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Sirens & Gavels

Robbery suspect also a heroic rescuer

A man suspected of robbing three Spokane convenience stores last weekend rushed to a car crash to help a father and three children one year ago today.

Joseph D. Maine, 23, was working in his backyard with his brother when he heard the crash at 32nd and Ray on April 1, 2010. He and his brother rushed to the scene.

 “Hearing those little kids screaming. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I almost wanted to cry,” said Maine, who said he had two children of his own.

One year later, Maine is in the Spokane County Jail, after being arrested Wednesday for robberies Saturday at Mike's Grocery, 2025 N. Hamilton St., and at Zip Trip, 2005 N. Hamilton, and the Broadway Mini Market, 10304 E. Broadway Ave., on Sunday.

The victims on Sunday reported seeing the butt of a handgun in the robber's waistband.

Maine told friends he robbed the stores because he need money to pay bills, police say. The robber at Mike's Grocery reportedly told the clerk, “Sorry, bro. Gotta pay the bills,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

A tip led police to Maine, who told officers he was an unemployed heroin addict with a family to support. He said he used a BB gun during the robberies and “even apologized to the clerks because he had bills to pay,” according to the affidavit.

Police seized a black Daisy BB gun from a home where Maine was staying in the 3800 block of South Bowdish Road. Police also found drugs in Maine's jeans and noted in the affidavit that Maine asked them to “remove used needles from under his daughter's mattress.”

Maine remains in the Spokane County Jail on $100,000 bond.

Maine served time in jail last year for several counts of third-degree driving while license suspended.

He's pictured above last April.

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