Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Prosecutors: Arsonist planned to continue lighting fires after leaving his burning bedroom

Monday, March 24th, 2014
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Jonathan P. Brown listens to defense lawyer Bob Schroeter after he is charged with arson, for the second time in less than five years.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Charging documents allege 26-year-old Jonathan P. Brown doused his bed and pillows with lamp oil before setting a fire while his mother and 87-year-old grandfather slept and then walked down the street with a lighter, intending to to start as many structure fires as he could before police found him.

Brown, 26, appeared in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon, charged with one count of first-degree arson in connection with the early yesterday morning events on the 3400 block of Prill Road in Centralia.

He’s been there before.

In 2009, the then-21-year-old pleaded guilty to a string of six fires and attempted fires in the Centralia area that caused or could have caused damage to buildings including a residence and a garage. He was sentenced to four and half years in prison.

Centralia police impounded his truck this weekend looking for evidence from an early morning fire on Saturday about a mile from his home that burned the front door area to an unoccupied house, according to court documents.

“I think he presents a distinct threat to public safety, a very grave one,” Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Eisenberg told a judge this afternoon as he recommended a high amount for bail.

Brown, handcuffed and shackled at his waist and ankles, was represented by defense attorney Bob Schroeter.

Judge Richard Brosey set bail at $250,000 and signed no-contact orders regarding Brown’s mother and grandfather.

His mother was in the courtroom, but declined to comment.

Sunday’s fire was contained to the bedroom, but charging documents and the fire department give an account of what could have been deadly.

Brown’s mother, Deborah Brown, said she woke up to a fire alarm, went into her son’s room and found burning pillows atop a large chair.

She yelled for her son, she yelled for her father to wake up and tried to get a bowl of water from the kitchen tap, but found there was no water pressure, according to charging documents. She ran back to the bedroom, grabbed the pillows and managed to smother the flames, charging documents state.

She then woke up her father John Germeau who is hard of hearing and called 911. It was 5:40 a.m.

Deborah Brown suffered minor burns to her hand or hands.

The fires in May and early June almost five years ago included a detached garage on Ham Hill Road, and others such as the tarp covering a recreational vehicle and someone’s portable shed, Riverside Fire Authority Chief Jim Walkowski recalled this morning. Court documents indicate Centralia police investigated two fires on Prill Road and Brown admitted to an incident at the historic Borst Home.

Brown was arrested on June 2, and his lawyer Don Blair noted in court documents his defense at trial would include general denial, diminished capacity and potentially mental health issues. But by the end of July the former assistant manager at the Midway Cinema pleaded guilty. Judge Nelson Hunt gave him 54 months – the top of the standard sentencing range – plus some months of community custody.

He was ordered to pay restitution of almost $20,000 to an insurance company and $1,000 to an individual.

It’s not clear when Brown was released from prison. Centralia Police Department detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald said it was “recently”. A letter in his court file from the state Department of Corrections states he was terminated from community custody on May 7, 2012, as he was screened for it and found not eligible for supervision.

Charging documents in the current case say when Brown was interviewed at the jail by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office detective Dan Riordan, Brown admitted starting the fire in his room.

“He then opened the window in the bedroom to let the fire breathe and to allow the smoke to exit the house to prevent the smoke alarm from being activated,” prosecutors wrote.

Prosecutors allege he said he meant to burn the house to the ground, and knew it was a possibility his mother and grandfather could have been overcome by smoke and died.

When asked why, his answer was vague, but did relay he was upset with his mother over some personal issues, prosecutors wrote.

After starting the fire, he left the house, and walked down the street with his lighter, planning to start more fires until he was caught, he reportedly told the detective.

But his lighter broke, and he threw it into the brush.

He was detained yesterday morning on Mayberry Road  by a Centralia officer and K-9 partner, according to the sheriff’s office.

Brown’s arraignment is scheduled for Thursday morning. Judge Brosey appointed Blair to represent him again.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, March 24th, 2014

FIREARMS, FOOD, SMOKES MISSING AFTER ONY BREAK-IN

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning they are investigating evidence left at the scene of a burglary in Onalaska in which four rifles, two shotguns a bow and it arrows were among the more than $4,000 worth of valuables stolen. Also taken were a carton of Camel cigarettes, various groceries, $200 cash and other property, according to the sheriff’s office. The break-in at the 300 block of Dluhosh Road took place sometime between 4:15 a.m. on Friday and 8:15 p.m. the same day, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

COMPUTER STOLEN

• Centralia police were called to the 1400 block of Lewis Street about 11:15 p.m. on Saturday where a resident reported someone came into his apartment and stole a laptop computer.

RV INTRUDER CHASED, GETS AWAY

• Centralia police are investigating an incident from about 3 a.m. on Saturday in which a male was caught by a resident entering a travel trailer at the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue. There was a brief struggle and the subject fled, pursued by the resident but escaped, according to the Centralia Police Department.

INTOXICATED TEEN HOSPITALIZED

• Police contacted a 19-year-old Centralia resident about 2 a.m. on Sunday for allegedly assaulting his younger brother, but the suspect had drank so much alcohol he was left in the hands of medical providers at Providence Centralia Hospital, according to police. Christopher H. Tucker was arrested for misdemeanor assault as well as minor consuming alcohol in connection with the incident at the 500 block of Hillkress Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• A 42-year-old homeless person was arrested late yesterday afternoon for vehicle prowl in the second degree after contact with an officer at the 200 block of West Reynolds Avenue in Centralia. Paul I. Ramirez was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FRAUD AND TRICKERY

• A 69-year-old Chehalis woman who did volunteer work at St. Mary Catholic Church in Centralia contacted police on Saturday morning to report when she attempted to file her tax return, she learned one had already been submitted using her social security number, according to the Chehalis Police Department. An individual at the 1000 block of Orton Street in Centralia contacted police the day before to report someone tried to file their tax return.

• Centralia police say that as of Friday, they had received multiple reports of a male phoning area businesses advising they are behind in their utility or gas bills and attempting to persuade them to pay up by purchasing a cash card and supplying him with the number.

VEHICLE THEFT

• A Morton man whose 1975 cargo van was stolen at the end of January was contacted after it turned up late Friday night abandoned in a wooded area off the 100 block of Roundtop Road in Mineral, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES NETS THREE

• A pair of 53-year-old Chehalis men were arrested for trespassing around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday after someone reported people cutting firewood behind a storage business near the 100 block of Gershick Road in Silver Creek. David R. Shive and Timothy C. Johnson were cited, and a trooper who initially responded arrested a third person, Tay Salazar, on an outstanding warrant, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Salazar was booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police responded about 5:15 p.m. on Friday to a report kids were throwing rocks off the West Street bridge in Chehalis, with one hitting the windshield of a car. No suspects were located, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

WRECKS

• A 14-year-old passenger and a 4-year-old passenger escaped injury when a 33-year-old Chehalis woman rolled and wrecked her car yesterday evening at the 100 block of Antrim Road outside Winlock. A deputy responding following the approximately 6:15 p.m. collision was told by the driver the sun got in her eyes at a curve and she swerved to miss another vehicle causing her to run into the ditch, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The Ford Focus was described as totaled; the driver complained of head pain and was cited for second-degree negligent driving as the deputy concluded she was traveling about 52 mph in a 35 mph zone, according to the sheriff’s office.

• An 18-year-old Chehalis woman was hospitalized following a single-vehicle wreck in which she reportedly fell asleep at the wheel on state Route 6 just east of Schueber Road near Chehalis on Saturday night. Madison L. Tereski was westbound in a Honda Civic when the car veered to the right, traveled down an embankment, rolled and came to rest in a d itch, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers responding about 11:50 p.m. blamed fatigued driving and were to issue a citation for wheels off the roadway, according to the state patrol. Tereski was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with unspecified injuries. Her car was totaled, the investigating trooper reported.

DOG, OWNER, SOUGHT FOLLOWING HIT AND RUN

• Centralia police were called about 11:30 a.m. yesterday after a large dog chasing a cat across a street collided with a vehicle, causing a large amount of damage to the vehicle. The driver described the canine as a Pit Bull and told police she made contact with its owner, who then left the scene, according to the Centralia Police Department. It happened in the area of East Plum and South Gold street, and remains under investigation, according to police.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for alarms, disputes, children fighting, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets and county roads, canine tangled in its dog run, children on roof of elementary school, a flash then a bang like a bomb that shook a house, customer using bad checks for purchase and then returning merchandise for a refund, unknown person smearing peanut butter and unidentified substance on windshield of vehicle and windows of house, Justin A. Beaber, 27, Centralia, was cited for failing to transfer the title to his vehicle within 45 days; complaints of music blaring from a parked vehicle, a man in a bathrobe digging through a cigarette butt can on a someone else’s porch, running dogs, barking dog, dog in the wrong backyard … and more.

Centralian arrested for arson has previous arson convictions

Monday, March 24th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The 26-year-old Centralia man arrested for allegedly setting a fire in his bedroom while others in the home were sleeping early yesterday morning was arrested and convicted for arsons in the spring of 2009 in Centralia.

Jonathan P. Brown was released from prison and then subsequently from post-release community custody requirements in May 2012, according to authorities.

Centralia police confirmed they interviewed Brown in connection with a Saturday morning fire at an unoccupied house on Bengal Court, about a mile from his home.

Firefighters and deputies responding to the 5:40 a.m. incident yesterday at the 3400 block of Prill Road learned Brown’s 58-year-old mother awakened to a smoke alarm and discovered two pillows and a large chair burning in his room, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. She and an 87-year-old man residing there were able to escape, but the mother sustained minor burns to her hand putting the fire out, according to authorities.

Riverside Fire Authority Chief Jim Walkowski described the damage as confined to the bedroom. Brown was located yesterday not far from his home, on Mayberry Road by a Centralia officer and K-9 partner, according to the sheriff’s office.

Centralia Police Department detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald said he recalled the 2009 fires as similar in nature to the Bengal Court fire. Investigators found the area around the front door burning around 5:30 a.m. Saturday and also various scorch marks on the side of the house.

Brown was arrested yesterday for first-degree arson, domestic violence and booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

He is tentatively scheduled to go before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court at 4 p.m. today.

•••

For background, read “Fire, law enforcement investigating two arsons in Centralia” from Sunday March 23, 2014, here

Fire, law enforcement investigating two arsons in Centralia

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014
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A firefighter cuts a hole through the exterior of a house on the 700 block of Bengal Court to ensure a fire is entirely extinguished on Saturday. / Courtesy photo by Riverside Fire Authority

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Centralia man is in custody this morning after firefighters were called to a home where a burning pillow was taken out of a house by a woman who lives there.

She suffered a minor burn to her hand, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The incident occurred at just about the same time early this morning as an arson attempt yesterday morning at a vacant house for sale about a mile away, Fire Chief Jim Walkowski said.

“At about 5:40 a.m. (today) we got called to a residential structure fire at the 3400 block of Prill Road, but while enroute, we were advised they had the fire out,” Walkowski said. “We found a fire intentionally set inside the house.”

The damage was limited to a bedroom, in the home occupied by three adults, one of whom was detained by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, according to the fire department.

The fire department and the sheriff’s office remain at the scene, conducting an investigation, Walkowski said. The other inhabitants had been sleeping, he said.

“Why? At this point no, we don’t know why he did that,” Walkowski said. “It’s very unfortunate.”

The fire department and law are still investigating a fire from yesterday morning at the 700 block of Bengal Court in which crews called about 5:23 a.m. found flames around the front door and quickly put it out.

Multiple attempts to ignite a fire there were found, with scorch marks discovered on the side of the house, according to the chief.

Centralia police brought a person in for questioning yesterday about that fire, Walkowski said. He declined to say if it was same man the sheriff’s office arrested this morning, saying it was something law enforcement would be able to better address.

The damage yesterday at Bengal Court was estimated at about $8,000, personnel remained on the scene about five hours, according to Walkowski.

It is not related to a residential fire on March 9 nearby on the 600 block of Bengal Court where at about 4:30 a.m. fire was discovered around a bathroom ceiling fan, according to the fire department. That was definitely electrical, the chief said.

Rochester resident was a suspected burglar, before fatal standoff

Friday, March 21st, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Derral Kenneth Mosby was wanted on two warrants, one in Lewis County and another out of Thurston County Superior Court.

But he also knew Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sgt. Rob Snaza wanted to talk with him about as many as five burglaries ranging from Vader, to Adna and into Rochester.

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Derral Kenneth Mosby

“We thought he might be pawning stuff,” Snaza said. And he believed law enforcement in Thurston County wanted to talk with him as well, Snaza said.

At the end of February, a warrant was issued after the 36-year-old Rochester man failed to appear in court for a drug possession case in Thurston County. At about the same time, a trafficking in stolen property charge was filed in Lewis County Superior Court, alleging a pearl necklace Mosby gave his 6-year-old daughter came from a burglary on Penning Road west of Chehalis.

A Lewis County judge signed a $25,000 arrest warrant.

The web site for the TV show Washington’s Most Wanted featured him shortly after, when Lewis County shared on its Facebook page they would like tips on the whereabouts of the 6-foot 8-inch tall subject who frequented the Centralia area and had ties to Ridgefield.

A week ago, following a standoff at his parents home near Ridgefield, the wanted man was dead.

“Shots were fired and Mosby was struck,” the Clark County Sheriff’s Office said.

His former neighbor in Rochester hadn’t spoken a word to him in a year, since the two of them had a disagreement about suspicions of Mosby cutting wood from his property to sell, and Mosby punched him the face one day.

But, said Bryan Fisher who previously considered Mosby a best friend, he’ll take off work early tomorrow to attend the funeral.

Mosby, who went by Kenny, was good person with a good heart and a devoted father to his 6-year-old daughter, with a yard full of play equipment he’d made for her, according to Fisher.

He used to work as a millwright at Cascade Hardwood but after he lost his job, he battled depression, Fisher said.

He’d lost his younger brother and when his sister committed suicide last July, he just went off the deep end, Fisher said.

“He was a really great guy, a really talented ballplayer in high school; he went to W.F. West and graduated from Rochester,” he said. “Before the drugs got to him, he was a pretty loyal guy.”

Others in the Rochester neighborhood began to get leery about things getting stolen as well, according to Fisher.

“The guy didn’t work for three years, and managed to keep food on his table,” he said.

Mosby’s house was foreclosed on earlier this year, he said.

According to court documents, back in November, someone  kicked open a door at a home on Penning Road, west of Chehalis and took all the jewelry plus a camera from the master bedroom, but left two firearms in the bedroom closet.

Snaza said some of the other break-ins under investigation included similarly kicked in doors.

Court documents say a detective investigating a burglary on Clinton Road in Adna learned of a suspicious maroon truck and on Feb. 1, a deputy contacted Mosby in his maroon truck, parked in the middle of the night at state Route 6 and Schueber road .

Mosby said he couldn’t go home to Rochester, because of a retraining order involving ex-girlfriend, court documents state. He was talked to and let go, according to court documents.

Two weeks ago, law enforcement officers swarmed a rest area off Interstate 5, after, according to KATU TV in Portland, Mosby’s father called the state patrol, telling them his son had just called him and told him he was shot in the leg and was at the southbound Gee Creek rest area near Ridgefield.

Local law enforcement reached out to the Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force, who helped look for Mosby that night, according to Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Eric Wahlstrom in Portland.

And U.S. Marshals continued to search for Mosby, Wahlstrom said.

There were no federal warrants, only the two from Lewis and Thurston counties, he said.

“We tend to be the ones who are available to sit and surveil places,” he said.

Wahlstrom said the reasons they considered Mosby armed and dangerous were because they had information from family and friends that he had access to firearms, that he had said he had been shot that day and that he could have been suicidal.

Some leads took law enforcement to Albany, Ore. and then it was U.S. Marshals who searched a barn last Friday in the Ridgefield area and subsequently discovered Mosby was at his parents home, according to Wahlstrom. They called the Clark County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, he said.

Sgt. Fred Neiman of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office said that after attempts to get Mosby to peaceably surrender, Mosby emerged from the residence, armed with a firearm and confronted SWAT team members. Mosby was hit, and deceased before the ambulance could take him to a hospital, according to Neiman.

Exactly how many shots were fired or who fired them or other similar details have not been revealed. Neiman said all of that will be released after an investigation conducted by an outside law enforcement team. And then the county prosecutor will make a determination about if deadly force was justified, he said.

Six members of the sheriff’s office, along with a patrol supervisor from the Battleground Police Department were all placed on what Neiman called critical incident leave.

Neiman said it was common practice after any traumatic incident. The last time he could recall multiple officers being put on the paid leave from a single event was a shooting incident in 2008 or 2009, he said. It’s not a disciplinary action, but an opportunity to “decompress,” he said.

Fisher said it was about the same time as the manhunt at the rest area, he found Mosby’s home in Rochester surrounded by deputies from Thurston County. He spoke with them, he said.

Deputies did want to talk with Mosby about burglaries, Fisher said.

“Kenny did not want to be caught,” he said.

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SWAT activity for wanted subject near Ridgefield on March 14. / Courtesy photo by Clark County Sheriff’s Office

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Updated at 9:40 p.m.

FIREARMS STOLEN

• Centralia police were called to the 1100 block of Roosevelt Avenue late yesterday afternoon regarding the theft of three handguns along with a jar of change from a residence. It’s not clear how someone gained entry or when the burglary occurred, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning that about $1,800 worth of tools and equipment were stolen from an unlocked service truck a the 100 block of Central Avenue in Onalaska sometime between 9 p.m. on Tuesday and 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

VANDALISM

• A deputy responded to the 1200 block of Wildwood Road in Curtis yesterday morning to take a report of someone breaking a window to a truck during the night.

DRUGS

• A deputy was called to Onalaska High School yesterday afternoon where the principal said he learned from a student that a 15-year-old girl had some marijuana. The case was referred to juvenile prosecutors for a possible charge of possession, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

WANTED PERSON

• A 50-year-old Tacoma man was arrested for making a false statement after a deputy was advised early this morning of a wanted subject parked at the Mossyrock dam turnout. The sheriff’s office said Nicholas A. WIld denied having a warrant, denied ever being arrested before, denied being a registered sex offender and gave his brother’s name as his own. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail also for warrants, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• Matthew D. Westlin, 25, was allowed to remain free on a $15,000 signature bond after appearing in Lewis County Superior Court this week to face seven charges of third-degree assault. Prosecutors allege that on Feb. 9 at Providence Centralia Hospital, the confused and combative patient spit on five hospital staff, urinated on another and bit the finger of a security guard, according to court documents. His arraignment is scheduled for March 27. Third-degree assault carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  misdemeanor domestic assault, drug offenses for which information was not readily available; responses for disputes, misdemeanor theft, runaway juveniles, suspicious circumstances,  collisions on city streets and county roads… and more.

The sun sets on House of the Rising Son

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
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Judy Chafin looks over sentencing documents with her lawyer Sam Groberg in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Chehalis woman who operated halfway houses in Lewis County for newly released prisoners and homeless persons is entirely done with that mission, she says.

Judy Chafin was sentenced yesterday morning to 30 days of house arrest, for a prescription drug possession offense she says was simply an oversight on her part.

As she nears the end of numerous actions against her from various governmental authorities, she says she feels horrible.

“I didn’t expect to have a felony at age 62,” Chafin said after leaving the courtroom. “I live like a Christian, so this is like a slap, a big slap.”

Chafin began to get a lot of attention from law enforcement and then city and county officials beginning about two years ago when residents on a rural Chehalis road complained they didn’t want multiple felons, especially registered sex offenders, living together under one roof in their neighborhood.

Chafin owned what she called the House of the Rising Son in Chehalis and managed other similar homes in Centralia and out in the county on Nix and Clark roads. Except for the Chehalis house, a former church, she sub-leased the rentals to people she found who needed assistance getting back on their feet after they’d done their time in prison.

She described the home owners as individuals who got tired of renting to drug addicts, and made her number one house rule as no drugs or alcohol.

The city of Chehalis and Lewis County began filing zoning and health code complaints against her facilities. Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield vowed to do everything he could to shut her down, including getting new ordinances crafted and writing a letter when he was able to find out who it was in the prison system who was working closely with Chafin.

Last spring, as Chehalis police investigated her ex-husband in connection with suspected sales of hydrocodone, they ended up arresting him and Chafin during a traffic stop.

She was charged with possession of seven and half pills of morphine, with delivery of drugs and with a forgery count. By the time her trial began last week, prosecutors had dismissed all but the possession charge. A jury found her guilty during the one-day trial in Lewis County Superior Court.

Defense attorney Sam Groberg told a judge yesterday his client is the primary caregiver for her infant great-grandchild and has no criminal history.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Eisenberg told Judge Lawler that because there were so many allegations swirling around, he wanted to ask for a month-long sentence in the jail, but since Chafin has health issues he recommended instead two months of so-called electronic home monitoring.

“I’m aware the state had a lot of allegations, but those things were not proved, not charged,” Lawler said. “There’s no reason to treat this case differently than any other.”

What the jury heard at trial, was the bottle of hydrocodone in Chafin’s purse was prescribed to her. The morphine pills found in her purse had been in there for some months, and belonged to a former housemate.

Chafin said she called a probation officer on the housemate for misusing his medicine, and after he was taken to jail, the pills were left out in a common area. She scooped them up because she had a grandchild in the house, she said. And they ended up in the zipper part of her purse.

“That taught me a lesson, to never hold anything for anyone,” she said. “It shouldn’t be illegal to do something normal in your own home for safety.”

The attentions she’s gotten from police is all about her now ex-husband, she says.

“The thing is, I don’t do illegal drugs, I don’t sell illegal drugs,” she said.

Lawler also ordered Chafin to pay $3,500 in fees, be subject to community custody for one year after serving her time and to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and abide by its recommendations.

“You’ve probably figured this out, but you’re under a lot of scrutiny from law enforcement,” Lawler told her. “If anything is going on, you need to stop, you need to distance yourself from some people.”

She continues to live at the Chehalis home she owns, with family only, she said.

The various other houses are no longer operating and she quit her involvement in that mission months ago, she said. She chose not to fight the various zoning actions. She found places for the occupants, and prays for them every day, she said.

Chafin says she still feels its much safer for the community for registered sex offenders to have a roof over their head, as opposed to being turned out to the streets where they are more difficult to keep track of. Her zeal came from a relative who was victimized, she said.

“I believe the state needs to provide for that,” she said.

Still pending, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries announced in September that following an investigation, Chafin was charged with wrongly collecting benefits since 2006 for an on-the-job injury from when she was a caregiver at Tiffin House in Centralia.

Although she submitted claims stating she could not work, L and I contends Chafin was working when she operated the House of the Rising Son and other homes for released prisoners and homeless persons.

She remains charged with 30 counts of forgery and one count of first-degree theft.
•••

For background, read:

• “Discord on Nix Road: Newest arrivals unwelcome” from Saturday March 3, 2012, here

• “The backstory: Intelligence gathering, possible fines and code enforcement tools “not normally used” from Sunday March 4, 2012, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

MATTRESS CATCHES FIRE

• Riverside Fire Authority was called to a home on Wayne Drive around 10 o’clock this morning where residents were attempting to drag a burning mattress outside. Nobody was hurt, but it flared up and scorched a wall, Fire Capt. Erik Olson said. “It smoked up the house pretty well,” Olson said. Crews removed the smoke, and suspect the smoldering was related to smoking materials, according to Olson.

SNACK ATTACK

• A deputy was called about 6:30 a.m. yesterday to an espresso stand in the 100 block of Carlisle Avenue in Onalaska after a customer asked for the time and then grabbed a handful of candy bars, muffins and doughnut holes and left. A 17-year-old fitting a description of the subject was subsequently contacted in the 100 block of Central Avenue and arrested for third-degree theft and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The $22 worth of snacks were returned, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

THEFT OF MONEY

• Centralia police took a report about 9 a.m. yesterday from the the 1100 block of Borthwick Street regarding $1,700 missing cash from a home.

FRAUD AND TRICKERY

• Chehalis police were contacted yesterday by a woman who was notified by her bank that someone had created and used a check featuring her account number but a different name.

• Centralia police were contacted yesterday afternoon by an individual at the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue regarding the fraudulent use of their debit card in California.

• Centralia police took another report yesterday from someone  whose social security number was was used by someone else to file a tax return.

• Chehalis police were contacted yesterday by a woman who said she received a threatening phone call from someone who said since she failed to file a tax return, they were going to send someone to her home. Detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said it was an attempt to coerce her into revealing personal information, probably so it could be used fraudulently. Wilson took the opportunity to remind folks if they are contacted by someone asking for such information, never, ever give it out. The Associated Press reports the IRS issued a statement today saying thousands of victims have lost more than $1 million in the largest phone scam the agency has ever seen with callers demanding payment by pre-paid debit card or wire transfers, threatening arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting; responses for alarms, disputes, misdemeanor theft, protection order violation, collisions on city streets … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Updated at 4:30 p.m.

BIG BAD BILL

• Centralia police took a report yesterday of a counterfeit $100 bill being passed at a business on the 600 block of Harrison Avenue.

MOOSE MONEY MISSING

• Police are investigating an overnight burglary at the Moose Lodge in Morton in which about $2,800 cash was stolen. They don’t yet have any suspects, Morton Police Department Chief Dan Mortensen said today. Officers were called to the building on the 100 block of First Street about 10 a.m. on Monday, after the manager arrived and discovered the break-in, Mortensen said.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police were called about 11:30 a.m. yesterday about a vehicle prowled at the 1800 block of Collision Street. Missing was a portable car battery jumper, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An acetylene torch was stolen from a vehicle at the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 1:45 p.m. yesterday.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• Defense attorney Sam Groberg confirmed today charges were dismissed against a client of his, a 26-year-old Centralia area man who was arrested last month for second-degree rape. Jonathan B. Charley was arrested by deputies on Feb. 17 following a short investigation into allegations made by an acquaintance, according to court documents. He pleaded not guilty to the offense which has a maximum possible penalty of life in prison, and then last week a deputy prosecutor asked a judge to dismiss the charge. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Joely O’Rourke wrote in her motion she had been unable to find the alleged victim. O’Rourke reserved the right to refile the charge in the future, according to court documents.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for alarms, collisions on city streets, misdemeanor domestic assault, other misdemeanor theft, someone “keying” someone else’s vehicle; complaints of someone getting water from someone else’s outdoor spigot, someone else parked in a man’s parking spot, someone “recording” a customer at Wal-Mart, homeless person setting up camp near a building … and more.

Knife assault victims recovering in two Chehalis cases; suspects charged

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
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Sheldon J. Hardy, 40, of Chehalis, is charged with first-degree assault in connection with a Sunday incident with a knife on Southeast Dobson Court in Chehalis.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Both men stabbed in separate incidents in Chehalis over the weekend are listed in satisfactory condition at a Seattle hospital while their two alleged assailants remain held in the Lewis County Jail.

Michael Bylsma, 25, suffered a single stab wound to his chest on Saturday afternoon in the driveway of the home on Southeast 16th Street where he lives with his friend Kevin A.R. Dawkins.

Authorities say the two argued and fought while out to pizza at lunchtime and resumed the dispute as soon as they returned home.

The victim in Sunday’s late afternoon incident outside an apartment complex on Southeast Dobson Court, 19-year-old Andres F. Santiago, sustained a wound to his chest and a laceration across his lower lip, according to charging documents.

It happened during an alteration witnessed by several others, apparently over something said to Santiago’s 17-year-old pregnant girlfriend, charging documents indicate.

Sheldon J. Hardy, 40, who told police he’d told authorities he’d been drinking and done a few lines of methamphetamine, told police Santiago charged him, court documents state. Police described the two as neighbors.

Hardy was charged yesterday with first-degree assault and ordered held on $250,000 bail. Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey said he’d set it at $50,000 over the weekend, but after hearing more of the allegation’s details and learning Hardy’s criminal history, he would increase the amount.

Dawkins, 24, who appeared before the judge during the same late afternoon hearing, is held on $100,000 bail. He is charged with second-degree assault.

Second-degree assault carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison; first-degree assault can mean lifetime incarceration.

Exactly why the two cases didn’t produce the same charge isn’t clear.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher one of his co-workers filed one of the cases and a second co-worker filed the other.

“Not all stabbings are equal,” Meagher said.

Recently hired Deputy Prosecutor Mark McLean mentioned to the judge Dawkins’ significant criminal history, noting two recent felonies and offenses such as burglary and theft.

In Hardy’s case, McLean listed seven past felony convictions such as drugs and forgery as well as two for third-degree assault going back as far as 1996.

In both cases, the weapon used was described by police as a kitchen-like knife with a blade of approximately four inches.

Both victims were treated at Providence Centralia Hospital.

Bylsma was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Saturday. Airlift was unavailable because of weather on Sunday so Santiago was transported there by ambulance.

Charging documents in Saturday’s incident don’t relay what Bylsma and Dawkins argued about, but cite a witness as saying the pair went into the residence on 16th Street for a short period and came back out yelling at each other.

David Graves, who had taken them to Sahara’s Pizza before the incident, told police he watched Bylsma walking backwards down the driveway with Dawkins walking towards him, and he saw Dawkins punch Bylsma in the chest and then drop a knife on the ground and leave the area, charging documents state in a two-page summary.

The five pages outlining why prosecutors believed they had probable cause for the charge in Sunday’s case don’t reveal a specific reason for the disagreement between Hardy and Santiago either.

One witness tells police Hardy came outside and said something to the 17-year-old girl that Santiago could hear and Santiago approached the two. Hardy was yelling at her as the two men came together and Hardy took up a fighting stance, the documents state.

The documents alleged Hardy took a swing and Santiago stopped fighting, and while his hands were down, Hardy hit him again in the face, both blows apparently with a knife in hand.

Another witness said he yelled at the suspect, who stopped what he was doing, charging documents state.

Fellow resident Michelle Gibson took Hardy back to his apartment and was yelling, “I told you guys what would happen,” charging documents state.

Gibson told police Hardy had exhibited behavior and violence issues in the past, once pulling a knife on her, according to the charging documents.

She said she thought his behavior on Sunday afternoon  was because he’d been evicted earlier that day, for similar issues, according to charging documents.

Both men in both cases will go before a judge on Thursday for their arraignments.
•••

For background, read “Breaking news: Young man hospitalized after stabbing in Chehalis” from Sunday March 16, 2014, here

2014.0317.kevin.dawkins.IMG_6214

Kevin A.R. Dawkins, 24, of Chehalis, is charged with second-degree assault in connection with a Saturday incident with a knife on Southeast 16th Street in Chehalis.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

ASSAULTS

• Centralia police say a male suffered a possible broken jaw when he was assaulted by two males at a party. Yesterday morning’s case, associated with an area near the railroad tracks off East Maple Street, remains under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 35-year-old Centralia man was arrested for second-degree assault late yesterday afternoon in connection with an address on the 1900 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. Officers responding about 5:20 p.m. booked Jeffrey T. Gould in the  the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.  Further details were not readily available.

OVEREXPOSED

• A 44-year-old Centralia man was locked up last night after he alleged displayed his bare butt to an individual. Police responding about 8:40 p.m. to the 2900 block of Mount Vista Road arrested Jeffrey A. Pickett for indecent exposure and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Someone slashed the tires on a vehicle parked at the 300 block of Tilley Avenue in Centralia during the night, according to a report made to police yesterday.

WRECKS

• Police and aid were called about 8:30 a.m. yesterday when a mini van collided with a Twin Transit bus at the intersection of West Main Street and Washington Avenue in Centralia. Police report the van’s driver sustained minor injuries; the fire department says two individuals were transported to the hospital. The bus was occupied by three or four individuals and the damage was such it was able to be driven from the scene, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Further details were not readily available.

• Firefighters and deputies responding shortly after 4:30 p.m. yesterday to a single-vehicle crash west of Centralia found a Subaru Legacy had left the roadway and collided with a tree. The fire department said the injuries were minor and the sheriff’s office said the driver declined to be treated. The 33-year-old Centralia man was on his way home from work and fell asleep along the 2200 block of Manners Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The vehicle sustained front end damage, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, drug arrest for which information is not readily available; responses for alarms, suspicious circumstances, misdemeanor assault, two bicycles stolen from a backyard, collisions on city streets  … and more.

Tenino area barn fire under investigation

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
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A pair of 20 and 30 year old horses lost their home, hay in a fire yesterday afternoon near Tilley Road. / Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A barn fire north of Tenino yesterday resulted in the loss of a large amount of household property stored inside during a home renovation as well as a dozen baby chicks.

Crews called about 1:30 p.m. to the scene near Tilley Road and 140th Avenue Southwest found the building fully engulfed in flames and threatening a line of trees, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

The fire was reported by a neighbor who saw smoke, called 911 and alerted the homeowner, according to Lt. Lanette Dyer.

Dyer said the approximately 1600-square-foot barn normally housed two horses, the chicks and animal feed. The owners had only recently moved in and many of their belongings were still stored there following a remodel, she said in a news release.

“The neighbor and owner then began working to clear animals from the immediate area,” Dyer said. “Entry into the barn, to get the baby chickens were hindered by intense smoke and flames and the owner was unable to gain entry.”

The building and its contents were destroyed, she stated.

Approximately 25 firefighters from five departments battled the blaze; nobody was injured and its cause remains under investigation.

Young mother who allowed abusive punishment of son pleads guilty to lesser charge

Monday, March 17th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Winlock mother of a 4-year-old boy who was abused by her live-in boyfriend will avoid jail time herself if she follows through with parenting classes and abides by other court ordered restrictions.

Ryon T. Connery, 31, was arrested at the end of November after the boy was found with numerous bruises and injuries and detectives learned of punishments inflicted such getting sprayed with a hose while forced to do pushups for various infractions such as wetting his pants and stealing food in the home.

Connery pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree child assault and was sentenced last month to 16 months in prison.

A soon as he was convicted, prosecutors charged the 23-year-old mother, Heather L. McNurlin, as an accomplice, contending she was present when the abuse was inflicted, and some of it was even her idea. The little boy was taken out of the home McNurlin and Connery shared and placed with his grandmother.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Joely O’Rourke said she and defense attorney Don Blair reached an agreement with a lesser charge of attempted assault of a child in the third degree, or conspiracy to commit the offense.

“She pleaded guilty, she didn’t get any jail time, but she’s on very extensive probation for the next two years,” O’Rourke said this afternoon.

O’Rourke said she thinks it’s in the best interest for the boy that his mother continue with parenting classes. They were already ordered by a family court judge in a separate action, as part of McNurlin’s requirements to regain custody of the boy, she said.

“She was really not the principle concern in that case, it was Mr. Connery,” O’Rourke said.

When the child was brought to the hospital at the end of November, he had a broken finger he said occurred when he dropped a weight on it, a scraped nose he said was from falling on his face trying to get away from a spanking and he spoke of being dunked in a dirty outdoor pool, according to charging documents.

A doctor who reviewed the case opined the youngster was malnourished and was the victim of starvation as well as abuse, both mentally and physically, according to the documents.

The mother said she and Connery had been in a dating relationship about four months. The abuse occurred between last July and into November, according to court documents.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt agreed with the lawyers’ recommendation and sentenced McNurlin on Thursday to 364 days in jail, suspended for 24 months as long as she complies with court ordered requirements such as the classes.

She was also ordered to pay various fines and fees and is prohibited from having any contact with Connery.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, March 17th, 2014

FRAUD

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning taking a report from another vicim of the apparent breach of information from the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle affecting employees and volunteers at St. Joseph School in Chehalis. A 40-year-old man who resides at the 2200 block of Salzer Valley Road outside Centralia contacted the sheriff’s office on Thursday to report someone used his social security number to file a federal tax return, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

• Centralia police yesterday took yet another report of checks fraudulently used in connection with the January break-in to the outdoor mail collection box at the Centralia Post Office.

TOOLS MISSING

• A deputy took a report on Saturday about a burglary to an outbuilding on Kauer Road in Packwood that occurred sometime during the previous 12 months. Among the missing items were two Homelight chainsaws, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $205.

DOMESTIC DISPUTE

• A Chehalis-area man was arrested on Saturday morning after when his wife served him with divorce papers he flipped over a kitchen table and broke a chair, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responding about 8:30 a.m. to the 900 block of North Fork Road arrested Michael L. Spurgeon for third-degree malicious mischief, according to the sheriff’s office. Because Spurgeon is a convicted felon and was found to have access to firearms, he was also arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Brown.

AUTO THEFT

• A red 1993 Honda Prelude was stolen from its driveway on the 900 block of D Street in Vader overt the weekend. A deputy responding on Saturday learned that sometime after midnight and before 8 a.m., the locked vehicle had disappeared, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It has a license plate of AMA2844, according to the sheriff’s office.

OVEREXPOSED

• Police responding about 10:30 a.m. yesterday to the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia arrested a 54-year-old homeless person for allegedly exposing himself in public. David L. Williams was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. He is to be released without felony charges filed.

DRUGS

• A 55-year-old Randle woman picked up on an outstanding warrant on Saturday morning was arrested for possession with intent to deliver when a search turned up more than 50 miscellaneous pills reportedly packaged for resale, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deborah L. West was found walking along the Cline Road and subsequently booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

WRECK

• A 21-year-old driver escaped injury but his Ford Ranger sustained major damage on Friday night when he lost control at a sharp corner on Lost Valley Road west of Chehalis, slid down an embankment and into a tree. A deputy responding about 9:15 p.m. issued the 21-year-old  citation for driving without liability insurance, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence; responses for alarms, protection order violations, suspicious circumstances, possible smuggling of marijuana into Green Hill School … and more.

Breaking news: Young man hospitalized after stabbing in Chehalis

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – For the second time in two days, a male was stabbed in the chest during a dispute in Chehalis.

The victim this afternoon is a 19-year-old who suffered apparently non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

Firefighters were called just before 5 p.m. to 600 block of Southeast Dobson Court, but just as the ambulance was pulling out, a car pulled up to the fire station with the victim inside, Fire Capt. Kevin Curfman said.

“Friends, or family, had driven him here,” Curfman said.

Medics and the engine returned to the station, the patient was treated, bandaged and transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Curfman.

The fire captain said he subsequently got word from medics after they returned from the hospital that the young man’s vitals were good and his wounds somewhat superficial.

Chehalis Police Department Officer Chris Taylor later said the victim was transported by ambulance to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, but did not know his condition.

Police arrested a resident of the apartment complex, Sheldon Hardy, 40 years old, for first-degree assault, according to Taylor.

Detectives are working on working out what the disagreement was about, Taylor said.

The 19-year-old is from Chehalis, although it wasn’t clear yet if he lived at the complex or was staying there with others, Taylor said.

Police and aid yesterday afternoon responded to a dispute in progress at a residence on Southeast 16th Street where a 25-year-old Chehalis man suffered a single stab wound to his chest.

Taylor said he believed that victim was airlifted to Harborview, and as of about 10 o’clock last night was stable, but in the intensive care unit.

A 24-year-old friend who lives at the same home, Kevin Dawkins, was taken into custody without incident at the scene and jailed for first-degree assault.

In both cases, the weapon used is described as a kitchen-like knife with a blade of approximately four inches, according to police.

News brief: Avoid the $10,000 ride home

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Troopers are trying out a new message hoping to curb celebrants from drinking and driving on St. Patricks Day, appealing to their pocketbooks instead of the risk of collision and injury.

A DUI conviction is expensive, according to the Washington State patrol.

They are calling it a $10,000 ride home.

“First time offenders can expect to pay an average cost of $10,000., Trooper Will Finn states. “By the time bail, fines, fees and insurance are paid; the costs could be more.”

And don’t forget about the time lost at work, along the toll your arrest could take on those important to you, Finn says.

It takes only minutes to make a responsible decision that could prevent a tragedy with life-lasting impacts, according to Finn.

He recommends:

• Plan ahead and designate a sober driver

• Call a taxi

• Call a sober friend to pick you up.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

CHEHALIS MAN STABBED

• Chehalis police and aid were called about 2:40 p.m. yesterday to Southeast 16th Street where a 25-year-old man suffered an apparent stab wound to his chest during a dispute. Police Sgt. Gwen Carrell said the victim, a Chehalis resident, was taken to the hospital. She said she didn’t have information on his current medical status. A 24-year-old Chehalis resident, Kevin Dawkins, was arrested for first-degree assault and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Carrell. Further details were not readily available.

ROBBERY IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police responded about 1 o’clock this morning to the 600 block of Centralia College Boulevard where they were told by a victim that after a bar dispute with an individual, he was chased down by the subject and several other people, assaulted and robbed of his wallet. The incident is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT

• Centralia police took a report about 7 p.m. yesterday from the 2400 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia regarding stolen medications

• Someone entered a residence on the 300 block of West Pine Street in Centralia and stole a cable box, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department on Friday.

FRAUD

• Centralia police were contacted on Friday by a female at the 800 block of Landing Way regarding someone using her name and social security number to file a tax return.

PARACHUTE ACCIDENT

• Aid was called about 10:30 a.m. yesterday to the Toledo AIrport when a skydiver landed about a quarter mile off course and suffered a leg injury. The woman in her 20s was conscious and alert with non-life threatening injuries, according to Lewis County Fire District 2. Chief Grant Wiltbank said she said the wind sent her onto ground where she didn’t intend to land, adjacent to a housing development on Skyhawk Drive near the northeast corner of the airport property. She was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, he said.

THREE AREA MEN AMONG NEWLY MINTED TROOPERS

• Three local individuals were sworn in as new troopers with the Washington State Patrol on Friday, and two of them will be assigned duties in Lewis County. Among the cadets presented their commission cards during a ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda in Olympia were, Joseph DePalma, of Tenino who will work in Bellevue; Michael S. Farkas, of Chehalis, who will work in Morton; and Joel E. Reinier, of Rochester, who will work in Chehalis, according to the state patrol. Historically, only about four to six percent of applicants continue on the graduate after more than 1,000 hours of training to become state troopers, according to a news release from state patrol Sgt. Kent Hitchings. “The 35 cadets graduating today endured a rigorous application process, extensive background investigation, and received the best training, unmatched anywhere else in the nation,” Chief John Batiste said in a prepared statement on Friday afternoon. “Today, they will join the ranks of Washington’s finest, as troopers of the Washington State Patrol.”

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor domestic assault, trespass; responses for collisions on city streets … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Updated

MORE FRAUDULENT TAX RETURNS

• A deputy was called yesterday to the 1900 block of Salzer Valley Road outside Centralia to take a report from a 47-year-old woman who said someone had used her name and social security number the day before trying to file a federal income tax return. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said the woman is working with the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle and federal authorities to resolve the issue. Early this week the Archdiocese notified employees and volunteers of a possible data system breach in which they discovered other similar victims. A Chehalis area couple who volunteer at St. Joseph School reported on Tuesday they were victimized as well.

BURGLARY AND OTHER THEFT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that someone burglarized a home and storage building at the 7100 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Glenoma sometime between March 5 and Saturday. Taken was about $1,700 of property including jewelry, candles, canned food and men’s, women’s and children’s’ clothing, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Centralia police took a report yesterday afternoon from the 1000 block of Scammon Creek Road of the theft of an empty oxygen bottle that had set out to be picked up and refilled.

• Luwanda G. Schfield, a 56-year-old Centralia woman, was arrested overnight for third-degree theft after allegedly agreeing to pay for a taxi ride for a family member from Vancouver to Centralia but not actually having the money to pay the fare when they arrived, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DISORDERLINESS

• A 34-year-old Centralia man who allegedly grabbed the buttocks of a female passing by on a sidewalk on the 100 block of North Tower Avenue scuffled with officer who tried to arrest him yesterday evening, according to police. Samuel A. Costello was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for misdemeanor assault and resisting arrest, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FROM THE COURTS

• The Washington State Court of Appeals reversed a Centralia woman’s 2011 conviction for possession of methamphetamine stating her lawyer was ineffective for failing to assert a warrantless search by police of a purse meant the contents of a glass pipe they confiscated should not have been allowed to be admitted as evidence. Jessica Hamilton was charged in Lewis County Superior Court following an incident in which her husband took the purse from the house and handed it over to police, a purse which Hamilton said did not belong to her but that she found in the family car and thought she would keep because it was cute, according to the opinion issued on Tuesday. The three-member panel wrote that Hamilton’s appeal attorney argued that no exception to the warrant requirement existed.

MISS CONGENIALITY ARRESTED

• KING5.com reports that just days before she was named Miss Congeniality at the Lewis County Scholarship Pageant, 18-year-old Chloe Curry of Adna was arrested at Wal-Mart for attempting to steal make up and beauty products. The story indicates judges in the competition were unaware of the incident as Curry used a different last name. Curry tells KING5′s Drew Mikkelsen it was a stupid mistake and something she will learn from. Police were called about 5 p.m. a week ago Wednesday where store security said they had two 18-year-old girls from Chehalis detained who had allegedly concealed about $100 worth of the merchandise in a purse, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Chloe D. Reavis and Erin M. McCall were issued criminal citations for third-degree theft and released pending a mandatory appearance in Chehalis Municipal Court in March 19, according to department spokesperson Linda Bailey.

VEHICLE VERSUS PEDESTRIAN

• Police and aid were called just after 6 p.m. yesterday when a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle making a left turn onto Southeast Sixth Street from Washington Avenue in Chehalis. The woman declined to be transported to the hospital, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

LAWNMOWER VERSUS CHILD

• Aid was called about 6:20 p.m. yesterday to the 400 block of River Heights Road in Centralia when a 7-year-old boy was backed over by a riding mower. “The dad felt a bump and shut the blades off right away,” Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Terry Ternan said. The child suffered an injury to his buttocks and was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, Ternan said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, disputes, non-injury collisions, suspicious circumstances, shoplifting and other misdemeanor theft, assaults and drug arrests for which no information is readily available … and more.