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Sirens & Gavels

Archive for March 2013

Overheard on the Scanner: 3-29-13

For the week of March 22 through March 29, here’s snippets of scanner chatter between law enforcement, dispatch and first responders.

3-23-13 @ 5:30 p.m. - A couple of kids were seen lighting pieces of paper on fire and then playing basketball at Longfellow Elementary. One of them was wearing a cookie monster hat.

3-23-13 @ 9:55 p.m. - It’s not even 10 p.m., but officers contacted a passed out male at Irv’s Bar and recognize the man as “their good friend.” They ask dispatch if he’s welcome at detox, but apparently no - he’s banned for a year.

3-26-13 @ 2:32 p.m. - A caller tells dispatch they saw a person riding mattress attached to the top of a moving vehicle.

3-28-13 @ 1:21 p.m. - Dispatch says a male hit his mother in the head and adds, “They’re both adults.”

3-28-13 @ 7:54 p.m. - An officer is trying to identity a woman by the tattoo on her chest, but he tells dispatch he doesn’t know what the tattoo is without looking further.

3-28-13 @ 8:42 p.m. - A dispatcher corrects herself after pronouncing the Ferry County town as Cure-loo instead of Curlew.

Young couple arrested for Spokane Valley burglaries

A Spokane Valley young couple with a license to wed are instead in Spokane County Jail on charges of residential burglary and trafficking of stolen property.

Vyacheslav Znovets, 21, and his girlfriend Marina Florianovich, 25, were arrested by Spokane Valley detectives after they allegedly sold a stolen wedding ring to a north Spokane jewelry store, according to court documents.

The couple has been responsible for several burglaries, detectives said, and they typically use Florianovich’s black BMW to travel during the day and steal jewelry from Spokane Valley homes. They knock to see if anyone is home and then break in through the rear window or door, documents said.

They were named in a series of Spokane Valley burglaries last year, reports said. 

Detectives believe the wedding ring was stolen from a home in the 4100 block of south Terra Verde Drive on the 26th. The homeowner left for the afternoon and returned to find his front door kicked in.

Earlier that day two witnesses said they saw a man acting suspiciously near a BMW with the same license plate as Florianovich’s near 21st Avenue and Timberlane Street. A home was burglarized along the 2100 block of S. Timberlane was also targeted, detectives believed.

When Znovets was arrested he showed detectives which homes he broke into and showed them the house along Terra Verde Drive and along Timberlane. Another home was also pointed out in the same neighborhood by Znovets, detectives said.

The couple was booked into Spokane County Jail on Wednesday and appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Thursday.

Despite the suspect’s relationship, Judge James Triplet ordered they have no contact with each other.

Florianovich’s charge was reduced to trafficking because court documents do not show probable cause of her being at the scene of the burglaries, Triplet said.

Znovets continues to have the residential burglary charge.

A marriage license with Spokane County only lasts for 63 days and they have about two weeks remaining on their license, according to court records.

Facebook: Spokane Valley Police detectives have posted pictures of recovered jewelry from the couple. If something is yours, go claim it. 

Repeat Coeur d’Alene felon convicted for attempted-murder

A Coeur d’Alene man who attempted to strangle his girlfriend last year has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for attempted murder and multiple felony convictions.

An ex-girlfriend told authorities she feared for her life when Kenneth E. Schleining, 38, choked her until she was unconscious at a Post Falls gas station in September, according to a Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office news release.

When she woke up, he told her to go back to sleep because she would be dead soon, reports said. She fought Schleining and escaped.

Althought Kootenai County District Judge Fred Gibler sentenced Schleining to 15 years in prison for attempted murder, he earned another 10 years because of his extensive criminal history, the news release showed.

Schleining was convicted of felony aggravated battery in 2005 when he slit the throat of a girlfriend who was trying to break up with him. He later had sexual relations with a minor while on parole from prison.

Felon threatens deputy during ride to jail

A felon arrested on outstanding warrants threatened a Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy during his ride to jail and told him “the knife’s coming out” next time, according to court documents.

Deputy Nathan Bohanek found William L. Moore loading items onto a trailer behind a business after a caller told 911 they saw suspicious activity near the 1500 block of South Pines Road.

The caller said they saw sparks and hear grinding noises and thought someone was stealing something, documents said.

Bohanek arrested him for two outstanding misdemeanor warrants for third-degree driving with a suspended license and second-degree criminal trespassing.

Moore began screaming at Bohanek and calling him names during the drive to Spokane County Jail, documents said.

He told Bohanek, “You want to ruin my life? You’re going to have to kill me next time,” documents said.

Moore also said, “Next time we meet, mother f-, the knife’s coming out!”

The deputy interpreted Moore’s words to be a threat against his safety, documents said.

Moore was booked into Spokane County jail and appeared in Spokane County Superior Court Tuesday afternoon. Judge James Triplet placed a $10,000 bond on his charges of intimidating a public servant.

Moore was described by investigators as “confrontational” after he was arrested by deputies in 2010 during a traffic stop after they found more than 70 feet of aluminum and copper wire in his car, reports said. They also found gloves, flashlights, saws and tools in his vehicle.

He told police to “shoot him”, according to 2010 search warrant on his car.

Deputies arrested him during another incident in 2001, reports said, after he hid his alleged meth stash in a gas station bathroom.

Man arrested for lewdness in River Park Square

A man with a history of lewd behavior has been arrested by Spokane Police for allegedly masturbating in River Park Square.

A security guard caught Dean H. Meginniss, 55, masturbating in front of a female employee on the third floor on March 14, according to court documents.

Meginniss was removed from the building, but came back on March 24 and continued to expose and touch himself on a bench in the mall’s lobby area, documents show.

He was trying to leave the mall when police detained him, documents said. Officers watched surveillance video which showed Meginniss exposing and touching himself while customers walked by.

Police arrested him for second-degree burglary for coming back to the mall after guards trespassed him, in addition to lewdness. He appeared in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon and was given a $2,500 bond by Judge James Triplet.

River Park Square is owned by the Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.

Spokane County deputies arrested Meginniss in 2011 for fishing in the nude in broad daylight near Medical Lake, reports said.

Resort staff told authorities they had been hearing complaints about a naked fisherman for weeks.

Colville officer under investigation for sexual misconduct

A Colville Police officer is on paid-administrative leave because of allegations of sexual misconduct, according to Stevens County Sheriff’s Office, who is investigating the matter.

Investigators began looking into the allegations against Officer Rex Newport earlier this month, but no criminal charges have been filed, Sheriff Kendle Allen said.

Newport has been with the Colville department for about 15 years.

In 1999, Newport was involved with an accident in his Colville patrol vehicle while responding to a burglary alarm at a police evidence-storage building, reports said. The alarm turned out to be false.

He destroyed a porch, fences, trees and a gas meter while avoiding a traffic collision, reports added. The damage was estimated to be about $4,000, according to Washington State Patrol’s investigation.

Overheard on the Scanner: 3-22-13

For the week of March 15 through March 22, here’s snippets of scanner chatter between law enforcement, dispatch and first responders.

3-15-13 @ 8:46 p.m. - Dispatch tells officers there’s a “very intoxicated” 11-year-old at Post and Riverside. Medics responded to the young boy.

3-16-13 @ 3:26 p.m. - A Spokane Valley boy earned a new nickname of “bunny ears” as an officer picked him up along with a friend while they tried to hitch hike near the IHOP and later, near the railroad tracks. Why? Because he was wearing bunny ears, according to dispatch.

3-16-13 @ 5:27 p.m. - At first it looked like suspicious people were trying to break into a home at an unknown location, but an officer learned the homeowners were instead trying to remove arrows from their roof, according to dispatch.

3-21-13 @ 11:10 a.m. - “Parents not being entirely cooperative,” according to dispatchers as parents navigated the “zoo” that was Sullivan Road. Parents were unsure how to pick up their rain-soaked children after a massive evacuation from Central Valley High School.

3-21-13 @ 5:07 P.M. - Dispatch dubs a suspicious man as “Mr. Machete” because he was reportedly slinging one as he was running toward Freya on Longfellow, according to a caller.

Lone pig arrested by Beaverton Police

It’s almost like the time scanner traffic said there was a pot belly pig running around the streets of Spokane on Thanksgiving, but that was never confirmed.

But this is:

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) — It’s not the usual thing in the Portland suburb of Beaverton, but police say there was indeed a pig running along city streets.

(Photo courtesy: Beaverton Police Department)

Officer Mike Rowe says a caller described the animal as “a regular farm pig.”

By the time officers responded Thursday, a resident had corralled the animal in a yard.

The Oregonian reports that one officer was a former member of Future Farmers of America so he helped get the pig loaded into a department van and transported to a nearby animal shelter.

Now the search is on for the pig’s owner.

Photo: Police cat

A bold cat made his presence known to a Spokane Police officer’s patrol car this evening after a SWAT standoff came to an end.

He sniffed around the scene near Princeton Avenue and Monroe Street looking for news and ducked under the patrol car for a few moments.

And then the cat jumped on the car's hood - probably expecting a ride-along - and sniffed the roof's antenna before running off.

Officers, deputies awarded by FBI for MLK Parade investigation

Several Spokane Police officers and Sheriff’s deputies have been awarded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for protecting the community from a bomb planted by Kevin W. Harpham during the MLK Unity March in 2011.

(Pictured from left to right in front row: Lt. Matt Lyons, Cpl. Mark Fox and Sgt. Jason Hartman. Lt. Eric Olsen was absent from the award ceremony due to training, according to police spokeswoman Monique Cotton. Photo courtesy: SPD)

The bomb did not detonate because Harpham’s remote triggering device could not get close enough to the device. The bomb was laced with rat poison and placed on the northeast corner of Main Avenue and Washington Street, reports said.

Spokane Police Sgt. Jason Hartman and Lt. Eric Olsen were awarded Thursday afternoon for moving the march route, an act that’s believed to have saved several lives. 

Court documents show three contract workers discovered the bomb as Harpham walked in the march. Police changed the route before he could walk in range of the device - losing his opportunity to detonate the bomb.

Cpl. Mark Fox and Lt. Matt Lyons with the Spokane County Sheriff’s were also awarded by the FBI for their work with the bomb squad disarming Harpham’s device.

Harpham was arrested in March near his rural home near Addy. He was sentenced to 32 years in prison in Dec. 2011. 

Related documents: MLK bomb maker gets 32 years in prison | Parade change averted blast

Deputies catch hungry Newport thief

Not only did a burglar steal away with a Newport homeowner’s truck early Thursday morning, he cooked a meal in the victim’s kitchen.

The homeowner woke up around 2:30 a.m. to investigate a noise downstairs when he saw the truck driving away with the burglar at the helm.

He realized the burglar broke in through the dog door, he told dispatchers.

Deputies found the stolen vehicle about 14 miles north of Newport on State Route 20 after noticing the driving operating the truck in an erratic manner, the news release said.

They pulled the driver over and identified him as James M. Ericksen, 30.

Deputies arrested Ericksen for vehicle theft, a DUI, driving with a suspended license and a failure to appear for an incident in another county.

Court documents: Standoff suspect called police “demons”.

SR photoPolice seized four machetes from an out-of-business Hillyard skateboard shop after the arrest of 39-year-old Glen M. Fisher during a seven-hour standoff with authorities Wednesday (SR photo pictured left).

One of the machetes appeared to have drops of blood on the blade, court documents show.

Authorities believed Fisher to be extremely dangerous and possibly unstable, according to court documents. Fisher also called responding officers “demons,.” police said.

The burglary victim, identified as Wayne Howry, has known Fisher for about eight years, he told officers.

Howry was sleeping when he heard someone breaking through his front door, he told authorities. He armed himself with a baseball bat and found Fisher in his apartment, swinging at him with a machete, cutting him on his hands and wrist, documents said.

When a members of the SWAT team entered the shop to which Fisher fled, they found him lying on the floor, face down, documents said, with a shooting bow “around his neck.”

Fisher is did not appear in court Thursday, nor Friday following a stay at a local hospital before he was booked into Spokane County Jail. He’s expected to appear in court Monday, court officials said.

Related coverage: Alleged machete attack leads to standoff, man's arrest

Never a dull moment in federal prison

Perks of prison? How about guitar lessons and Civil War history.

Those activities are keeping former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich busy while his attorneys work on an appeal, AP reports said (AP photo left).

Blagojevich is teaching the history course, writes his wife, Patti Blagojevich, on a Facebook post, according to reports. She laments that her husband missing birthdays, holidays and music recitals as well.

He’s staying at a Colorado federal prison in Englewood which actually made a list by Forbes in 2006 for the best prisons to go to.

The Englewood prison offers a recreation yard, gymnasium, weight room, hobby shop, music room and wellness center, according to the Bureau of Prison’s website.

Blagojevich is expected to serve time until 2024, according to the Bureau of Prison’s website, for corruption charges including his attempt to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat, reports said.

Meanwhile at Seattle’s Sea Tac federal facility, they offer chess club, a workout class for abs and a screenwriting class.

Suspected Lincoln Heights commercial burglar caught

A man connected to thefts in the Lincoln Heights area has been arrested by Spokane Police officers for driving a stolen vehicle, according to a news release.

Police found Thomas M. Clement, 39, on Wednesday near Ralph and Riverside, driving a vehicle reportedly connected to two car theft cases on the Spokane Community College Campus earlier this month and a burglary, detectives said.

Clement allegedly entered campus locker rooms and used bolt cutters to steal car keys from lockers, the news release said.

Investigators also believe Clement is connected to a series of commercial burglaries on the South Hill area that targeted Radio Shack, Hastings, GameStop, Ace Hardware and more, in addition to two suspects arrested in February for similar crimes.

Curtis D. McKelvey, 29, and Chelsea A. Linerud, 24, were arrested when officers found a man smashing a Radio Shack window with a crowbar, earlier reports said.

Clement is charged with two counts of burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and first-degree trafficking of stolen property.

Overheard on the Scanner: 3-15-13

For the week of March 8 through March 15, here’s snippets of scanner chatter between law enforcement, dispatch and first responders.

03-08-13 @ 12:50 p.m. - A man tells 911 he’s being chased by someone in “an invisible suit” near Freya.

03-12-13 @ 8:05 p.m. - An officer checking inside a building at an unknown location informs dispatch that there’s a 25-pound cat waddling around inside.

03-13-13 @ 3:26 p.m. - A dispatcher relays to officers a description of a woman’s sweatshirt: “It has a dinosaur on it that says, ‘I’m rexy and I know it.’”

03-15-13 @ 4:40 p.m. - Watch out! Dispatch tells officers a 10-year-old is driving a green Chevy Blazer.

No escape in sight for Strollin’ Nolan

The escapades of “Strollin’ Nolan” lives on through the Internet.

The online community Reddit discovered the repeat offender, properly known as Fred W. Nolan, Jr., after sharing tales of freedom through escape.

Nolan’s infamous escape from a Public Safety Building interrogation room earned him the nickname and 15 minutes of fame through local media.

The Spokesman-Review’s story from 1997 climbed to the top of traffic charts as readers learned of his Houdini-esque disappearing act.

According to reports, Nolan seized the moment and walked out of a Public Safety Building interrogation room using a coat to hide his handcuffed wrists.

He later returned the handcuffs to authorities in the mail, reports said.

Interestingly enough, Nolan is back behind bars on suspicion of a series of downtown burglaries last year that also targeted Greater Spokane, Inc.

Detectives deemed him a suspect in December for the downtown thefts, but were unable to find him when a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Nearly four months later, Spokane Police’s PACT team tracked him down and arrested him on a bench warrant last week for first-degree trafficking of stolen property, Spokane Police spokeswoman Monique Cotton said. His bond is set at $25,000.

Nolan has over 50 convictions to his name between the years 1990 and 2004 for several burglary and theft charges.

Related stories: Escaped suspect mails handcuffs to courthouse | Whatever happened to Strollin' Nolan? | Off-the-cuff escape takes blame for missteps

Bond set at $5,000 for West Central burglary suspect

Police caught suspected burglar Richard W. Denman shortly after he was shooed out of a West Central home by a rather surprised homeowner.

He appeared in court today for his residential burglary charge and Judge James Triplet issued a $5,000 bond although the state requested a bond of $10,000.

Triplet cited Denman's minimal criminal history for the lower bond, including a felony probation violation, theft and possession of marijuana. He had two failures to appear in 2012 as well, Triplet said.

Police believe Denman was living inside victim Gary Dressler's newly renovated home for about 24 hours prior to his discovery.

Dressler stopped by his home to use the bathroom when he realized the doors were barred with knives. When he broke into his own home, a knife fell to his feet and he chased out Denman and a female suspect as well.

Related stories: Man finds, chases burglars from home

Kidnapping charges added to murder suspect’s case

Murder suspect Jonathan Ritchey appeared in court again on Thursday afternoon with an additional charge of kidnapping.

Both the state and prosecutor reserved on changing Ritchey's release terms, so his bond remained the same at $100,000, Judge James Triplet said.

His charges now match his uncle, Gary L. Stoddard, who was arrested earlier this week for the murder and kidnapping of victim Heather Cassel.

Cassel's body was fond early Monday morning after witnesses said they heard a woman screaming and gun shots at an apartment complex near Spokane Falls Community College.

Ritchey will appear in court for his arraignment on March 26th at 11:30 a.m.

Related stories: Man, nephew face murder charges | Shooting victim's parents answer call to police to identify body

Man convicted for false insurance claim for $200,000

A man exaggerating the size of a damaged patio cover was convicted in Spokane County Superior Court today for filing a fraudulent insurance claim for nearly $200,000.

A real estate agent described the cover as “small and nothing special or significant,” according to the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner news release, but 48-year-old Keith R. Scribner painted a different story when he filed a claim for a roof damaged by the weight of snow in 2009.

Scribner filed the claim on behalf of Marilyn Warsinske, his mother, whose policy covered a replacement, the news release said.

Even the claims representative thought the bids were a joke, the news release said, and Scribner was unable to prove the size of the patio cover through photos.

Actual photos of the home found on a real estate website did not depict the capacity Scribner described, the news release said.

Investigators contacted the previous homeowners who described the patio originally as canvas, but they bought a polycarbonate cover for about $300. Additional interviews with builders speculated bids would range to about $4,800.

Scribner will be sentenced in court on April 16 for insurance fraud and attempted theft.

Oops — 2 arrested for arriving at jail in stolen car

Here's a tip: If you're driving to the local jail to pick up a friend who's getting released, you might want to avoid taking a stolen car.

Police in Chehalis, Wash., arrested two women for possession of a stolen vehicle Saturday night after they arrived at the Lewis County Jail in a stolen car to pick up one of their boyfriends, according to the Chehalis Chronicle newspaper.

When the women, Junette A. Short, 31, of Tacoma, and Jennifer C. Ramirez, 28, of Renton, arrived at the Lewis County Jail at about 10 p.m., a Chehalis police officer was nearby in a patrol car equipped with a device that automatically scans license plates of vehicles, Deputy Police Chief Randy Kaut told the newspaper. When the car was listed as stolen, the officer contacted the women and placed them into custody. Both women also had outstanding warrants.

Here's how the paper described the rest of the evening:

When they were being booked into jail, the boyfriend was being released from jail, he said.
“As he was walking out, they were walking in,” Kaut said. “So they saw each other in passing.”
A search of the vehicle revealed mail, W-2 tax forms, Social Security numbers, fraudulent checks and other forms that are believed to have been stolen, Kaut said.

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