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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: baseball bats

Store fights booze thieves w/ mace

Employees at a Spokane grocery store pepper sprayed the front doors to try to stop two suspected booze thieves from attacking them on Friday, police say.

Police say Kerry Alan Zaugg, 24, appeared to be preparing to assault an employee at Grocery Boys, 3430 N. Crestline St., with a stolen $60 bottle of Grey Goose vodka until another employee emerged from the store with a baseball bat.

Zaugg had been chased in the parking lot after running from the store with the booze.

Co-defendant Norman L. Caoile, 25, was standing nearby and told employees to let Zaugg go after he gave them back the bottle. When an employee instead called 911, Caoile tried to knock the phone from his hand, then chased the employees back to the store with a tire iron, police say.

Police arrested the men in the parking lot. Caoile told officers he was trying to defend Zaugg with the tire iron because employees were continuing to attack him even after he'd given the booze bottle back.

Friday was the first day grocery stores could sell liquor in Washington. Zaugg and Caoile appeared in Superior Court Monday on charges of first-degree robbery.

3rd suspect arraigned in bat attack

A third suspect in a baseball bat attack at a northwest Spokane home was arraigned Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court.

Eric T. Borders, 40, pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary for his alleged involvement in an attack at 4907 N. Lincoln St. Nov. 13.

Police believe Borders and Michelle Lee Blair, 39, entered the home and Blair struck the victim with the butt end of the bat several times while demanding his debit card, according to court documents.

Police arrested suspect Andrew Emil Williamson, 38, outside the home after learning he had a Washington Department of Corrections warrant. They booked him on a first-degree robbery charge after finding him with items belonging to the victim, according to court documents.

The three suspects are in the Spokane County Jail.
  

Charge dropped against 1 Pirtle brother

A Spokane man once accused of a baseball bat attack last May has been cleared of wrongdoing after several people said he wasn't present during the assault.

Prosecutors moved to dismiss a second-degree assault charge against Andrew Lee Elias Pirtle, 21, after detectives interviewed witnesses and found evidence supporting his alibi, said his public defender, Kevin Griffin.

Pirtle “wasn't even there” when a young man was beaten in Cannon Hill Park, 800 W. 19th Ave., on May 14, Griffin said. A judge agreed to the prosecution's request earlier this month.

Pirtle's older brother, Jayce Leon Elton Pirtle Jr., 23, still is charged with second-degree assault for the attack. He faces life in prison if convicted because of Washington's three-strikes law. He posted bond Nov. 16 but was arrested again last week on a new federal indictment charging him with felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of stolen firearms.

U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno on Monday ordered Jayce Pirtle to stay in jail without bail after hearing testimony from his mother, Debra Pirtle.

The Pirtles are the nephews of Blake Pirtle, who murdered two Burger King employees in Spokane Valley in 1992. His death sentence was overturned after a judge ruled law enforcement violated his civil rights during his arrest.

The Pirtles claim police unfairly target them because of that case.

Grand jury indicts Pirtle for stolen guns

A member of a Spokane family that claims police target them because of their relation to a notorious double murderer was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury - the same day he left jail on $25,000 bond in an assault case.

Jayce Leon Elton Pirtle Jr., 23, who already is facing life in prison under Washington's three-strikes law for an assault charge, now faces two federal felony charges for three guns and 175 rounds of ammunition found in his apartment at 1808 E. Pacific Ave. on July 8.

His probation officer found a .357 handgun after learning police were investigating Pirtle for a burglary, according to court documents. Spokane police obtained a search warrant and seized the handgun, along with two rifles.

Pirtle was arrested that day on a second-degree assault charge for an alleged baseball bat beating that left a man with a permanent lip disfigurement in May. His brother, Andrew Lee Elias Pirtle, also is charged.

He has not yet been arraigned on the federal charges of felon in possession of firearms and ammo and unlawful possession of stolen firearms and ammo. The charges carry up to 10 years in prison, or at least 15 years if Pirtle is found to be an armed career criminal.

The Pirtles are the nephews of Blake Pirtle, who killed two Burger King employees in Spokane Valley 1992. His death sentence was overturned after a judge ruled law enforcement violated his civil rights during his arrest.

The Pirtles claim police unfairly target them because of that case. Spokane police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe says the family has a “propensity for crime” that earns law enforcement attention.

Baseball bat attack leads to 2 arrests

A baseball bat attack at a north Spokane home early Sunday led to the arrest of two people.

 The victim told Spokane police officers he was home at 4907 N. Lincoln St. when two people entered the home about 3:15 a.m.

A woman, later identified by police as Michelle Lee Blair, 39, struck him with the butt end of the bat several times while demanding his debit card, according to court documents. 

The victim ran outside the home to police lights and told officers people were trying to kill him.

Police arrested Andrew Emil Williamson, 38, (pictured) outside the home after learning he had a Washington Department of Corrections warrant. They booked him on a first-degree robbery charge after finding him with items belonging to the victim, according to court documents.

Blair was arrested Monday by the Spokane police Patrol Anti-Crime Team in the area of East Fourth Avenue and South Stone Street. She remains in jail on charges of first-degree robbery and residential burglary, as well as unrelated drug charges. Williamson is in jail on a probation hold.

Police: Man attacked officers with bat

A man was arrested after charging at two Spokane police officers with a baseball bat early Saturday morning.

Michael A. Bernal, 29, was arrested after Officers James Erickson and James Christensen responded to the 200 block of East Crown Avenue at 1:57 a.m. for a 911 hang-up call. A dispatcher had called back, and a woman told the dispatcher she could not speak freely.

When officers knocked on the door, Bernal allegedly “whipped the door open, armed himself with a baseball bat and then swung it at the officers, almost hitting them both,” police said in a news release.

Police said Bernal refused to drop the bat. As he charged at officers with the bat, the woman, whom police did not identify, grabbed him around the waist. Police said he then threw the bat at the officers, broke free and yelled, “Bring it on!”

All three ended up on the ground when they tried to arrest him. During the struggle, Bernal grabbed one of their flashlights in “another apparent attempt to assault the officers,” police said.

Officers Bernal on two counts of second-degree assault. They determined there was no crime committed between Bernal and woman.

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