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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: bear spray

Accused bear spray robber gets $10,000 bond

The man accused of using bear spray to commit two robberies was ordered held on a $10,000 bond for a companion charge of assault.

Jeffrey M. Matthews, 29, appeared Friday before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese. However, documents had not yet arrived regarding two other robberies for which he was arrested.

Matthews was also wanted for a violation of probation for his manslaughter conviction from 2007.

 He was charged with third-degree assault after an employee at O’Reilly Auto Parts, at 2424 N. Division St., said a car drove into the parking lot last Tuesday. The driver, later identified as Matthews, began yelling at the employee and then sprayed him with the can of bear spray.

 The same vehicle was lined to two reported robberies on Friday and Saturday at the Trading Co., 13014 E. Sprague Ave., and Big Lots, 14024 E. Sprague Ave., in Spokane Valley. However, those charging documents had not yet arrived Thursday afternoon.

 Plese set Matthews arraignment at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday. See previous coverage of Matthews here.

Robber sentenced for bear mace attack

A man who robbed a Spokane convenience store with bear mace was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery.

Daniel A. Sweetland, 21, was accused with Alexander J. Smith of robbing the Zip Trip at 1523 W. 10th Ave., of an 18-pack of Bud Lite on Nov. 28 after spraying the clerk with mace.

The clerk suffered eye pain and blurry visions for about two days after the attack attack, police said. Spokane police detectives identified the men through tips obtained after a surveillance video of the attack was released to media.

They were arrested Feb. 16. Smith was released from jail on $30,000 bond March 3 and is scheduled for trial on April 18.

Sweetland pleaded guilty on Friday and was sentenced to 12 months in jail and ordered to pay $1,623 restitution. He'll be credited for 30 days already served and for four months counted under the jail's good time policy.

Sweetland is also banned from all Zip Trips in Washington for 10 years. Sweetland has convictions as a juvenile for burglary, malicious mischief, criminal trespass and reckless burning. The last conviction was related to a fire that gutted the historic Clayton Grange Hall.

Suspects ID’d in Zip Trip mace attack

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UPDATE: Sweetland and Smith were arrested on Feb. 16.

Spokane police have identified two suspects in a convenience store robbery in which a clerk was attacked with bear mace.

 Crime Stoppers issued a reward offer today for tips that helps arrest Daniel A. Sweetland (left) and Alexander J. Smith (right), both 21, who are wanted for first-degree robbery.

Detectives identified the men through tips obtained after a surveillance video of the Nov. 28 attack at Zip Trip, 1523 W. 10th Ave., was released to media (see above).

They believe Smith entered the store first and asked for cigarettes to distract the clerk while Sweetland entered with the mace and stole an 18-pack of Bud Lite, according to court documents filed Friday. The clerk suffered eye pain and blurry visions for about two days after Sweetland's attack, police said.

Sweetland, 5-foot-5 and 145 pounds, has a 13-year arrest history but no convictions, according to Crime Stoppers. Smith, 5-foot-4 and 160 pounds, has an 11-year arrest history but also no convictions.

Sweetland last gave an address in the 700 block of East Heroy Avenue in Spokane Valley. Smith last gave an address in the 900 block of East Central Avenue in Spokane.

Anyone with information on their location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Video shows Zip Trip bear spray assault

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Spokane police are looking for a man who assaulted a Zip Trip store clerk with bear spray early Sunday morning.  

Surveillance video shows a masked man in a hooded, brown and tannish plaid jacket spray the cashier in the face at 2:47 a.m. Police say he entered and attacked after another man entered the store at 1523 W. 10th Ave. and asked for cigarettes.That man is pictured at the end of the video wearing a striped hooded sweatshirt and red hat.

The men both ran from the store after the clerk was assaulted. The man in the striped hooded sweatshirt is described as 5-foot-6 with a medium building, brown hair mustache and beard. The assailant is about 5-foot-10 with a white mask and plaid jacket, police said.

Anyone with information on the men is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

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