary on the 1900 block of South Schueber Road outside Chehalis. The 72-year-old resident discovered the break-in about 4 p.m. and found that someone had not only stolen jewelry, a laptop computer and a drill, but her 2003 Ford F150 pickup was gone, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. While deputies were investigating, a family member spotted the vehicle parked in a driveway on the 1800 block of Military Road in Centralia, according to the sheriff’s office. Arriving law enforcement officers asked who it belonged to and someone pointed out Brandon D. Woody, Sgt. Rob Snaza said. Woody was booked into the Lewis County Jail and subsequently charged with theft of a motor vehicle and residential burglary. The items were all recovered, Snaza said. Bail was set at $25,000 for the unemployed former Kelso resident pending trial.

NO PRIZE FOR CENTRALIA RESIDENT

• Centralia police took a report yesterday from the 2400 block of Leisure Lane regarding an individual who was tricked into sending money – supposedly for the taxes – to claim a car they were told they won. It started with a phone call to the victim, according to the Centralia Police Department.

SHOPLIFT TURNS INTO FELONY

• A pair of 43-year-olds from Winlock were arrested at Wal-Mart last night after they allegedly took a Rug Doctor from the store, put it in a cart and presented it to customer service for a refund. An officer called about 7:25 p.m. to the retailer on the 1600 block of Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis learned the couple was given a gift card, instead of cash, and booked Tamrick A. Torres and Donna L. Volk into the Lewis County Jail for unlawful factoring of a transaction, a class C felony, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The amount is listed at $398. They were each charged with the same offense and released on $5,000 signature bonds pending trial.

SEX CRIME

• A local contractor who bought The Curtis Store after the devastating flood of 2007 was arrested yesterday for an alleged sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl. Benjamin E. Hearn, 35, was arrested after an investigation that began on Tuesday about alleged events that began in 2012, according to charges filed today in Lewis County Superior Court. He is charged with third-degree rape of a child, a class C felony. When he went before a judge this afternoon, his bail was set at a $25,000 signature bond co-signed by a relative. Judge Richard Brosey forbade Hearn to do any “Facebooking” about the alleged victim, and said if he sees any denigrating of her by anyone in Hearn’s family, Hearn may find himself back in custody. His arraignment was set for Jan. 23.

COLLISION

• A pedestrian was struck by the front passenger corner of a pickup truck turning left onto South Market Boulevard in Chehalis yesterday evening when she stepped off the curb to cross the street. Police and aid called to the scene at Sixth Street about 5:45 p.m. said it was dark and the driver didn’t see her. The 56-year-old Chehalis woman was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital and then transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for a brain contusion, according to responders. It was a fairly low speed impact, according to the fire department. The 31-year-old driver from Chehalis had a green light and she had “walk” signal, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was cited, police said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, non-injury collisions … and more.

News brief: “Juicy” storm moving in

Friday, January 10th, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Heavy snow on mountain highways and windy conditions are expected tomorrow in the east end while a flood watch has been expanded to include Lewis County.

“This storm is looking a little more juicy today than yesterday,” forecasters at the National Weather Service say.

Up to a foot of snow is likely in the Cascade Mountains, with another foot likely tomorrow night, according to the weather service.

The winter storm warning was issued just after 10 a.m. today.

A flood watch issued about an hour later is in effect from late tonight through tomorrow night, to include portions of Western Washington such as Lewis, Grays Harbor, Clallam and Jefferson counties.

A period of heavy rainfall may cause rapid rising on more flood prone rivers, according to forecasters.

The storm managed to pick up some moisture from the tropics.

A wind advisory has also been put into place for the swath of Western Washington that is the Interstate 5 corridor, with gusts up to 45 mph tonight that could cause tree limbs to fall and isolated power outages, according to the weather service.

•••

Monitor the changing conditions by clicking on the links always on the right-hand sidebar of the page, “Weather alerts, forecasts” and also “River levels”

News brief: Still no suspects in Littlerock arson

Friday, January 10th, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Investigators are hoping some of the possibly stolen pieces from Alden’s Taxidermy will turn up so they can solve the arson fire that destroyed the Littlerock business early last month.

A person-of-interest identified by the victim has been interviewed and eliminated as a suspect, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives continue to look for a motive, Lt. Greg Elwin said in a news release yesterday afternoon.

After the nighttime blaze on Palermo Southwest, various taxidermy items that should have been present could not be found leading to suspicions of theft.

Elwin says detectives are working with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to create a database of all the taxidermy, which should be helpful if some or all of the property is discovered in the future.

More interviews are planned, there are no suspects, according to Elwin.

A reward fund of $10,000 has been set up by friends and family of Alden Johnson, for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Additionally, Crime Stoppers of Olympia / Thurston County will pay up to $1,000 for tips for the same information with the same results, according to the news release.

Crime Stoppers can be reached by calling 1-800-222-8477 or at www.crimebusters.org
•••

For background, read “Investigators: Littlerock business was intentionally burned” from Thursday December 12, 2013, here

News brief: Fifty-nine-year-old died in the car he lived in

Friday, January 10th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The man found dead inside a vehicle at Centralia’s Jack-in-the Box earlier this week died from basically a heart attack, the Lewis County coroner said this morning.

He was 59 years old.

Centralia police called to the parking lot at Jack-in-the-Box on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue  on Wednesday night learned that the four-door passenger car had been parked there for a couple of days.

Coroner Warren McLeod said he can’t say when the man passed, but believed he had been dead no more than two days.

The official cause is coronary artery disease, McLeod said.

Richard Borego lived in his car, McLeod said.

He has family in Bellingham who said he chose to live that way, according to McLeod.

“He was not homeless in the normal sense,” McLeod said. “He took very good care of himself.”

Borego was found in his backseat, very natural, very peaceful, as though he had been taking a nap, according to authorities.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Updated at 6:26 p.m.

300 POUND NUDE DUDE GETS AWAY

• It was the middle of the night in Morton when two officers pulled over an erratically driven vehicle. As the driver began to get out of his car, Deputy Susan Shannon noticed he was entirely nude. He said, he just wanted to stop and say hello, and that he had to go home now. An attempt to get him to stick around with a Taser failed to connect. The man got back in the vehicle, put it in gear and drove off, blowing through a stop sign at 40 mph and then heading east on U.S. Highway 12. With emergency lights flashing, both in marked patrol cars, Shannon and Morton Police Officer Perry Royale pursued the naked motorist at speeds up to 80 mph toward White Pass, but finally gave up for safety reasons. Since they knew he lived in Yakima, they figured he was probably headed home. So say the charging documents that were filed after the August 17th event. The man believed to be the unclothed driver appeared in Lewis County Superior Court yesterday, where his lawyer asked for a continuance. Sam Groberg told the judge he finally got a chance to sit down and discuss the case, and some of its odd facts, with his client earlier in the day. “I think it would be beneficial for him to talk to someone, such as Dr. Trowbridge,” Groberg said, referencing a state psychiatrist. “You mean, you’re wondering about his mental state, at the time this allegedly occurred?” the judge asked. Yes, was the response. Joshua L. Hunter, who is free on bail, is charged with one count of attempting to elude. The 40-year-old Yakima resident, whose information lists him at 6-feet 5-inches tall and 300 pounds, was identified by the deputy through his vehicle registration and a photo on his driver’s license. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Eisenberg had no objection to postponing the trial. “It’s apparent this is a plausible defense,” he said. The matter was rescheduled for April.

CAR PROWL BIG AND SMALL

• Someone broke into a vehicle on the 800 block of Hillburger Road west of Chehalis and stole a tool valued at more than $18,000, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The item, a locator used to identify utility lines in construction areas, was taken sometime between 6 p.m. on Tuesday and 6:30 a.m. yesterday, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A deputy was called about 4 p.m. yesterday to the 900 block of Shorey Road west of Chehalis where about $300 worth of tools including a Dewalt drill were stolen from a vehicle.

• Someone entered an unlocked vehicle and took a small amount of change and cigarettes at the 1100 block of Creekside Court in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday.

EMPLOYEE THEFT

• An officer was called to a business on the 1600 block of Louisiana Avenue about 2 p.m. yesterday regarding suspected theft by an employee involving falsified transactions of more than $2,500, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The case was referred to prosecutors to consider a charge of second-degree theft, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

PHONE THEFTS

• Centralia police responded about 7:30 a.m. today to the ATT store on the 1200 block of Lum Road to a report two males had smashed a window and stole several several cell phones on display. The case is still under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Yesterday afternoon, an officer took a report of two cell phones stolen from a business on the 1100 block of Johnson Road in Centralia.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police were contacted yesterday morning about a steam cleaner stolen from inside a gated area on the 500 block of West Main Street.

• Someone stole a portable propane tank from the 400 block of Centralia College Boulevard sometime between 6:30 a.m. yesterday and about 2 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department.

ARREST FOR GIVING FALSE NAME

• A 23-year-old Centralia man was jailed following a stop for a traffic violation yesterday afternoon on Mellen Street when an officer concluded the documents he identified himself with were falsified, according to police. Centralia police say Ricardo Perez-Ramirez had a suspended license and an outstanding warrant. The photo was of him, but he said the name on the documents belonged to his uncle in Mexico, Sgt. Stacy Denham said. Perez-Ramirez was booked into the Lewis County Jail for identity theft, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DOMESTIC INCIDENT

• A 23-year-old Chehalis resident was arrested for misdemeanor assault after a woman called 911 last night to report her son pushed her against the wall, trying to “get the demons out of her,” according to police. An officer subsequently contacted Drake A. Lorber and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, violation of anti-harassment or protection orders, underage drinking; responses for alarms, suspicious vehicle, misdemeanor theft, minor injury collision, prescription medication that could be stolen or just misplaced, possibly stolen computer equipment, a homeless person camping out with a sleeping bag and suitcases, female either passed out or sleeping in a parking lot … and more.

News brief: Body discovered in car outside Centralia business

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police were called to the parking lot at Jack-in-the-Box last night where an individual was found dead inside a vehicle.

Officers responding about 10:40 p.m. to the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue learned the four-door passenger car had been parked there for a couple of days, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Foul play is not suspected, but police are investigating, according to Sgt. Stacy Denham.

The deceased is described only as a male; police know who he is, Denham said.

“There were no signs of a struggle, and he appeared to have just been taking a nap and passed,” Denham said.

An autopsy is expected.

Report: Off-duty deputy seemed to want favorable treatment during DUI stop

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County sheriff’s deputy charged with driving under the influence asked the trooper who stopped him if she could “work with him” on this, appealing to their shared profession, according to the investigation report.

Deputy Christopher P. Fulton, 31, of Napavine, was arrested early on Saturday morning on Interstate 5 following a traffic stop for speeding and then a conversation at the window of his truck about the alcohol on his breath.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Melody Krenelka said in her report it appeared the deputy was trying to persuade her to treat him preferentially. He was off duty.

“He repeatedly reminded me of his employment,” she wrote. “He expressed offense at the fact that I was calling him sir, reminded me that we ‘work together’ and that he knew me.”

Fulton, a patrol deputy who has worked for the sheriff’s office since April 2008, has been placed on paid administrative leave from his job while the incident is being investigated internally.

He pleaded not guilty on Monday and is free on his personal recognizance awaiting his next court date.

According to Trooper Krenelka, Fulton told her he had a few drinks at the casino but thought he was okay to drive. It was just before 1 a.m. when he passed by where she was parked with a radar gun at end of Centralia’s southbound Mellen Street onramp. She measured his speed at 73 mph in a 60 mph zone, according to the report.

She pulled his truck over about a mile down the freeway and he greeted her by asking if she knew him, telling her he was a Lewis County sheriff’s deputy, according to her report.

Krenelka wrote that his eyes were red and watery and when he declined to step outside for field sobriety tests or provide a breath sample, she called her sergeant at the detachment office to ask if she ought to wait until he arrived to arrest Fulton.

Sgt. Doug Pardue told her to proceed as usual, and Krenelka placed him under arrest for DUI, she wrote.

It was after Fulton was cuffed, read his rights and put in the back of her patrol car that he asked if she would still allow him to do the field tests, according to the report.

His performance was especially poor, given that he is trained in administering the tests, she wrote.

Fulton told her he had drank the last of two beers about an hour earlier before she conducted the preliminary breath test. The PBT reading was .187.

At the jail, his blood alcohol content results were .174 and .172.

The legal limit of an alcohol concentration for driving is .08.

Fulton said he didn’t care to call a lawyer and didn’t want to answer the interview questions in the DUI packet, according to the report.

Trooper Krenelka  issued him the citation with a court date, gave him the Department of Licensing paperwork and took him home.

Her report ended with the statement that Fulton was cooperative throughout her contact with him.

Driving under the influence is gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and or a $5,000 fine.
•••

For background, read “Lewis County deputy pleads not guilty to intoxicated driving” from Tuesday January 7, 2014, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
2013.1231.13thstreetoverpass

The overpass at 13th Street in Chehalis over Interstate 5 after it was struck by a log loader on a trailer. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol

CHEHALIS OVERPASS REPAIRS WILL CLOSE NORTHBOUND I-5

• A portion of northbound Interstate 5 at Chehalis will be closed overnight this weekend while repairs are made to the 13th Street bridge which was damaged by a too-tall load last week. Drivers will be re-routed using the on and off ramps between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. On the morning of Dec. 31, the driver of a Chehalis-based truck pulling a trailer carrying a log loader was cited after the loader struck a portion of the overpass snapping steel tension cables and knocking concrete onto the freeway, according to the Washington State Patrol. A state patrol spokespersons said the company was permitted for a load no taller than 14-feet 6-inches but inspectors subsequently measured the load at 14-feet 7-inches. Trooper Will Finn said the overpass measures at 15 feet. DOT says it has a vertical clearance of 14-feet 8-inches. The truck was escorted by front and rear pilot cars and the overhead detector about a mile to the south – which sets off both audible and visual alarms – was found to be operational, according to authorities. Truck restrictions on the overpass currently in place will be lifted after the weekend work, according to DOT. The bridge is 56 years old.

DRUGS

• Deputies ended up arresting three people early yesterday morning after a suspicious vehicle pulled into a Chehalis area driveway and then sped off when confronted. It happened about 5:20 a.m. at the 300 block of Yates Road and when the suspect vehicle was located near Jackson Highway and Logan Hill Road, it was occupied by three Yelm residents, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The driver, Adam G. Jones, 34, had a suspended license and subsequently he and passenger, Kassandra M. Anderson, 22, were booked for possession of methamphetamine, according to the sherif’s office. Forty-two-year-old David R. Perez was also booked into the Lewis County Jail for a warrant, Sgt. Rob Snaza said.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police responded to a vehicle prowl at the 700 block of Northwest Liberty Place just before midnight, in which someone rifled through a truck containing various tools. A window was found broken  on the driver’s side and the door unlocked, according to the Chehalis Police Department. It wasn’t immediately clear what may have been taken, police said.

FRAUD

• Centralia police were contacted yesterday afternoon regarding a cell phone account opened fraudulently under the victim’s name, in connection with a location at the 600 block of North Tower Avenue.

SEX CRIME

• A 34-year-old Centralia area man turned himself yesterday in connection with an investigation that began last week of alleged sexual abuse of a young relative. A deputy was first contacted on Friday by a mother who said her teenage daughter disclosed incidents that occurred during the year that ended in September of 2012, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office was unsuccessful in its attempts to contact Rodney J. Teitzel Jr. but he turned himself in to the Lewis County Jail late last night where he was booked for second-degree child rape and molestation, according to the sheriff’s office. His bail was set at $150,000.

WRECK

• A 34-year-old Chehalis woman was taken to the hospital with neck pain following a two-car accident last night at Jackson Highway and North Fork Road south of Chehalis. Deputies responding about 8:30 p.m. concluded a Ford Escort pulled onto the roadway heading south when it was struck by the northbound Toyota Corolla. Both vehicles sustained major damage, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, violation of anti-harassment order, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarms; complaint of a woman outside for hours bugging patrons … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

THEFT AND BURGLARY

• Sometime between 12:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. yesterday, someone got inside a shop building on the 100 block of Mable’s Court Drive outside Chehalis and made off with an air compressor, a battery charger, a chainsaw and other tools, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies are looking for a person seen in the area described as tall wearing a dark jacket and hoodie, according to the sheriff’s office.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported today it appears someone attempted to steal items from a barn at the 1600 block of Rice Road outside Chehalis on Saturday. Five cow feeder dividers were missing but later found outside the barn as though someone may have intended to come back for them, Sgt. Rob Snaza said. Snaza said he wasn’t sure but thought perhaps they were wanted for their scrap value.

• Centralia police took a report about 10 p.m. last night regarding the theft of medications from the 600 block of North Tower Avenue. The case involves a possible suspect known to the victim, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DISORDERLINESS

• A 33-year-old Kelso woman was arrested about 3 o’clock this morning for obstructing a public servant after contact with an officer at the 400 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia. Meagan M. Hayward-Rice was booked into the Lewis County Jail,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• Centralia police report they arrested a 36-year-old man at the 400 block of East Park Street in Napavine about 8 a.m. yesterday for possession of heroin. Ian D. Angelo was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WRECK

• An 18-year-old Chehalis woman escaped injury when her car slid in gravel into a ditch at a sharp turn at the 100 block of Stearns Road west of Chehalis at about 9 p.m. yesterday. Her car sustained major damage, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as responses for misdemeanor theft, two-vehicle collision with no injuries, possibly a found potato gun; complaints of ongoing noise from across the street; fire departments responding to “a couple of medical calls”, “some aid calls” and “all aid calls yesterday”… and more.

Lewis County deputy pleads not guilty to intoxicated driving

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County sheriff’s deputy arrested for drunk driving over the weekend had a blood alcohol reading of just over double the legal limit.

Deputy Christopher P. Fulton, 31, of Napavine, was off duty and in his own truck when he was pulled over for speeding early Saturday morning on Interstate 5 in Centralia, according to authorities.

The trooper who stopped him noticed the obvious odor of intoxicants on his breath, along with red watery eyes, according to the Washington State Patrol.

“She asked, and he admitted he had a few drinks that night,” Washington State Patrol Sgt. Doug Pardue said.

Fulton, a patrol deputy who has worked for the sheriff’s office since April 2008, has been placed on administrative leave from his job while the incident is being investigated.

It’s the second time in just four months a local sheriff’s deputy has been arrested for driving under the influence.

In early September, drug detective Jeffrey S. Humphrey was arrested by a trooper in Chehalis after he drove through an area closed for a serious collision investigation.

Like Humphrey, Fulton’s vehicle was impounded and after he was processed for DUI, he was taken home instead of spending the night in jail.

Pardue said on a first time DUI, it’s an officer’s discretion as to whether the individual gets booked or not, considering factors such as if they think the person is likely to show up for court.

Most are arrested and then released, he said, referring to cases involving the state patrol in Lewis County.

“Probably less than half get booked,” Pardue said,

Sheriff Steve Mansfield issued a statement yesterday morning, saying he was extremely embarrassed and disappointed, vowing to provide a full accounting to the public once his internal investigation is completed.

“This community depends on our deputies to protect them, keep them from harm, and uphold the law,” Mansfield stated. “Impaired drivers are one of the biggest threats to people in our community.”

Fulton appeared before a judge yesterday in Lewis County District Court in Chehalis, where a plea of not guilty was entered for him.

He was accompanied by Centralia defense attorney Don Blair.

Judge Michael Roewe agreed with the deputy prosecutor’s recommendation he be released on his personal recognizance, without bond or bail payment.

The judge also ordered Fulton not to possess or consume any alcohol or non-prescribed controlled substances, or go into any  taverns or bars.

Few details of what occurred just before 1 a.m. Saturday near Centralia’s Mellen Street interchange are available, as no probable cause statement from the trooper was filed yesterday.

Blair told the judge he would agree with whatever it contained, and Deputy Prosecutor Luke Stanton said after the court hearing he hadn’t received the report.

Pardue, the supervising sergeant that night who came to the scene, said the incident was not out of the ordinary.

According to Pardue and the citation, Fulton was southbound on Interstate 5 when the trooper contacted him for speeding near milepost 81.

He was traveling alone in his 2012 Toyota Tacoma and Trooper Melody Krenelka became aware of the possibility he was impaired.

Fulton agreed to the field sobriety tests and portable breath test, Pardue said, and based on those he was taken to the Lewis County Jail where one of two BAC machines are available in the west end of the county.

His blood alcohol content result is listed as .172. The legal limit of an alcohol concentration is .08.

And then he was transported to his residence, Pardue said.

Deputy Prosecutor Stanton indicated a special deputy prosecutor from Thurston County would be handling the case. Next, a date for a pre-trial hearing will be scheduled, according to Stanton.

Driving under the influence is gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and or a $5,000 fine in the criminal justice system.

Any sanctions or restrictions which could arise with the state Department of Licensing are separate. And for law enforcement officers, any disciplinary actions related to their job are the domain of their superiors and sometimes labor contracts.

In Humphrey’s case, Sheriff Mansfield within two months of the arrest announced he had imposed a two-week unpaid suspension and removed Humphrey from his position as a detective.

Humphrey was also subject to a last chance agreement that tied his continued employment directly to the conditions imposed by the court.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Lewis County deputy arrested for DUI” from Monday January 6, 2014, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, January 6th, 2014

ASSAULT

• An officer was called to Green Hill School for boys in Chehalis on Saturday after an 18-year-old student-inmate allegedly punched a 17-year-old in the mouth, causing loose teeth. A charge of second-degree assault was recommended in the case, although the resident of the state juvenile detention facility simply stayed in custody there, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A 41-year-old Centralia woman was arrested at a residence on the 100 block of Southwest 11th Street in Chehalis on Friday evening when police arrived looking for an individual who allegedly stole beer from Safeway about two hours earlier. The suspect male was arrested for third-degree theft, according to police, but the woman who was wanted for a warrant was reportedly hostile and resisted attempts to detain her. She was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault, but prosecutors declined to file that charge.

• A 23-year-old Winlock man was arrested for allegedly choking or attempting to choke his wife on Friday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies called about 10 a.m. following the incident subsequently booked Joshua T. Strobel into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault, according to the sheriff’s office.

HARASSMENT

• Jason A. Green, 24, of Randle, was arrested on Saturday for felony harassment, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Further information was not readily available.

BURGLARY AND THEFT

• A 36-year-old Chehalis area man returned home about 4:30 p.m. on Friday to find someone had kicked in his door and stolen approximately $1,000 worth of jewelry, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The burglary occurred sometime after 7:30 a.m. at the residence on the 100 block of Valley Meadow Road, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A 59-year-old Morton woman was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for allegedly taking items from the receiving area at Jan’s Lost and Found in Morton yesterday. Prosecutors declined to file charges. She was scheduled to be released this afternoon.

• Police were called about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday to a report a battery was stolen out of a recreational vehicle on Southeast Aust Manor Drive in Chehalis.

VANDALISM

• Someone broke a window on a vehicle at the 1400 block of Johnson Road in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

DRUGS

• A 46-year-old Rochester man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine when he was contacted regarding a warrant and a violation of a protection order in connection with the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia yesterday afternoon. Bruce A. Nelson was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

POST OFFICE MYSTERY

• Morton police reported this morning they are investigating an incident in which on New Year’s Day, blood was found smeared and strewn about at the post office. Officers responding just before 11 a.m. to the building at the 100 block of Second Street found it smeared on the front windows, on the sliding doors in the front, the glass doors leading to the lobby area and also droplets on the floor, according to Chief Dan Mortensen. The post office was closed until it could be removed, according to the chief.

WRECKS

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning an 18-year-old Centralia resident totaled his car but escaped injury when he lost control of his Mazda Protege on Friday evening at a ditch along the 1900 block of South Schueber Road outside Chehalis. A deputy responding about 8 p.m. issued a citation for talking on a cell phone to Jonathan A. Robles, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Morton police responded about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday to a one car rollover accident at the intersection of Second Street and Adams Avenue in which the driver sustained minor injuries. The driver said he wasn’t feeling well and passed out, according to the Morton Police Department. He was taken to Morton General Hospital, according to Mortensen.

• A 22-year-old Chehalis resident was arrested for alleged hit and run in connection with a car running into a power pole on the 800 block of Bunker Creek Road outside Chehalis around 1 a.m. on Saturday morning. Brandon W. Bowen was also cited for speeds too fast for conditions, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that three teens and 26-year-old driver were hospitalized with minor injuries when a car skidded through an intersection at North Military and Koontz roads on Saturday night and ran into an embankment. A deputy responding about 10 p.m issued citations to Ryan Colby, of Toledo, for speed too fast for conditions and failing to stop at a stop sign, according to the sheriff’s office. Transported also to Providence Centralia Hospital were a 19-year-old man from Toledo and two 17-year-old girls, one from Toledo and the other from Chehalis, according to Sgt. Rob Snaza. The 2000 Saturn sustained major front end damage, Snaza said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for alarms, female staggering in the street, possibly suicidal person, parking lot collision, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, defiant 13-year-old, inquiry about child custody issues, request for help finding a homeless shelter, unwelcome naughty phone calls; complaints of vehicle egged in the night, person smoking inside a bus stop shelter  … and more.

News brief: Lewis County deputy arrested for DUI

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Updated at 11:52 a.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Another Lewis County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested for driving under the influence.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield in a news release this morning says he is extremely embarrassed and disappointed.

Deputy Christopher P. Fulton, 31, of Napavine, was off duty when he was stopped by a trooper just before 1 a.m. on Saturday on Interstate 5 near Centralia’s Mellen Street interchange, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Fulton was driving his own vehicle and was arrested for DUI but not booked into jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

Mansfield said in the news release he does not know why his deputy was not jailed, but he has placed him on administrative leave while the incident is being investigated.

In September, an 11-year-veteran of the the sheriff’s office was stopped by a trooper when he attempted to drive through the closed area of a collision scene just off Interstate 5 south of Chehalis and arrested for driving drunk.

Deputy Jeffrey S. Humphrey was also put on leave, and after an internal investigation, Mansfield imposed a two-week unpaid suspension and Humphrey was removed from his position as a detective.

“I will not tolerate this type of performance from my employees either on or off duty,” Mansfield stated about the latest arrest. “After my internal investigation is complete, I will provide a full account of the incident to the people we serve.”

Fulton is scheduled to go before a judge today in Lewis County District Court.

Driving under the influence is gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and or a $5,000 fine.