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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: caught on camera

Court won’t hear Photo Red appeal

Appellate judges have refused to hear an appeal by the city of Spokane after a Superior Court judge ruled that the way it had been printing tickets from red-light cameras violated state law.

At issue was the way the city had a police officer in Spokane review a photo of a car either running a red light or not coming to a complete stop and determining whether an infraction occurred. The officer then punched an “accept” button, sending an electronic signal to Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions to affix the officer’s electronic signature on the $124 ticket it sent to the driver.

The late John Clark, and later Dean Chuang, represented three clients who argued that state law requires those signatures to be written in Washington. After one judge ruled for the city, Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque reversed that decision, which the city appealed to the Division III Court of Appeals. On Thursday, that court declined to hear the case.

City spokeswoman Marlene Feist said after Leveque’s ruling, the city now has officers print out their signatures at the Public Safety Building, thus complying with state law. Red-light runners ticketed under the old system will ahve to challenge the ticket in court if they want a remedy.

The city now operates 15 cameras that officials estimate will generate about $750,000 next year.

Photo Red warning period ends today

The grace period will end tonight for red light runners caught on camera at the three latest Spokane intersections to be equipped with the surveilance devices, police warned today.

Starting first thing tomorrow, anyone caught on camera running a red light will receive a ticket in the mail.

The three new intersections are at southbound Browne St. at Third Ave., southbound Maple St. at Second Ave. and westbound Second Ave. at Walnut Street. The three cameras went live on July 1 and officers have sent out 500 warning notices since they were installed, said police spokeswoman Teresa Fuller.

The city has issued more than 25,000 citations for running a red light since the first cameras were installed, Fuller said. The fine that goes with the citation is $124.

3 new red-light cameras now operating

A 30-day warning period begins today for new red-light cameras at three intersections in the downtown Spokane area.

Beginning at 8 a.m., drivers caught on camera running a red light will earn a warning notice for the vehicle owner. No fine is attached, but red-light runners will begin receiving $124 citations on July 31.

The new cameras are at westbound Second Avenue at Walnut Street, southbound Maple Street at Second and southbound Third Avenue at Browne Street.

Spokanealready has seven intersections equipped with cameras that have captured more than 23,000 violations since Oct. 1, 2008:

Browne Street southbound at Sprague Avenue, Hamilton Street northbound at Mission Avenue, Division Street north and southbound at Francis Avenue, Wellesley Avenue eastbound at Ash Street, Freya Street northbound at Third Avenue, Thor Street and Second Avenue both westbound and southbound, and Division Street northbound at Sprague Avenue.

 The warning period for those intersections ended long ago.

Slain official caught suspect on camera

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine police investigating the New Year's Eve shooting death of a local councilman did not have to look further than the last photograph the victim took.

That photo led to the arrest of one of two alleged gunmen and an accomplice, police said Wednesday.

The picture, taken outside the councilman's house in metropolitan Manila, clearly shows a man aiming his gun from behind the victim's smiling three-member family, seconds before he was shot.

The relatives — Councilman Reynaldo Dagsa's wife, daughter and mother-in-law — are seen standing beside the family's car, which has lights on, and the gunman, wearing a baseball cap with its visor turned back, is bracing himself against the vehicle and pointing his gun at Dagsa. His face is slightly obscured by the gun. The car was parked along an alley outside the Dagsas' house.

In another corner of the photograph (shown above) is a man police identified as the assassin's lookout.  Police investigator Cris Galvez told The Associated Press Wednesday that Dagsa was shot as he pressed the shutter of his camera. Dagsa's family gave police the photo, which ran on the Philippine Daily Inquirer's front page Tuesday.

The gunman in the picture fired about four shots but only one hit Dagsa, Galvez said. The bullet went through Dagsa's arm and hit him in the chest. He later died in a hospital.

Galvez said a second gunman, who was standing behind Dagsa and is not seen in the photo, also fired one shot but missed.

Caloocan city police chief Jude Santos earlier said a man identified as the gunman in the picture, Arnel Buenaflor, was arrested Monday, but later corrected himself saying police nabbed the second shooting suspect, Frederick Sales, and one of two suspected lookouts. He said Buenaflor was a car thief who was released on bail and likely sought revenge against Dagsa for ordering his arrest last year.

All the suspects are members of a gang involved in car thefts and robbery holdups, police said.

“It was personal revenge. They all helped each other,” Galvez said.

Dagsa, 38, had a reputation of a hardworking councilman tough on crime, he said.

His wife and daughter, speaking to reporters at their home Tuesday, said the victim had asked them to wake him up before the stroke of midnight so he could join in the usually noisy New Year's street revelry that comes with lots of firecrackers.

The family members said they did not hear a gunshot because the firecrackers were exploding all around them. They only saw Dagsa falling to the ground after he was hit. They said they rushed him to the hospital but it was too late.

Dine and dasher pulls knife on employee

Police are trying to identify a man they accuse of pulling a knife Saturday on a Wild Sage Bistro employee after throwing a glass of wine at a customer and skipping out on a dinner bill.

The suspect is pictured at right, in the background of another customer’s photo.

Police say the man was eating alone at the Wild Sage Bistro, 916 W. 2nd Ave., about 9:40 p.m. when he threw wine in the face of a nearby customer and fled the restaurant.

An employee chased him to the parking lot of Lincoln Street and First Avenue, but left when the man pulled a knife, police said.

The man is described as white with short brown hair, 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

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