Posts Tagged ‘By Sharyn L. Decker’

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, March 30th, 2015


• Chehalis police were called about 5:10 p.m. on Saturday after a man walking across the Chamber of Commerce Way overpass said he was shot at with a BB or a pellet from a passing vehicle. The 51-year-old Chehalis resident caught up to the pickup truck in the Wal-Mart parking lot and it contained three juveniles, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The case for a 17-year-old Chehalis boy is being referred to prosecutors for a possible charge of fourth-degree assault, according to police. An Airsoft BB gun was taken in to evidence, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said.


• Centralia police were called about 12:25 p.m. yesterday to the 1600 block of North Pearl Street about a burglary to a barn. Taken was a hunting blind, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A deputy was called to the 100 block of Mulford Lane outside Toledo on Saturday afternoon after a property owner discovered someone had broken in to several sheds and shop buildings. The loss is preliminarily estimated at a couple of thousand dollars, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The The 59-year-old Astoria, Oregon man said it occurred sometime since late last fall, according to the sheriff’s office.


• Chehalis police responded yesterday to a report from the a business at the 700 block of South Market Boulevard in which pry marks were found on both the front and back doors.


• Centralia police arrested a 17-year-old boy on Friday following a report of a sexual assault of a juvenile he is related to, according to the Centralia Police Department. The boy was taken into custody and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to police.


• Centralia police were called about 4:30 p.m. on Friday about a vehicle stolen by an acquaintance of its owner from the 1100 bloc k of Scammon Creek Road. The missing car is a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Police responded after an approximately 11:35 a.m. call yesterday to the 200 block of William Street in Mossyrock by an individual who said that while attending a baseball tournament, their son went to their vehicle and found an unknown male sitting inside of it. The intruder ran off when the boy approached and nothing seemed to be missing, according to the Morton Police Department. Police are still investigating.

• Someone stole stereo equipment from a vehicle at the 1300 block of Oxford Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Friday morning.

• Centralia police were called about 10:40 a.m. yesterday regarding fishing gear stolen from a vehicle at the 1300 block of Alexander Street.


• Officers contacted a resident in the 100 block of Third Street to warn them about a city ordinance prohibiting people from keeping pigeons on Thursday.


• Chehalis police were called about 6:50 p.m. on Saturday after a 2- to 3-year-old child was found on railroad tracks in the area near Southwest Pacific Avenue. The father of the little boy showed up to a residence where an adult had the little boy prior to the officer’s arrival and advised he’d heard his back door open and thought it was his older daughter, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He began looking for his son and then found him around the corner, according to police. “He did not get a citation, no, but he was spoken to sternly, yes,” department spokesperson Linda Bailey said. The tracks were not the ones used by Amtrak, Bailey said.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, driving without a valid license; responses for alarms, dispute, vandalism, trespassing, barking dog, misdemeanor  theft, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets, protection order violation, car stuck on railroad tracks, another fraudulent check received by a business, an unauthorized charge on a person’s bank card … and more.

Sheriff, prosecutor talk about changes in crime fighting efforts

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza talks about some of the many of the new plans he has for his office.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

SALKUM – More than 30 men and women met with newly-elected Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza and Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer at a “town meeting” held in Salkum.

Snaza said it’s something the two began talking about doing a long time ago.

“We’re a team,” Snaza told the gathering.

Meyer introduced himself as the defense attorney-turned-prosecutor.

He spoke of successes with drug court and the new track for a small number of mentally ill offenders, which they call a mental health alternative program.

“For too long, we as a criminal justice system said we couldn’t do anything till they did anything bad enough,” Meyer said.

Wednesday afternoon’s event at the Salkum Timberland Library was the first of what is expected to be a series of meetings around Lewis County, to talk with citizens, answer their questions and listen to their concerns.

Meyer is just beginning his second term in the elected office. Snaza took office in January, after two decades as a deputy.

Snaza shared the prosecutor’s enthusiasm for new and different ways to get at reducing crime and approaching their roles.

“We’re not just here to put people in jail,” Snaza said. “But also to help provide help to people who need assistance.

“If you could save one person’s life, would you do it?”

The sheriff said he has plans for getting each deputy 40 hours of crisis intervention training and talked about the jail’s more concentrated efforts to address mental illness.

He introduced Special Services Sgt. Fred Wetzel, whose responsibilities include coordinating neighborhood watch groups.

And the new sheriff told the group that every deputy has been assigned a school.

“We just let the schools know, we’re here,” he said. “We’ll do presentations with them, talk about texting, social media, whatever they want.”

The two, accompanied by Undersheriff Wes Rethwill as well, spent almost two hours chatting and answering questions.

Among the concerns from the audience were the new gun law I-594, animal cruelty, trespassing, boating patrol, unmarked vehicles, drunk driving, police cars flying by without lights going and the number of patrol deputies in their area.

Snaza said they’re not sure when and where the next meeting will be, but said they are thinking of doing one more before summer.

For background, read “Town meeting: Got a question for the sheriff, the prosecutor?” from Sunday March 22, 2015, here


Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer speaks to the small gathering at the Salkum Timberland Library.

May trial set for boyfriend’s rampage with 22 rifle in Onalaska

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Todd H. Bergfalk, facing camera, waits his turn to appear before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court for a bail setting hearing.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 44-year-old man who allegedly fired a 22 rifle towards his girlfriend as she ran away from him outside her trailer home in Onalaska over the weekend remains held on $250,000 bail.

Todd H. Bergfalk pleaded not guilty yesterday to two counts of second-degree assault. He also allegedly pointed the Remington 22 long rifle at his girlfriend’s 23-year-old son.

He was arrested on Saturday after deputies were called to the 700 block of state Route 508. Deputies reported Bergfalk was very intoxicated and emotional, rambling about abused animals and how he was upset, according to authorities.

He denied pointing the gun at anyone, but said he should probably just go to jail, according to charging documents.

At his first appearance before a judge on Monday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court, a defense attorney said Bergfalk was unemployed, so he qualified for a court appointed lawyer.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported Bergfalk and his girlfriend were arguing when he fired four rounds inside her trailer, and that he wouldn’t let her leave, but she finally made a run for the door.

The sheriff’s office said he fired approximately 10 rounds as she she ran down her driveway, and that some were fired in her direction.

Charging documents state Julie Schoonover ran into the main house and told her son what had happened, and he went outside to try to calm Bergfalk. The 23-year-old said Bergfalk pointed the gun at him and told him not to get any closer, charging documents state.

He called 911, and arriving deputies learned from Susan Bergfalk she had already secured the gun.

Neither charging documents nor the sheriff’s office indicated why he may have been upset, but the documents do state that Schoonover said when she first arrived back home after going out to look at a boat for sale, she found Bergfalk standing in the driveway holding a knife and yelling.

The evidence cited in charging documents includes a bullet hole in the mud approximately 50 feet from the trailer in the direction Schoonover said she ran, as well as more bullet holes in the mud just outside the trailer steps and numerous shell casings.

While he was arrested for first-degree assault when booked into the Lewis County Jail, the charges filed by the prosecutor on Monday were for second-degree assault.

Bergfalk has a conviction for misdemeanor assault from 1989 and at the time of his arrest, a warrant out of King County related to driving under the influence, according to authorities.

The sheriff’s office said he lives in Tacoma. He gave his home address as Onalaska in court documents.

No contact orders were put into place regarding Schoonover and her son. Bergfalk’s trial was set for the week of May 18.

For background, read, “Boyfriend jailed after allegedly shooting at woman, missing” from Monday March 23, 2015, here

Shakedown at Chehalis ATM

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Updated at 11:07 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Police searched without success last night after the attempted robbery of a customer who had walked up to a bank’s ATM machine in Chehalis.

Officers called about 9:15 p.m. to the TwinStar Credit Union on the 1500 block of South Market Boulevard found the victim, a 42-year-old Chehalis woman, was uninjured, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

She said she was approached by a male who wanted money from her,” Deputy Chief Randy Kaut said. “The victim replied she didn’t have any cash, she only had a check; he took her cell phone.”

He was wearing a black and white bandana over his face, according to police.

No weapon was displayed, but she saw something in his waistband she thought was the handle of either a gun or a knife, Kaut said.

Kaut said it appeared from the officer’s report a relative of the woman’s was with her, but still in their car.

The subject was described as in his early to mid-20s, heavyset and about 5-feet 6-inches tall, wearing a black hoody, Kaut said.

The report also labeled the male as Hispanic, but said he didn’t speak with any kind of an accent. No hair or eye color were noted.

Police were told he ran toward the opposite side of the bank, where a car was heard speeding away; the victim saw headlights going down a side street.

A police dog attempted to track him, but nobody was found, according to Kaut.

Prosecutors gathering information from husband for wife’s trial in 3-year-old boy’s death

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Brenda A. Wing looks on as her lawyer John Crowley, center, confers with Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  The mother of three, accused with her husband in the death of a toddler who was staying with them in their Vader home appeared in court this afternoon, as lawyers continue to map out a path to her trial.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead told the judge that Brenda Wing’s attorney was asking to postpone her trial a week, as her husband Danny Wing recently pleaded guilty in the case.

“That kind of changes things a little bit,” Halstead said.

The couple were arrested in November, a month after 3-year-old Jasper Henderling-Warner died from what the coroner calls battered child syndrome.

Prosecutors charged them with homicide by abuse or, in the alternative, first-degree manslaughter; each of the two were charged as either the principal or accomplice.

The autopsy found abrasions, bruises, facial trauma, healing fractures that were described as weeks-old injuries.

Danny Wing pleaded guilty last Thursday to first-degree manslaughter and assault, and as part of the deal, is expected to be a cooperating witness for the prosecution.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt agreed to move the trial to the week of May 18.

The lawyers set a date of April 30 for a hearing where they typically file a document that includes the expected length of the trial and other particulars. Today, they estimated it could last a week and a half, or up to three weeks.

Seattle-based defense attorney John Crowley said he needs the extra time, to review materials he expects won’t be available until after next week when the state conducts a taped interview with the husband.

Danny and Brenda Wing’s three children, between infancy and age 6, were all taken into custody by Child Protective Services the day they were arrested. Both Wings remain held in the Lewis County Jail.

No details alleging how Jasper sustained his injuries are included in prosecutor’s charging documents.

Yesterday Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said they’d like to know what happened. Today, Halstead said he wouldn’t answer reporters’ questions about the facts in the case.

Whether Brenda Wing’s trial actually takes place remains to be seen.

Outside the courtroom, Halstead sidestepped the question if he is attempting to work out a plea deal with Crowley for Brenda Wing.

“We’re always working to resolve our cases,” Halstead said.

For background, read “Prosecutor expects plea deal will help reveal answers about Vader toddler’s demise” from for Wednesday March 25, 2015, here

News brief: Tenino police chief let go by mayor

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Tenino’s mayor says he plans to hire a new police chief as as soon as possible after letting go Chief John Hutchings yesterday.

Hutchings was hired by Mayor Bret Brodersen’s predecessor in the summer of 2012.

“It’s just a difference in philosophies,” Brodersen said, calling the termination a release from service.

The small department is budgeted for a chief, three officers and a part time administrative person, but currently has only two officers, according to Brodersen. He appointed one of them as officer in charge for the time being, he said.

“I’m looking forward to improving the police department and continuing to provide quality services in the future,” Brodersen said. “I thank Mr. Hutchings for his service to the community and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, March 26th, 2015


• An individual out walking his dog just before midnight called police after seeing someone trying to light a fence on fire along the 400 block of Northeast Jefferson Avenue in Chehalis. He said he smelled smoke, saw flames and a subject parked there jumped in a dark red Toyota Corolla-type car and left, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The damage to the wooden fence was minimal and an officer was unable to locate a suspect, according to police. Burned paper and matches were found, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said.


An officer was called to W.F. West High School just before noon yesterday where an 18-year-old student appeared to have been drinking alcohol. The student was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for minor in possession of alcohol, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Someone lost their handicapped placard out of their vehicle while parked at the 900 block of South Schueber Road in Centralia yesterday. The report was made to police about 1 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police were called just before 3 p.m. yesterday to the 900 block of Johnson Road where it appeared a vehicle had struck the fence at the little league field.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  misdemeanor theft, protection order violation, driving under the influence; responses for suspicious circumstances, a retailer that accepted a fraudulent check, collisions on city streets … and more.

News brief: Hospital to turn on backup generator Saturday morning during electrical system upgrade

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A planned brief shutdown of the power at Providence Centralia Hospital on Saturday morning means its outpatient pharmacy and outpatient lab will be closed.

Several departments, including the emergency room, will be using generator power during that time, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Providence has been working with Centralia City Light to improve the reliability of its power supply, according to spokesperson Chris Thomas.

“We upgraded the electrical transformer in September connected to the east side of the building, and now we’re connecting the west side of the building,” Thomas said. “We don’t anticipate any problems.”

It begins at 7 a.m. and won’t take very long, but they’ve given themselves a two-hour window to complete the work, according to Thomas.

Prosecutor expects plea deal will help reveal answers about Vader toddler’s demise

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  Danny A. Wing has pleaded guilty in the death of the 3-year-old boy he and his wife were taking care of at their Vader home, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the one who killed the child.

And it doesn’t mean his wife is exonerated, or that she’s necessarily the one who killed the toddler either.


Danny Wing

Authorities say Jasper Henderling-Warner died from ongoing child abuse and charged both Danny Wing, 26, and Brenda Wing, 27, last November in Lewis County Superior Court.

Charging documents in the case lay out facts that describe a variety of week’s old injuries and conflicting statements from the married couple whose home Jasper lived in. His 21-year-old mother had asked the couple that summer to take him for a year, while she was homeless and looking for work out of state, according to authorities.

The criminal investigation began the night of a 911 call on Oct. 5 from Brenda Wing that Jasper was unconscious at their home on the 400 block of Main Street in Vader. He was transported by ambulance to Providence Centralia Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Wings were arrested and charged a month later with homicide by abuse or, in the alternative, first-degree manslaughter. The two crimes have widely different penalties. Each of the two were charged as either the principal or accomplice.


Brenda Wing

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said Danny Wing pleaded guilty last Thursday to first-degree manslaughter and also to assault.

It came out of a plea agreement, in which prosecutors will recommend Danny Wing be sent to prison for 16 years and four months, according to Meyer.

The hearing took place without being noted on the court’s regular calendar, because the defense attorney from out of town was here, and the deputy prosecutor and the judge found time to just go ahead and do it, according to Meyer.

Danny Wing admitted he didn’t properly care for Jasper, Meyer said.

But what exactly took place and who did it is still not clear.

“That’s one of the things we all want to know,” Meyer said. “What happened.”

The autopsy found abrasions, bruises as well as healing fractures and labeled the cause of death as chronic battered child syndrome. Jasper was suffering from skin infections that were found to be secondary to his cause of death.

Meyer indicated part of the deal is Danny Wing must cooperate and share some information.


Jasper Henderling-Warner

“We’re anticipating we’ll learn more, as part of the agreement,” he said today. “It’s also fair to say, additional investigation will take place, now that he’s pled guilty.”

While the specifics are still unknown, Meyer said he still believes they both are responsible for the death.

“We’ve always alleged they both had a hand in it,” he said. “We’re not changing our position at all.”

The Wings remain held in the Lewis County Jail.

Brenda Wing’s trial is scheduled for  trial in May.

Meyer said he doesn’t know when Danny Wing’s sentencing hearing will be held, but expected it would not take place until Brenda Wing’s case is finished.

Separately, the Lewis County coroner has initiated a court action to ask a judge to settle the question of which funeral home he should call to pick up the body from the coroner’s office to be cremated.

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

For background, read “Coroner: Ongoing physical abuse led to Vader toddler’s death” from Friday November 7, 2014, here

News brief: Thurston County prevails on accidental bite by K-9, of another officer

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An appeals court ruled in favor of Thurston County yesterday, regarding an incident in late 2010 in which its police dog bit a Tumwater officer in the testicle during a search in a darkened building for a burglary suspect.

According to Thurston Deputy Rod Ditrich, K-9 Rex thought Tumwater Officer Bryent Finch was a threat when Finch shouted at the suspect to show his hands, at the same time Ditrich was calling Rex to come back to him.

The two men were standing next to each other.

Finch drove himself to the hospital, underwent surgery and then on June 6, 2012 filed suit against the county, the sheriff’s office, the deputy and the deputy’s wife, according to court documents.

A judge hearing the case in Mason County Superior Court granted a summary judgement to the respondents dismissing the strict liability claim. Finch, and his wife Patricia Finch appealed.

The opinion issued yesterday by the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II, held the legislature abolished strict liability claims for injuries from lawfully used police dogs, even though the police dog exemption didn’t go into effect until the day after Finch’s suit was filed.

The Finches initially also claimed negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, but had dismissed those two portions after the Mason County decision, according to court documents. Deputy Ditrich and his wife are immune from civil liability under a statute regarding police dog handlers acting in good faith, according to the appeals court.

The three-member panel was unanimous.

For background, read “Read about police dog bites police man in groin in Thurston County …” from Friday November 19, 2010, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Updated at 6:40 p.m.


• A rollover wreck on U.S. Highway 12 in between Salkum and Ethel this morning sent two teens and two young children to the hospital. All are from Onalaska. Troopers called just before 8 o’clock report Owen Langehennig, 16, was driving westbound when for unspecified reasons his car traveled off the roadway to the right into a ditch and when it struck the edge of a driveway, it rolled and landed right side up. Everyone was belted in, according to the Washington State Patrol. Transported to Providence Centralia Hospital all for precautionary reasons were the driver, along with Andree T. Langehennig, 15, Hunter Pickering, 8, and Tucker Pickering, 6, according to the state patrol. The driver is being cited for wheels off the roadway, the investigating trooper reports. The 1981 Nissan 300ZX was impounded and towed.


• A deputy was called yesterday to the 100 block of Mulford Road where a 53-year-old Toledo woman reported someone entered her rental property and stole two heat lamps and various garden tools sometime between Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock and 9 a.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• A Toledo-area man reported yesterday someone stole his wallet from his unlocked truck parked in his garage on the 100 block of Mulford Road sometime between Sunday and yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• A 42-year-old Chehalis resident is facing a possible DUI and was jailed for possession of a controlled substance following contact with an officer yesterday evening in Centralia. Chad E. Edwards was arrested in connection with an incident around 6 p.m. at the 1900 block of Trillium Lane, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Chehalis police were called about 12:30 a.m. today from Applebees restaurant after three diners finished their meal and drinks and left without paying their bill of $45.68. They left three dollars on the table, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The incident at the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue is under investigation, according to police. Officers were provided a license plate to follow up with, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  theft, obstructing, protection order violation, driving with suspended license; responses for suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets, a fake $20 bill passed at a store … and more.

In case you missed it: Coroner hopes releasing name of dead woman will lead him to next of kin

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

The Chehalis Police Department says this picture of Sara Candice was taken in about 2007; authorities are looking for her relatives.


By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The coroner is appealing to the public for help to find family of the woman whose skeletal remains were discovered on a wooded Chehalis hillside a month ago.

Scroll down to read more, or click here.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015


• Centralia police were called about 10:30 p.m. yesterday to Providence Centralia Hospital for an alleged assault on hospital staff. The case was referred to prosecutors for a possible charge of third-degree assault, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police took a report yesterday from the 3600 block of Northpark Drive where someone stole gas from a company vehicle that was parked inside a fenced compound, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Police were called yesterday by a Chehalis resident who said someone tried to file a tax return using their name and social security number.

• Chehalis police were called yesterday regarding attempted fraudulent charges to a credit card associated with the 1400 block of Northwest Airport Road.


• Chehalis police were called to Safeway on South Market Boulevard about 10:40 p.m. yesterday after a male left with several bottles of liquor in his backpack. He was not located, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• An anonymous report about the location of a wanted person – the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office warrant of the week posted on their Facebook page yesterday – led law enforcement to Packwood where after knocking a door of a house, the subject was caught crawling out the window. Ryan A. Justice, 27, of Randle, was taken into custody at the 100 block of Edmonds Road yesterday afternoon and booked into the Lewis County Jail for his warrant from the state Department of Corrections, his warrant for escape from community custody and his warrant for failing to appear in Lewis County District Court for a fourth-degree assault case,   according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• A 43-year-old Olympia woman was hospitalized after her Honda Accord was rear-ended on U.S. Highway 12 in Randle yesterday, while she was making a left turn onto Kindle Road Troopers called just after 8 a.m. report a 2002 Buick Rendezvous was traveling at a high rate of speed when it hit the car. Both vehicles were totaled, according to the Washington State Patrol. Nina R. Sebastin, of Olympia, was transported to Morton General Hospital, according to the state patrol. Shannon K. Wagner, 40, from Moses Lake was reportedly uninjured. Speed and inattention were blamed, and Wagner was to be issued a citation for second-degree negligent driving, the investigating trooper reports.

• A 50-year-old Rochester resident was injured early yesterday morning when his his pickup truck left the roadway to the left shoulder and struck a cable barrier on eastbound state Route 8 near Mox Chehalis Road in Grays Harbor County. Troopers responding about 3:40 a.m. to the scene about seven miles east of Elma report James E. Ammons was transported to Summit Pacific Medical Center, according to the Washington State Patrol. Ammons had been wearing a seatbelt, according to the state patrol. Alcohol or drugs are not suspected, but the cause of the wreck remains under investigation, the state patrol reports.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  theft, obstructing, driving without a license; responses for alarms, vandalism, hit and run, protection order violation, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, a lost white ferret … and more.