Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Updated at 1:07 p.m.


• A 47-year-old homeless man was jailed last night for disorderly conduct after he allegedly threatened to beat up a man in a wheelchair. Officers called about 8:30 p.m. to the parking lot at Country Cousin on the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue were told by Wesley A. Lamp he was upset because the 38-year-old man piloting the power wheel chair ran into him and knocked him to the ground, according to the Centralia Police Department. Witnesses didn’t see that, but they did see Lamp standing over the man and grabbing at the orange flag on the back of the chair, and hear him say he would rip the man’s head off his shoulders, Officer John Panco said. The 38-year-old said he was not assaulted, but did have to push the subject away, Panco said. Lamp was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.


• A 21-year-old Chehalis woman was arrested yesterday at the Department of Corrections office in Chehalis as when she was being taken back into custody, she reportedly punched a DOC officer in the face. Police called about 11:45 a.m. to the office at the Lewis County Mall arrested Nicole J.J. Duff for third-degree assault, according to the Chehalis Police Department. They were told she slipped and was injured, so she was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital to be medically cleared before being booked into the Lewis County Jail, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said.


• Centralia police took a report about 6 o’clock this morning regarding a vehicle prowl at the 900 block of Marion Street.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning on two vehicle prowls in the same neighborhood in which only about $200 worth of items were stolen. But, after the overnight thefts in the 200 block of Alderbrook Drive, outside Chehalis, here’s what’s missing: house key, mailbox key, two remote garage door openers and two remote gate openers, as well as reading glasses and a flashlight, according to the sheriff’s office. It happened sometime after 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and before 7 a.m. on Wednesday.


• A 29-year-old Centralia woman told police she lost control of the back end of her 1995 Chevrolet Camaro as she took a corner at the 700 block of South Gold Street last night. There was lots of broken glass but no damage to the utility pole, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 76-year-old driver hospitalized after a single-vehicle wreck yesterday on U.S. Highway 12 in Salkum has been treated and released. Troopers called about 12:45 p.m. to the area near milepost 76 found the eastbound Ford Ranger pickup ran into the ditch, and the rolled coming to rest upside down. The truck was totaled, according to the Washington State Patrol. Lynn W. Warnstadt was injured and transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the state patrol. The investigating trooper reports an unspecified medical issue caused the wreck.

• A 16-year-old boy was transported to Morton General Hospital after his bicycle was struck by a Lincoln Towncar as he crossed U.S. Highway 12 at Mossyrock earlier today. Troopers and firefighters called about 10:40 a.m. found the bicycle was southbound onto Williams Street and the sedan driven by a 74-year-old Randle man was westbound. Lewis County Fire District 3 Chief Doug Fosburg said others had already moved the teen to the side of the road when he arrived. The injuries are very minor, Fosburg said. “He was almost across and it hit the back tire on the left side,” he said. “It was more of a clip.” The damage to the car and to the bike was little enough the state patrol described it as non reportable. Domonic M. Holmes, a Mossyrock resident, failed to stop at the red light before crossing the highway, according to the Washington State Patrol.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, disputes, collisions on city streets, suspicious circumstances, report of small child left alone in vehicle that turned out to be unfounded  … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014


• A 34-year-old man was arrested this morning after he allegedly suggested he might stab a clerk who asked him to leave the Texaco station on the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia. Officers called about 6 a.m. learned the clerk wanted Terry L. Bryan to get off the premises because he was bothering customers, according to the Centralia Police Department. When the clerk approached him, Bryan reportedly reached toward his pocket and asked, “Do you want to get stabbed?” Officer John Panco said. Bryan walked away but was subsequently located and booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault, according to Panco. He had a pocket knife with him, he said.


• A 24-year-old Centralia woman working at Wal-Mart called 911 about 4:25 a.m. when she discovered her car was no longer in the parking lot. An officer responding to the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue learned she had last seen it a about 2 a.m., according to the Chehalis Police Department. The stolen blue 1997 Dodge Neon may have been stopped by a trooper in the Olympia area about 3:30 a.m., but police are still waiting to learn more about the traffic stop, detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said.


• A deputy was called yesterday to the 100 block of Martin Road in Glenoma where a Stihl MS311 chainsaw had been stolen from a shed.It disappeared sometime since last Thursday,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The item has a serial number of 283428601, according to the sheriff’s office.


• Centralia police were contacted yesterday morning by a 46-year-old Kelso man who discovered someone used his stolen credit card at two locations in town, according to the Centralia Police Department. A charge of $150 was made in one case and in another, the transaction was rejected, according to police.


• Police were called about 12:30 p.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl on Northwest Pennsylvania Avenue in Chehalis.


• A 23-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine yesterday following an ongoing investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department. Alfredo Mendoza Martinez was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Officer John Panco.


• Firefighters were called about 10:20 p.m. yesterday to property on the 1400 block of Airport Road Northwest where a pile of grass was smoldering. They hosed it down, according to the Chehalis Fire Department. Fire Capt. Kevin Curfman said it had heated up and ignited on its own the way compost would.


• Police and firefighters were called yesterday at noon to the intersection of Rock Street and Centralia College Boulevard when a man on a bicycle was struck by a sport utility vehicle. He was treated at the scene and then released by aid personnel, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence; responses for alarms, disputes, collisions on city streets, suspicious circumstances; complaint of cars speeding up and down neighborhood street … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014


• A 40-year-old Winlock man was arrested overnight after he allegedly kicked in a back door where his estranged wife lives in Ethel overnight and punched her in the face knocking her to the ground and attacked her male companion as well. Deputies called about 2:45 a.m. to the 1200 block of U.S. Highway 12 learned of the incident and found the 50-year-old Centralia man ended up with a goose egg and a bruised eye, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect, Kayne M. Garrison, was found by a trooper in Winlock, according to the sheriff’s office. Garrison was booked into the Lewis County Jail for burglary, harassment and other offenses, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.


• A Kawasaki 250 motorcycle stolen earlier this month in Mossyrock was discovered, along with some marijuana starts at a campsite off a logging road on property belonging to Port Blakeley Tree Farms yesterday. Deputies traveled up Forest Service Road 3030 and found a trailer and the other items after being alerted the day before by security personnel of the property owner, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. While they were there, a van pulled up and one person ran off but 39-year-old Shirlene M. Thrall was arrested, because a purse sitting on a step contained several bindles of a substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Her companion, Joe P. Padrick, 33, called deputies later and said he planned to make things right with the owner of the motorbike and would be turning himself in, Brown said. Thrall was booked into the Lewis County Jail. Both are from Mossyrock, according to Brown.


• Chehalis police were called last night by a Kelso man who discovered his stolen credit card appeared to have been used at Wal-Mart in Chehalis. Police will try to track it down, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• A go-kart was reported stolen yesterday from the 1000 block of Mellen Street in Centralia.

• Centralia police were called about 6:20 p.m. yesterday to the 500 block of West Fourth Street about a chainsaw missing from a garage. A person of interest has been identified, according to the centralia Police Department.

• Someone called Centralia police yesterday to say their jacket and cell phone were stolen on Saturday night from a tavern on the 100 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, protection order violation, misdemeanor theft; responses for alarms, disputes, stolen bicycle, stolen credit card, collision on city streets, suspicious circumstances, minor injury accident on gravel road, small bark fire, female screaming at little children, dog left inside parked vehicle … and more.

Centralia officer cleared in deadly bank parking lot shooting

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news

CHEHALIS – The man fatally shot by Centralia Police Department Officer Ruben Ramirez last month was a convicted felon carrying a stolen handgun, only recently arriving to the Centralia area with his girlfriend.

Paul M. Edmundson, 43, was staying at the Pepper Tree Motel and RV Park, using an alias. He had an extensive criminal history over 23 years from multiple states and was in the process of covering up a tattoo on his lower chest of Edmundson, one letter at a time.

But he didn’t steal the burrito that drew a police officer to the encounter at the corner of South Tower Avenue and East Cherry Street the morning of June 29.


Anchor Bank parking lot, June 29, 2014

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer concluded last week that Ramirez’s use of deadly force was justified. Police Chief Bob Berg is expecting a decision from an internal use-of-force review board by early next week at the latest. And Ramirez could be back on the job after that.

The Centralia Police Department’s initial statements that day were the officer shot and killed a man suspected of shoplifting the snack from the nearby gas station, because he reached into his pocket for a handgun as he was being detained.

Meyer’s summary of events offer a slightly different version.

A letter released by Meyer describing his legal analysis to the lead investigator in the case includes 13 pages of information, some which is pertinent to Ramirez’s decision to draw and fire his weapon, and some of which is relevant only to explain the decedent’s actions. Numerous individuals who witnessed portions of the situation described to investigators what they saw.

Including Ramirez, a 15-year veteran of the police department, a member of its SWAT team and a K-9 handler.

The investigative team of detectives from surrounding police agencies – from the counties of Lewis, Thurston, Pacific, Mason and Grays Harbor – was headed up by Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Detective Ben Elkins.

Michelle Milligan, 44, from Vancouver, told investigators she and Edmundson, although she called him Chris, had been dating about three months and came to Centralia about a month earlier.

Of his behavior in previous days, she said: “(H)e was going crazy on everybody; he was just going on a nut.”

That morning, Milligan described going to Fuller’s grocery to purchase vodka and a roast beef sandwich. And then up to the next block to the Chevron service station and mini mart to get burritos and rolling papers.

Milligan and the clerk told how she didn’t have enough money to pay for both, so she left the burritos in the microwave.

Meyer’s summary of facts discovered, some of which was learned through viewing surveillance video, tells how Milligan exited the store and crossed the parking lot to speak with two men, one of whom then came inside and took the burritos from the microwave and left, returning once again to heat them up and left again.

His name is Adam Casperson, according to Meyer.


Chevron service station, South Tower Avenue

The 911 call about shoplifting came just before 10 a.m. and when Ramirez arrived in his patrol car, with his police dog Lobo, he found Milligan and Edmundson sitting in the grass across Cherry Street next to the parking lot at Anchor Bank.

Ramirez told an investigator he began to speak with them and wanted to see their identification because based on his information, they were involved in the theft.

Edmundson was mouthy, Milligan denied stealing the burritos and told Ramirez the one he wanted was hiding in the woods, according to the letter.

But when Ramirez looked at the identification Edmundson handed him, he recognized the name on it of Christopher R. Matthews as the suspect in an assault two days prior at the Pepper Tree.

Ramirez had responded to the Friday afternoon call to the motel where a 50-year-old guest there said that during a disagreement an acquaintance he knew as Chris threw him to the ground and struck him in the eyelid with something sharp.

Ramirez indicated to investigators the man in the ID did not match the man he was talking to at the bank very well, and decided to detain him to determine the connection, according to Meyer.

Ramirez asked Edmundson to stand up.

A customer across the street at a different gas station said he watched the man stand up and turn his back to the officer as if preparing to be handcuffed. Ramirez said the man began to resist by pulling away.

Milligan said the cop was being really, really rough and “Chris” was saying “Ouch, you’re hurting me.”

Milligan said at about that time, the police dog jumped out and started attacking “Chris”. “And the dog’s attacking his arm, and dog’s attacking his leg, and the dog’s attacking him all over viciously,” he said.

Ramirez said because he was dealing with a felony suspect, who disengaged, he deployed his K-9 and ordered him to “engage” Edmundson.

“And Chris is screaming, you know, and I’m screaming, I’m like, you know, I’m like, he’s trying, he’s hurt, can you just tr-, call the dog off him …,” Milligan told investigators.

Milligan said she ran out to the road, screaming for someone to help.

Ramirez called for backup and thought it unusual Edmundson continued to fight through the bites, even as Ramirez ordered him to stop.

Witnesses described seeing the two men and the dog engaged on the ground.

A former Centralia police officer Steve Dawes was at the bank’s ATM with his girlfriend and said he saw the two men on the ground tussling while the dog was biting and the man was resisting and ignoring Ramirez’s commands. Dawes said he had turned his attention back to finish his ATM transaction and heard a gunshot.

Ramirez told investigators that when they were on the ground, Edmundson had his hand underneath his body and he heard scraping sounds. He thought it could be a knife, given the assault from the Pepper Tree, he said.

Ramirez said he looked and saw it was the butt of a gun and Edmundson was pulling it out from what appeared to be his waistband.

Ramirez backed up, told him drop it. Ramirez heard a click sound.

Ramirez fired a single shot from his weapon.

Edmundson died at the scene. A single round penetrated his heart and lodged in his spine.

Meyer’s analysis includes that when making a decision to use deadly force, an officer must have probable cause to believe that the person “poses a threat of serious physical harm to the officer.”

The elected prosecutor points out Ramirez made two requests for assistance, that Edmundson ignored repeated commands and gained possession of a firearm, which became, at that moment, a fight for life for Officer Ramirez.

“Officer Ramirez was left with no choice but to draw his weapon and protect his own life,” Meyer wrote.

The firearm recovered was described as a Sig Sauer P938 9mm, stolen out of Longview. It was found in the “cocked” position with a round in the chamber, according to Meyer.

How many dog bites Edmundson sustained was not mentioned in Meyer’s report.

An individual named Michael Caton was interviewed, and told investigators he saw Casperson, Milligan and Edmundson at the Chevron, and that Edmundson had flashed a gun at him and it was not the first occasion.

Caton told investigators  Edmundson was dangerous because he was drunk all the time and had a gun.

Prosecutor Meyer who attended the autopsy noted the smell alcohol emanated from the body.

Meyer wrote that Edmundson was originally identified as Christopher Matthews, but fingerprint analysis revealed who he really was.  Edmundson’s previous convictions included assault, robbery, burglary and firearm offenses from Utah and California. Just a month before he was killed, he was arrested in Oregon for driving under the influence.

Meyer called the outcome tragic, but wrote had Edmundson survived, among the crimes he would have charged him with related to the events the morning of June 29 were attempted second-degree murder, or in the alternative, second-degree assault.

For background, read:

• Prosecutor Meyer’s letter detailing his investigative conclusions, here

• “Stolen burrito leads to fatal shooting in Centralia” from Sunday June 29, 2014, here

• “Coroner releases name of police shooting victim” from Wednesday July 2, 2014, here

• “Centralia police shooting case now in the hands of prosecutor for review” from Monday July 14, 2014, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Updated at 6:41 p.m.


• Firefighters were called about 12:30 p.m. yesterday when fire broke out at a bark dust mill at the end of Central Boulevard in Centralia. Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Tim Adolphsen said it was inside the auger system of the Willamette Valley Company’s structure and was fairly mild in terms of how long crews were on scene extinguishing it. “It should be minimal damage,” Adolphsen said.


• Someone broke into a home on the 1800 block of Middle Fork Road in Onalaska and stole a 55-television, jewelry and other valuables totaling about $4,100 sometime between Friday and yesterday while the residents were away, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• A 53-year-old Chehalis man called police about 11 a.m. yesterday to report someone got into his garage in the early morning hours and stole a new $1,000 Mathews compound bow and an $800 set of four Toyo tires. It happened at the 1800 block of Snively Avenue, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Morton police say they are investigating a break-in to a business on the 100 block of Westlake Avenue reported last Thursday in which someone during the previous two days stole a digital camera from the lost and found and about $68 in cash, which was mostly coins.


• A driver of unknown age and unknown hometown was arrested for third-degree possession of stolen property when during a traffic stop a deputy discovered the license plates on his vehicle were stolen, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened about 6 p.m. on Friday at the 700 block of Leonard Road and when Joseph A. Vezirian was pulled over, he told the deputy he knew they didn’t belong on the vehicle but someone named Jen had given them to him, according to the sheriff’s office. The plates belonged to an Onalaska woman; Vezirian was cited and then released, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.


• A 27-year-old Winlock man was arrested on Saturday after his wife’s boyfriend reported he had held her against her will at her home. Police contacted the couple separately who said earlier in the day he had put his hands on her shoulders and told her she couldn’t leave until they talked, according to charging documents. Robert M. Sutton told the officer they are going through a divorce, had a little argument and he was frustrated. Sutton was booked into the Lewis County Jail and charged today with unlawful imprisonment and fourth-degree assault. Sutton, who has an honorable service record and last worked as a contractor in Afghanistan, is collecting unemployment benefits and attending college, defense attorney Bob Schroeter told a judge this afternoon. The judge agreed he could be released on a $5,000 signature bond.


• A 35-year-old Chehalis man was arrested and jailed after his wife said he arrived at her house on Friday afternoon, yelled at her and threatened to kill her. A deputy called to the 100 block of Johnson Place about 2:45 p.m. learned there was a court order prohibiting Bert A. Holmes from going there and he was located several hours later and arrested for residential burglary, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.  Holmes was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with that, as well as with felony harassment and violation of a no-contact order. Because the construction worker has a misdemeanor assault from earlier this month pending in district court involving the same victim, prosecutors asked he remain held on $25,000 bail. Judge James Lawler set bail at $100,000.


• The man arrested over the weekend after allegedly partially entering a Centralia home through a window and assaulting a female inside was ordered held today on $500,000 bail. Juan E. Mejia, 32, of Centralia, was dating the woman briefly he’d known for several years; she ended the relationship and he didn’t want the relationship to end, according to charging documents. The documents say after he kept calling, texting and showing up to see her, she got a temporary protection order a week ago. The documents allege that on Friday night, she awoke to knocking on her bedroom window on George Anthony Lane, and when she got up, Mejia slid the window open. She screamed for her son to get her father and struck Mejia and he struck her back, splitting open her lip, according to charging documents. “He said he loved her, that he would kill her, and that he loved her,” charging documents state. He fled when her father arrived with a pool cue and he was arrested the following day, according to authorities. Mejia has been restrained by 13 prior no-contact orders and has five prior domestic violence felonies, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Joely O’Rourke told a judge when she asked for the high bail. Mejia is charged with first-degree burglary and violation of a court order.


• Morton police were called after last weekend to Gust Backstrom Park by campers who said after they went to bed, someone got into their cooler and stole $50 worth of unspecified contents. And yesterday morning, another individual reported while they were away from the park, their three coolers full of food and beverages were taken.


• Lewis County Fire District 2 Chief Grant Wiltbank said Toledo area firefighters were called just after 4:30 p.m. yesterday when a parachuter collided with a tree as she landed about a half mile west of the airport. The woman in her 20s came to rest in a sitting position about eight inches off the  ground, suspended by her parachute which was tangled in the tree, Wiltbank said. She wasn’t knocked unconscious, but suffered injuries that were serious but not life threatening, he said. She was flown by AirLift Northwest to a regional trauma center, according to the chief.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, disputes, misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, report about scam phone call, rear end collisions on city streets, rollover accident on county road, dogs left inside parked vehicles … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, July 20th, 2014


• A 38-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday evening after allegedly throwing a full can of soda into traffic on Harrison Avenue near View Street and refusing to cooperate with police regarding the infraction. Willard Scott was cited and then released about 7:30 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A 32-year-old man wanted for allegedly entering a Centralia home through a window and assaulting a female inside late Friday night was located yesterday and booked into the Lewis County Jail. Juan E. Mejia was arrested for  first-degree burglary, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A judge disregarded a prosecutor’s recommendation an 18-year-old Chehalis resident should get 24 months in prison for stealing thousands of dollars from relatives and sent him away for five years. Dillan G. Gleason was arrested on April 10 after a burglary at his grandparents home 100 block of Alderwood Drive where he also reportedly lived. He pleaded guilty pursuant to an agreement and when he was sentenced in Lewis County Superior Court, the judge heard from his grandmother she believed there was close to $300,000 cash from her lottery winnings in a safe that went missing. Another relative who said Gleason stole thousands of dollars worth of alcohol told the judge he could not believe it when Gleason was the one arrested, but concluded since, that it was only the first time he’d gotten caught. Defense attorney Chris Baum conceded his client made grave errors in judgement and there were large amounts of money involved over the time period, but noted Gleason had not been in trouble before and asked he be sentenced as a first-time offender to zero to 90 days in jail. Baum said Gleason has a drinking problem. “He didn’t drink it all up, but he drank and he gambled some of it away,” Baum said. “We talked and he doesn’t remember; he’s a young guy who needs help.” Baum said his client had already signed back over $57,000 from a trust. Judge Richard Brosey on Friday responded by saying it was not a typical burglary and theft, it was a major economic crime. Because Gleason had pleaded guilty to the aggravating factor of a violation of trust, Brosey could have given him 10 years, but he gave him five.

• A pre-trial hearing for a 31-year-old man accused of continuing to head up a Lewis County-based drug trafficking organization primarily of Oxycodone from behind prison walls ended with the prosecutor dropping one of the two counts of leading organized crime and several gross misdemeanors. Forrest E. Amos, formerly of Napavine and Chehalis, was charged with 43 offenses after he was released from prison late last year. Defense attorney Don Blair and Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead went before a judge on Friday to deal with various issues before the Aug. 25 trial. Blair argued the state should have to split the case into two cases and hold two trials, one for Amos’s alleged activities before he went to prison and a second for his supposed activities while locked up. Judge Richard Brosey disagreed with Blair’s reasoning, but Halstead said he was filing a new “information” with just 36 counts instead of 43. He didn’t say why. Amos was additionally charged last month with four counts of intimidating a witness for allegedly hatching a plan from inside jail to get supporters to hurt or intimidate witnesses against him. Prosecutors allege he used the guise of legal mail to “continue his criminal intentions without detection”. Amos remains held in the Lewis County Jail on $1 million bail.


• Firefighters were called about 12:35 p.m. yesterday to extinguish a grass fire along Interstate 5 near the northbound onramp at Harrison Avenue in Centralia. it grew to about 100 feet by 200 feet, according to Riverside Fire Authority.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence; responses for collision on city street, window broken out of a vehicle, clothing stolen from business … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, July 19th, 2014


• Members of six fire departments were joined by crews with the state Department of Natural Resources yesterday when a four to six acre fire broke out in Bucoda. Crews were called around 4 p.m. to an area near Tono and Ohop roads, on timber property owned by Green Diamond Resources previously clearcut and then about two years ago replanted with seedlings, according to Bucoda Fire Department Assistant Chief Robert Gordon. It was not threatening any homes, Gordon said. As many as 75 firefighters were on the scene and it was contained when he left about 8 p.m., Gordon said. “The winds were five to seven miles per hour, and that’s probably what saved the fire from getting any bigger than it did,” he said. DNR planned to sit on the fire overnight and are conducting mop up today, according to Gordon. The incident followed another the day before in Rochester when about an acre and a half of scotch broom and brush caught fire, along with a fence and a shed at the 9000 block of 173rd Avenue Southwest. Gordon said his chief and about eight other individuals with the fire departments from Tenino to Gibson Valley are currently in Eastern Washington assisting with the large wildfires over there.


• Centralia police say they are looking for Juan E. Mejia after an incident just before midnight in which he allegedly entered a residence through a window and assaulted the female inside. It happened at the 400 block of George Anthony Lane, according top police. Mejia, of Centralia, is 32 years old and wanted for first-degree burglary, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A 30-year-old Centralia man is being sought by police after breaking into a home on the 300 block of East Magnolia Street in Centralia and assaulting his mother. Officers responding about 5:45 p.m. yesterday say Isaiah M. Davis is wanted for first-degree burglary, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Police were called about 6:40 p.m. yesterday after a resident on the 1100 block of Ham Hill Road in Centralia returned home and found someone had broken in. Several items are missing and the case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Medication was reported stolen yesterday from the 900 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia and from the 1100 block of West Chestnut Street.


• Someone stole a Pioneer stereo from an unlocked vehicle parked at the 1200 block of Royal Avenue in Centralia during the night, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.


• Centralia police responded just before 10 a.m. yesterday to the 1400 block of Oxford Avenue where several vehicles got their windows shot out with a pellet gun during the night.


• Four people were arrested yesterday after they reportedly harassed a male as he walked down a Centralia street with his small children yesterday evening. Officers responding about 6:45 p.m. to the area of East Locust and South Buckner streets say the male was approached and asked for a cigarette, then threatened when they did not like the way in which they were told no. According to Centralia police, Dustin J. Scott, 31 of Bay City, was booked for obstructing as well as a felony warrant and Richard A. James, 20 of Centralia, was booked for several outstanding warrants. After police left, two others allegedly went back to the individual and began threatening him again, so, booked for disorderly conduct were Jalab L. Browing, 20 of Centralia and Tyler A. Reeves, 21 of Raymond, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police responded about 2:55 p.m. yesterday to the area near East Maple Street and the train tracks after a driver attempted to cross the tracks as the crossing arm was coming down. It broke the windshield and the driver was cited for failing to yield to the arm, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A pickup truck and a car were totaled and the driver of the car was hospitalized when the pickup truck traveled into the oncoming lane yesterday evening on state Route 508 about three miles from Interstate 5. Brittney N. Dickinson, 18, from Winlock, was westbound when she drifted to the right, over corrected and crossed the centerline running into a 1993 Toyota Camry, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers called about 7:25 p.m. found the pickup on its side and cited Dickinson for improper lane travel, according to the state patrol. The car’s driver, Bruce A. Hood, 63, of Onalaska, was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with unspecified injuries, according to the investigating trooper.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for driving under the influence; responses for bicycle stolen, collision on city street … and more.

Sheriff’s Office: Fired corrections officer allowed inmates to suffer

Friday, July 18th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The lawyer for the fired Lewis County Jail sergeant shot back yesterday, issuing a press release criticizing Sheriff Steve Mansfield for attempting to try the case in the news media, reminding news reporters of Mansfield’s personal experience of being investigated for alleged criminal conduct.

Centralia attorney Shane O’Rourke said he represents Trevor S. Smith, who was terminated at the end of last month for mistreatment of two inmates and then arrested earlier this week for allegedly accessing secure jail computer records while he was still on the job.

“As a career corrections officer, my client respects the court system and the judicial process, and because of that we are not going to make any comments about the facts of the disciplinary proceedings or criminal case against my client other than to say that there are always more facts to a story than what only one side offers,” O’Rourke wrote. “We will allow those facts to come out through the legal process.”

Mansfield revealed on Wednesday that Smith was let go because he abused his authority in dealing with assaultive inmates, insinuating Smith moved beyond containing the situations and into punishing the individuals.

The sheriff called Smith’s actions disgusting and embarrassing, but didn’t go into much detail, citing a concern of jeopardizing a termination hearing.

However, a fulfilled public record request for the June 27 termination letter and other related documents show Smith was disciplined last year after directing that an inmate be kept in a restraint chair for approximately twelve hours without food, water, or restroom breaks.

And on Jan. 25, an inmate with mental health issues was not offered a wet towel, a shower or any “decontamination” for more than five hours after Smith had directed the discharge of OC-10 pepper spray into his closed cell, according to the sheriff’s office. There was no running water in the cell at the time, having been shut off the day before due to his attempt to flood the cell.

The termination letter from Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Chief of Staff Steven Walton noted that in both cases squad members approached Smith about attending to the inmates’ needs and Smith ignored them, allowing the inmates to suffer.

“Your conduct in this case screams of deliberate indifference to the care and well-being of those over whom you are responsible,” Walton wrote on behalf of the sheriff. “Indeed your conduct ‘shocks the conscience’ and could be viewed as violating basic civil rights possessed by all human beings regardless of status.”

Smith’s attorney O’Rourke pointed out Mansfield is an outgoing sheriff and that his office isn’t supposed to be involved in a large part of the investigation – Smith’s criminal case – because of a conflict of interest.

O’Rourke noted the sheriff has had firsthand experience as both being the subject of an investigation – in 2009 when allegations were made of Mansfield harboring a runaway; the 16-year-old girlfriend of his son, a case that ended with no charges filed – and contended he has before attempted to impose his own beliefs and try a case in the media before it was brought to court.

“(A)s was the case with the Ronald Brady homicide from a number of years ago, where his judgment was later proven to be incorrect by a trial court and appellate court,” O’Rourke stated.

O’Rourke was one of two Lewis County deputy prosecutors who tried the Brady case in 2011 and has since moved into private practice with the firm of Buzzard and Associates. Sheriff Mansfield refused to arrest Brady who shot at two intruders on his Onalaska property, saying it was self defense.

“My client and I hope that as this case moves forward, Sheriff Mansfield draws upon these experiences and discontinues any efforts to improperly taint this case and further prejudice my client,” O’Rourke wrote.

The June 27 letter did not name the two inmates, but did offer further details about the most recent incident.

The inmate with mental health issues was described as a man large in stature, 6-feet 9-inches tall and about 275 pounds, who had exhibited aggressive behavior since his incarceration. He was being held in the medical observation area when he reached through the cuff port in his cell and grabbed an officer’s keys, pulling the officer against the door, according to Walton.

The inmate got the keys, but returned them shortly after an entire three-ounce can of OC-10 was discharged into the cell, Walton wrote.

The decision to use force, the pepper spray, to gain compliance wasn’t questioned, according to Walton.

But leaving him to suffer without any relief was extremely serious and demonstrated unacceptable judgement and decision making, he wrote.

Walton left the sheriff’s office when on July 1 he took a position as Lewis County budget administrator, but has been designated to continue in the chief of staff-undersheriff role for the purposes of handling Smith’s case.

Smith was hired at the sheriff’s office in 2004 and promoted to jail sergeant in 2011.

Smith has filed a grievance through his union, asking to be reinstated, claiming his termination was not for just cause.

His arraignment on charges of computer trespass is set for next Thursday.

For background, read “Lewis County Jail sergeant let go for mistreating inmates, then arrested for computer snooping at work” from Wednesday July 16, 2014, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, July 18th, 2014


• A 42-year-old Toledo man who was spending time at a river returned to a parking area at the 100 block of Highway 603 last night to find his 2010 Harley Davidson Fatboy was no longer there. This is the Willapa Hills Trail crossing, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened sometime after 7 p.m. and before 8:54 p.m. and the loss is $12,977, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown asks anyone with information to contact the sheriff’s office or Lewis County Crime Stoppers.


• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that at about 6 p.m. on Wednesday, someone got into a garage on the 200 block of Bowen Road outside Mossyrock and stole about $1,800 worth of items including a 6HP Yamaha outboard motor, a shop vacuum and a Craftsman toolbox with tools.


• A deputy took a report yesterday from a 94-year-old Centralia man on the 2000 block of Graf Road that someone got into his locked garden shed and stole his chainsaw sometime between March 1 and July 1.


• A black Craftsman lawnmower was stolen during the night from the 100 block of Washington Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department yesterday.


• Police were called about 1 p.m. yesterday regarding a purse getting stolen after it was left behind at a business on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia.


• Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown reported this morning that a 52-year-old Winlock man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend and violating a court order at the 300 block of Hawkins Road in Winlock. Rodney Dewolf was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday, according to the jail’s roster.


• Lewis County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 37-year-old Chehalis man in connection with a search conducted about 6 a.m. yesterday at the 400 block of Southwest William Avenue, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Corey D. Hamilton had allegedly sold methamphetamine to someone associated with the sheriff’s special investigations unit, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. Evidence confiscated from the home and some found in Hamilton’s vehicle could lead to further charges, according to Brown. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail. The investigation is ongoing, she said.


• Someone vandalized a motorcycle’s radiator and an air conditioner at the 1100 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, protection order violation obstructing a public servant, a pair of 17-year-old boys for having marijuana and unopened beer containers in their vehicle; responses for alarm, disputes, threatening phone call from the IRS, panting dog left alone inside parked vehicle … and more.

Dad pulls pulseless son from pool in Centralia

Thursday, July 17th, 2014


By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A toddler found unconscious and not breathing in a swimming pool at a Centralia home was revived by his father and rushed to the hospital this afternoon.

Aid called at 4:50 p.m. to the 600 block of G Street learned the dad discovered the 2-year-old boy and pulled him from the water. The child had no pulse and the dad started CPR, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

A paramedic unit from the Pearl Street station was the first unit on the scene and arrived in just under a minute and a half, according to Capt. Scott Weinert.

The boy was conscious and breathing but crying when they got there, Weinert said. Medics performed advanced life support measures to ensure the toddler continued to breathe and remained stable, he said.

It happened in a backyard built-in swimming pool, he said.

“We’re really happy he’s in stable condition and hopefully he continues to improve,” Weinert said.

When someone stops breathing for whatever reason, immediate and early intervention through CPR is key, according to Weinert.

“It’s important, that’s why it’s taught, because it can make a difference,” Weinert said.

But a traumatic event such as a near drowning could lead to a variety of physical issues or complications that still need to be evaluated by doctors and possibly treated, according to Paramedic Jade Gross.

The child was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital and then transferred to Seattle Children’s Hospital for observation.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between the ages of 1 and 4 and it’s the third leading cause of death among children, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The department took the opportunity to remind adults to be mindful of the risks and familiarize themselves with water safety tips for little ones. Riverside recommends a resource with numerous tips called Safe Kids Worldwide.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, July 17th, 2014


• A Thurston County resident reported she was assaulted by her husband last night as they were driving along Harrison Avenue through Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. Since her statement was given to a Thurston deputy after she arrived home, local police don’t yet have information about the incident, according to a department spokesperson.


• A deputy took a report yesterday of a theft of approximately $3,000 worth of valuables from a residence at the 1000 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Ethel. Among the items taken sometime since the day before were a generator, an air compressor, a television and an empty guns safe, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• Chehalis police were called about 4:30 p.m. yesterday to the area at Northwest West Street and State Avenue where someone tried to steal the batteries from a caboose. A heavy-gauge cable was cut, the compartment was left open and the large container of batteries was removed but left behind, likely because it was very heavy, according to police.


• An 18-year-old Toledo resident was arrested for possession of methamphetamine about 5 o’clock today after a traffic stop in which he was found to be driving with a suspended license. An officer contacting Tavryn L. Lindsey turned up a smoking device under the driver’s seat, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.


• Centralia police say they were called about 4:20 p.m. yesterday to the 1200 block of Alder Street after a pickup truck hit a building. A department spokesperson said he didn’t think anyone was hurt and didn’t know anything further because the information was not filed in their regular reports.


• Police and firefighters were called about 6 p.m. yesterday to a motorcycle accident at the 2600 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia in which the driver sustained what was described as minor road rash and an ankle injury.


• One firefighter from Lewis County Fire District 5 took a water tender to Eastern Washington last night to help fight one of the wildfires burning over there and two others who had been there since last week were almost home when they were redeployed to the fire in Twisp, according to District 5 Firefighter Maria Kennedy. Two more firefighters left yesterday from West Thurston Regional Fire Authority, joining others from the south Thurston County fire department already in Eastern Washington. The Toledo Fire Department has two units over there as well.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence; responses for disputes, hit and run, collision on city street, misdemeanor theft, dog locked inside parked vehicle … and more.

Lewis County Jail sergeant let go for mistreating inmates, then arrested for computer snooping at work

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 10-year veteran of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has been fired over his manner of dealing with two assaultive inmates.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield said Trevor S. Smith worked in the jail where he was promoted to sergeant in 2011. He was terminated June 27 for an incident at the beginning of this year and another last year, Mansfield said.

The longtime corrections officer abused and exceeded his authority, Mansfield said.

It was the way they were treated, the way they were contained that was a problem, and how Smith handled it was inappropriate, the sheriff said without going into much detail.

“Both situations involved inmates who were acting out and assaulted staff, situations that needed immediate intervention,” he said. “That’s what it is; it’s disgusting and embarrassing for this organization.”

Mansfield said he is reluctant to say more, as Smith is appealing his firing, and the sheriff worries about jeopardizing any termination hearing that may come up.

Meanwhile, Smith was arrested on Monday at his home in Chehalis for a discovery made after he left, that he allegedly had been snooping into secure jail computer records.

“He had no business accessing administrative and personnel files,” Mansfield said. “There’s a reason for them being secure.

Mansfield said he used someone else’s password.

Some deleted files have been recovered but the primary issue is he should not have been reading them and collecting information, the sheriff said.

Smith was booked Monday into the Lewis County Jail for five counts of computer trespass, a class C felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison, according to the sheriff. He was housed at another jail until his hearing in Lewis County Superior Court yesterday and then released by the judge, Mansfield said.

The criminal allegations, investigation and arrest were handled by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

The inmate treatment issues were investigated internally.

Mansfield said after the most recent incident, Smith was taken out of any role that involved contact with inmates and put on administrative duties, in an office next to the jail chief’s.

Mansfield spoke in general about the duty of care to the people housed in his jail. Feeding, housing and making sure they are safe is his obligation under the law, he said.

Corrections officer have a variety of ways to contain or isolate problem inmates, including using whatever level of force is necessary, but only until the point the situation is stabilized, he said.

“If they do something wrong, the judge decides the level of punishment, not me,” he said. “When people cross that line and make it their role to punish someone, you’ve got problems.”

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Updated at 6:14 p.m.


• A 27-year-old Portland man hiking the Pacific Crest Trail was retrieved by members of Packwood Search and Rescue yesterday after an injury sustained when he slipped on the edge of a snow field and fell about 50 feet. The hiker called 911 on his cell phone just before 5 o’clock yesterday morning and said it happened the evening before and he had made it back to his camp site planning to wait until morning then walk out, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s Cmdr. Steve Aust said the hiker found however he was in severe pain with a deep cut to his knee and realized he needed help. He was about two miles south of the White Pass Ski Area, Aust said. A sheriff’s office Search and Rescue coordinator and others brought the injured hiker down a ski lift and he was taken to the hospital by friends, according to Aust.


• Centralia police responded about 10 p.m. yesterday to the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue to a report someone left the store with a cart-full of unpaid for groceries loaded them into a vehicle and drove away.

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday of money stolen from a business on Southwest Chehalis Avenue. The case is under investigation, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A 41-year-old Chehalis resident was arrested for third-degree theft after she was allegedly seen taking mail from a mailbox on the 2100 block of Southwest Salsbury Avenue in Chehalis. An officer responding about 8 p.m. booked  Cynthia Davis into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• A 25-year-old Winlock man was arrested for possession of suspected methamphetamine following a traffic stop about 4:30 a.m. today near the 300 block of South Market Street in Chehalis. Nicolas E. Dodrill was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Chehalis police were called about 9:25 a.m. yesterday to a report of a male hitting his child outside of Wal-Mart. An officer found no injury to the child and viewed video of the incident, concluding the individual did nothing criminal, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The child was acting out and was being given a “time out”, detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said.

• Chehalis police were called about 7 p.m. yesterday to a report of a male hitting his child outside of Wal-Mart. An officer was unable to locate the pair, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Aid was called to Safeway in Centralia yesterday afternoon when an individual with a seriously cut hand came inside to get help. Someone had bought a beverage for the homeless man and when he tried to open in the parking lot by smashing it on the curb, he cut his right hand, Riverside Fire Authority Firefighter-paramedic Jennifer Ternan said. He was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, she said.


• Centralia police were called about 12:25 p.m. yesterday to the 900 block of Harrison Avenue where a vehicle reportedly hit a dog and then backed up striking a vehicle and the drove away.

• A motorcyclist was hospitalized after slamming into the driver’s side of a mini van he said pulled out in front of him on the 3200 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia yesterday afternoon. “He estimated he was going 40 to 50 mph, northbound,” Riverside Fire Authority Firefighter-paramedic Jennifer Ternan said. Responders called about 5:20 p.m. found the 40-year-old patient was wearing a helmet, but he sustained serious injuries to his chest and neck, Ternan said. Nobody in the van was hurt, she said. The 63-year-old Centralia woman driving the van was cited for failing to yield the right-of-way and not having auto insurance, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for misdemeanor assault, malicious mischief; responses for alarms, dispute, protection order violation, suspicious circumstances, hit and run, collision on city street, rollover accident off county road, dog locked inside parked vehicle, vehicle getting “egged”; complaints of barking dog, noisy neighbors … and more.


CORRECTION: The item regarding the collision between the van and the motorcycle has been updated to reflect the correct age of the van’s driver.