Sirens & Gavels

Pill theft plants 52-year-old Spokane man in jail

The alleged theft of a $2 bottle of ibuprofen could lead to weeks of legal headaches for a Spokane man.

Michael Ewing was arrested Saturday after an undercover officer at an East Central grocery store said he saw the 52-year-old sneak a bottle of off-brand painkillers into his pants pocket. The officer approached Ewing when he went to pay for other purchases, and several witnesses said when the officer informed Ewing he would be placed under arrest, he began swinging his fists wildly, striking the officer in the eye. Store employees and the officer eventually subdued Ewing by placing him in handcuffs, according to court documents.

Prosecutors initially sought a charge of first-degree robbery for Ewing, who has two prior felony convictions back in the late 1970s. But at a first appearance in Spokane County Superior Court on Monday, Judge James Triplet ruled prosecutors had only proven probable cause for lesser charges of assault and theft.

Ewing was released from custody without bail. He is due in court to address the charges later this month.

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