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Sirens & Gavels

Pullman police say surveillance video released in error

Previously released footage from Pullman Police Department on Youtube shows the assault suspects leaving the Adams Mall parking lot following last month's assault of a Washington State University instructor.

A video containing excerpts of surveillance camera footage from the night a Washington State University instructor was assaulted was released to The Spokesman-Review by police and published on the news company’s website for several hours on Thursday.

A Pullman Police records clerk mailed a disk containing 30 minutes of footage from five surveillance cameras to staff writer Nicole Hensley in response to a public records request.

Shortly after the video was posted Thursday afternoon, Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins informed the reporter that the video had been released in error, but did not request that it be taken down from Several hours later, however, Jenkins asked that it be removed from the website because its release “could potentially hamper and impede our active investigation of this case.”

The Spokesman-Review agreed to that request, but reserves the right to re-post the video if formal charges are filed in the case. Three people have been arrested but not charged in connection with the assault.

Editor Gary Graham noted that the video was obtained legally, given to the newspaper by the Pullman Police Department. However, “In the spirit of cooperation with an active police investigation, we have agreed to remove it from our website.”

The video shows a confrontation between the instructor, David Warner, his friend, and the suspects identified by Pullman police. It also also shows emergency responders arriving on scene and a large crowd gathering around Warner’s prone body.

Warner was transported to Providence Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane and remained there in critical condition for two weeks. His condition has improved and he’s now at a rehabilitation center in Post Falls.

Warner can be seen stretching his arms out between two feuding parties before he’s tackled to the ground by a group of men around 1:57 a.m. on March 30. He fell to the ground, out of sight behind a parked car near 600 NE Colorado Street.


Previous coverage: 

Surveillance video shows a building confrontation that led to the assault of a WSU instructor last month.

Footage acquired through a public records request from Pullman Police Department shows the assault that left David Warner hospitalized for several weeks while Pullman detectives searched for suspects.

Warner can be seen stretching his arms out between two feuding parties before he’s tackled to the ground by a group of men around 1:57 a.m. on March 30. He fell to the ground, out of sight behind a parked car near 600 NE Colorado Street.

Staff from a nearby bar and bystanders ran up the sidewalk to the fight. A large group of college-aged people crowded around Warner and took photos on their phones. Pullman Police officers arrived within three minutes of the fight.

It’s alleged Lawrence McDonald, Warner’s friend, made crude comments to people walking past the parking lot, court documents show, but McDonald was extremely intoxicated and told detectives he didn’t remember anything after about 1 a.m.

McDonald wore a Seahawks jersey that night and is the man with the long ponytail pointing at bystanders in the crowd. Warner was acting as a barrier between McDonald and the off-camera group before the fight.

Officers had McDonald sit on the sidewalk when they arrived so they could talk to witnesses and check on Warner. Police believe McDonald’s comments may have contributed to the verbal conflict between the two groups, Commander Chris Tennant said in previous reports.

Charges of first-degree assault have not been filed yet against either suspect, identified as John “Matt” Cabanos-Soriano, 22, Robert D. Bean, 22, and Joshua W. Nantz, 23.

Related: WSU instructor assault suspects released from jail

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