Sirens & Gavels

Pics show cleaver seized outside debate

These weapons were seized from a man who police say was saving them at Patty Murray supporters. (Spokane Police Department)
These weapons were seized from a man who police say was saving them at Patty Murray supporters. (Spokane Police Department)

Police arrested a man around 5 p.m. Thursday outside KSPS studios after he drove by a group of Sen. Patty Murray supporters waving a meat cleaver.

Johnny J. Sieler, 50, first drove by the group with a knife, shouting profanities about Murray, Spokane police said.

He upgraded his weapon to a meat cleaver and drove by a second time, according to police. As he drove by, he slowed his vehicle down and made chopping motions as he held the cleaver out his car windows.

Some of the supporters felt so threatened they backed away from the suspect, police said. Spokane police were on the scene when Sieler drove around the third time.

Officers stopped Sieler, who reached for the knives as they approached him.

He was arrested for intimidation with a weapon and booked into Spokane County Jail. Officers found several knives in his car.

"The police were right on him," said Dave Hawkins, who was waving signs for Murray.

The studio was preparing to host a debate between Murray and Republican candidate for Senate Dino Rossi. Sieler remains in jail on $500 bond.




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