Sirens & GavelsLatest comments

Wanted man flips plain-clothes cop the bird

July 18, 2014 12:58 p.m. - Updated: 1:36 p.m.

A wanted man was jailed earlier this month after he swore at and gave the finger to a plain-clothes sheriff's detective, then struck the detective and ran, according to court documents.

David E. Lee, 22, is in custody at the Geiger Corrections Facility. He faces charges of assaulting a police officer, obstruction and resisting arrest after a series of events around 8 p.m. on July 9 near Mount Spokane High School.

Lee was a passenger in a Chevy sedan that came upon two trucks, one pulled off to the side of North Lowe Road so the driver could take a photo of the sunset, she told investigators. The driver of the sedan sped past the two trucks, at which time Lee yelled profanity and “flipping the finger,” witnesses said. The driver of the second truck, Spokane County Sheriff's detective Shannon McCrillis, pulled the sedan over for a traffic stop.

A woman inside the car told police Lee asked whether McCrillis was a “real cop” because he had warrants out for his arrest. McCrillis said Lee was not compliant with his commands to keep his hands where he could see them during the stop, and when he tried to take Lee into custody on his warrants, the 22-year-old struck the detective with his elbow and ran to the woods nearby.

Police dog Laslo was eventually called in to take Lee into custody. Drug paraphernalia was found in a bag belonging to Lee inside the car, according to police reports.

1 comment ›

Suspected van burner leaves trail of hard lemonade for police

July 17, 2014 3:02 p.m. - Updated: 3:38 p.m.

A 60-year-old Spokane man was arrested on suspicions of arson after investigators found empty cans of Mike's Hard Lemonade at the scene of a scorching van and in the man's vehicle.

Steven Klemz was booked into Spokane County Jail early Thursday morning facing charges of arson and malicious mischief. Police were initially called to a home in the 6900 block of North G Street on Wednesday night around 10 p.m., according to court documents, after a home owner and Stemz got into an argument about yard work. An officer asked Stemz to leave, and he complied.

About two hours later, the home owner called police to say a van outside her home had been set ablaze and the tires of her nearby Chevy sedan slashed. The hoses in the yard had also been cut to prevent her from dousing the flames and the area was soaked in gasoline, she told investigators.

A neighbor reported hearing a bang shortly before midnight, shortly before the fire was reported. The neighbor also reported seeing Klemz in the yard. Found in a van nearby, Klemz denied involvement in the fire, but police found an empty Mike's Hard Lemonade can matching those found near the scene of the cut hoses and an empty gas can near the site of the fires.

Klemz's criminal history in Spokane County includes a burglary conviction in the 1970s, according to court records.

0 comments ›

Police want ‘chronic offender’ to stay in jail

July 12, 2014 8:46 p.m. - Updated: 8:51 p.m.

A Spokane police officer who monitors “chronic offenders” asked a judge this week to help keep a man considered one of the city’s most prolific burglars in jail by setting bail high.

Zachory J. Davis, 22, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of possession of a controlled substance after he was pulled over for driving erratically. Davis was already facing six charges of residential burglary in addition to charges of trafficking in stolen property, possession of stolen property and fourth-degree assault, all from last year.

Officer Kyle Yrigollen said he and his partner in the police department’s Chronic Offender Unit met with Davis eight times to offer him services to help him get out of his life of crime. He got a job, but then failed to show up for an appointment with Yrigollen, and Davis’ employer said he had stopped showing up for work.

0 comments / Read full post ›

Loud music leads to arrest

June 18, 2014 5:49 p.m. - Updated: 5:51 p.m.

A man who refused to turn his music down after repeated visits from the Spokane Valley Police Department found himself temporarily housed in the Spokane County Jail.

An officer was called to the 1100 block of North University Road around 7:45 p.m. Monday on a noise complaint. The officer reported hearing the music well down the street and feeling the bass in his body, said police spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin. The resident, identified as 27-year-old Zachary Villareal, was less than cooperative and reportedly told the officer “This is the third time you guys have been here. Why don’t you just give me a ticket so I can go back to my music.”

Once Villareal made it clear he had no intention of lowering the volume he was arrested for a violation of the city’s noise ordinance, said Chamberlin.

2 comments ›

Suspected robber uses spoils to spoil mother

June 12, 2014 12:43 p.m. - Updated: 12:51 p.m.

A 24-year-old man used a credit card he swiped from a Spokane Valley shopper in a strong-arm April robbery to buy a Mother's Day present online, according to investigators.

Spokane Valley authorities searched several residences last week looking for Damian Plumley and evidence of the April 24 incident. A woman said she was walking from her car following a shopping trip when a man matching Plumley's description bumped her from behind, knocking her to the ground. The man took her purse, which contained several credit cards.

Detectives learned those credit cards were used to buy items at a local convenience store and at several department stores' websites. While searching Plumley's residence in the 11000 block of East Fourth Avenue, police found an electric tea kettle they confirmed was bought using the robbery victim's credit card.

Plumley's mother told police her son had bought it for her as a Mother's Day gift.

Plumley is in custody of the Spokane County Jail facing charges of robbery, identity theft, leaving the scene of an injury accident and possession of stolen property.

1 comment ›

Dog rescued from Spokane River

June 4, 2014 5:22 p.m. - Updated: June 6, 5:24 p.m.

The Spokane Fire Department’s technical rescue team pulled a cold and tired dog from the Spokane River Wednesday afternoon in Riverfront Park.

The dog apparently fell down a steep embankment and was spotted swimming in the river near Canada Island, said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer. “It was an animal in distress,” Schaeffer said. “The only way to rescue the animal safely was to treat it as we would a human.”

Firefighters used their equipment to get down the embankment and save the dog. A harness was fashioned for the dog and firefighter/paramedic Kelly Hoyt held the dog as he was pulled up the steep slope.

The dog appeared tired and didn’t struggle, Schaeffer said. “I think the dog was very surprised and looking for some help,” he said.

The dog’s tags enabled the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service to contact its owner, part-time Spokesman-Review employee Mike McLaughlin. McLaughlin said that the dog, named Dana, was frightened by Tuesday’s thunderstorm and bolted outside while he was trying to come in the front door of his home.

Dana is fine and resting quietly, McLaughlin said, and shows no desire for leaving home again. “She’s pretty worn out,” he said.

0 comments ›

Armed career criminal tries to check bag with gun at Northern Quest

May 27, 2014 4:50 p.m. - Updated: 4:59 p.m.

A 54-year-old convicted felon tried to leave a bag containing drugs and a revolver at the Northern Quest Resort & Casino last week, prompting criminal charges and a federal investigation.

John B. Suttle was booked into Spokane County Jail on Friday after a coat check attendant reported he tried to check a bag containing a hypodermic needle. A later search of the bag revealed a .22 revolver and a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine and another that looked like heroin, according to court documents.

When asked about the gun, Suttle said he found it outside the casino and picked it up to sell because he needed money, according to court documents. Because of his prior convictions, an investigative agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms arrived to interview Suttle, who said he knew he shouldn't be handling a gun as a convicted felon, according to court documents.

Suttle faces charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing drugs with intent to deliver.

0 comments ›

Supreme Court decision prompts more restitution from Greg Jeffreys

May 20, 2014 9:23 a.m. - Updated: 12:24 p.m.

A recently filed U.S. Supreme Court opinion has federal prosecutors asking for about $2 million more in restitution from jailed Spokane developer Greg Jeffreys, who pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud in a series of real estate schemes.

Sentencing documents filed ahead of a scheduled hearing in June had originally asked Jeffreys - who admitted in November to duping individual investors and banks on projects including condominiums, units in the downtown Ridpath Tower and a military facility off Highway 2 - to pay back $10.3 million. But a decision rendered in Washington, D.C., earlier this month in the case of a convicted mortgage fraudster out of Wisconsin prompted prosecutors to revise that amount closer to $12 million.

The unanimous decision in Robers v. United States, decided in a lightning-fast (for the court) 10 weeks after oral argument, overturned restitution guidelines set forth by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, according to prosecutors. While the Wisconsin court ruled Benjamin Robers, a man who bought two houses using fraudulent loan applications, must pay the difference between the amount the bank lent and how much the properties sold for after foreclosure, the Ninth Circuit had calculated restitution based on the value of forfeited properties at the time they were seized. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in February 2013 to settle the dispute in the way the two courts calculated restitution.

The decision affirming the Wisconsin court's practice increases the amount Jeffreys owes banks and investors on three properties that were foreclosed upon, prosecutors say in documents filed last week. This includes units in the downtown Ridpath tower.

Jeffreys' ex-wife, Kimberly Jeffreys, also pleaded guilty in February to a charge of fraud in dealings surrounding the military facility. She is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced in July for her role in the scheme, facing a potential six-month sentence and restitution of close to $160,000.

Shannon Stiltner, a woman who lived with Greg Jeffreys in Las Vegas and pleaded guilty in November to deliberately ignoring signs her boyfriend was swindling investors, is serving her seven-month sentence at a federal detention center in Seattle. Stiltner has been ordered to pay $58,000 in restitution and is scheduled for release in August.

Prosecutors have not filed requests to change Kimberly Jeffreys' or Shannon Stiltner's restitution amounts.

0 comments ›

Second man accused of selling heroin arrested

May 16, 2014 1:20 p.m. - Updated: 1:33 p.m.

Spokane police arrested 55-year-old Ernie Hern this week, the second of a pair accused of selling heroin out of a residence in the East Central neighborhood through March of last year.

Hern faces multiple possession and sale of drug charges after police used a confidential informant to buy heroin from him in January 2013, according to court documents. The informant allegedly twice bought heroin at home in the 200 block of Fiske Street, once from Hern and a second time a month later from Timothy Price, 36.

When authorities raided the house in March 2013, Price was there, but Hern wasn't. Price was arrested and scheduled to be arraigned, but never showed up, according to court records. He was taken back into custody last month and has pleaded not guilty to a drug trafficking charge.

Both Hern and Price have criminal histories that include past drug charges. Prosecutors are asking Hern be held on $1,000 bond in the new charge.

2 comments ›

Spokane looking for Police Ombudsman Commission volunteers

May 9, 2014 1:49 p.m. - Updated: 1:50 p.m.

Spokane is looking for volunteers to serve on the new Police Ombudsman Commission.

Applicants must undergo a background check and interviews. Application deadline is June 6 and city leaders want to have the five-member commission empaneled by mid-July.

Application materials are available at spokanecity.org.

The commission will provide independent oversight of the city's police ombudsman, who reviews internal investigations into police misconduct. The ombudsman was created following disclosure of the department's sloppy and incomplete investigation into the role of its own officers in the fatal 206 confrontation with Otto Zehm, who had been erroneously implicated in a theft and beaten, shocked with a Taser and hogtied by officers in a convenience store.

The U.S. Justice Department later described the investigation as a departmental coverup. Three officers eventually were indicted on federal charges.

0 comments ›
Back to Spokesman Mobile