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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Drinking

Man brought gun to fistfight, police say

A Spokane man was arrested this weekend for allegedly bringing a gun to a fistfight outside a bar in the West Garland District.

Kellen P. Ward, 30, is accused of pointing a semi-automatic pistol at a group in the parking lot of the Revolver North bar, 633 W. Garland Ave., on Saturday about 2 a.m.

A witness told Spokane police that his friend, Neno Testa, fought with several people from the bar into the roadway, where several people were knocked to ground. A white Lincoln Town Car arrived and a man weighing about 225 pounds and wearing glasses exited and brandished the gun. Witnesses said he told the group “you…think you’re bad? I'll kill you,” according to court documents. The car fled westbound on Garland.

Police stopped it at North Jefferson Street and West Garland Avenue and arrested Ward, who they say was driving. He matched the description of the gunman, and police found a handgun in the car.

Ward, a convicted felon, was booked into jail for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Records show Ward pleaded guilty in 2006 to attempting to elude a police vehicle and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance.

Dump truck joy ride strikes power lines

Police say a man stole a dump truck and took it on a drunken joy ride that destroyed light poles and power lines in the city of Colville.

Robert Gene Bankston Hartman, 28, told officers he didn't mean to knock down the lines when he stole the dump truck from a construction site and drove it through town. He said he'd had about 14 beers when police confronted him about 9:45 p.m. on July 23, but later told police he'd actually been drinking vodka.

Police had heard residents were trapped in their homes at South Wynne Street and West Columbia Avenue because of down power lines. They soon realized Hartman and the stolen dump truck were to blame. Hartman abandoned the truck at 1st Street and Railroad Street and ran, but an officer blocked his path with his police car.

About 1,400 people lost power for about two hours because of the melee. The area extended from Highway 395 at Pingston Creek to just south of Colville, from Valley Westside just east of Colville High School, police said.

One witness told police that Hartman was laughing while he was striking the power lines.

Hartman's blood alcohol level registered at .226 and .220. The legal limit for driving is .08.

Hartman is charged with first-degree malicious mischief, second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission and drunken driving.

Rifle halts girlfriend’s unexpected move

Two movers had a rifle pointed at them when they showed up at their customer's boyfriend home to move her stuff out without his knowledge.

Homeowner Jaime R. Stout, 30, was jailed for first-degree assault after  said he'd pointed a rifle at them as they tried to move Stout's girlfriend's things out of his home in the 300 block of West Dalton Avenue on Friday.

Stout's girlfriend was moving out and asked David Smather, 46, and Kyle Parr, 26, of Spokane Movers to move her stuff without Stout's knowledge.

Stout, who told police he had been drinking, was released from jail on his own recognizance after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on Monday.
  

Man blows .224 after head-on crash

The Spokane Police Department provided this photo of the crash on the SPD Facebook page.

A 21-year-old Spokane man was arrested for vehicular assault after crashing his truck head-on into a semi truck on Thursday and injuring his passenger.

Joseph A. Hussey's blood-alcohol level registered at .224 before he was jailed on a vehicular assault charge for the crash in the 3900 block of East Broadway Avenue, according to the Spokane Police Department.

The legal limit for driving is .08.

Police say he smelled of intoxicants and told them he was going to home to Spokane Valley from the Satellite bar downtown.

Hussey also slurred his speech and failed field sobriety tests, police say.

He was booked into the Spokane County Jail on the felony charge.

Feds: Pilot lands in Spokane while drunk

A commercial pilot was drunk when he landed a plane at the Spokane International Airport in April, federal prosecutors allege.

Paul Robbin Roessler, of Federal Way, is to appear in U.S. District Court in Spokane June 29 for a charge operating a common carrier under the influence of alcohol, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

The charge alleges Roessler flew a twin engine PA-34 aircraft for Airpac Airlines, Inc., from Boeing Field in Seattle to the Spokane airport while drunk on April 26.

A federal grand jury indicted him last week. Airport spokesman Todd Woodward directed questions to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which has not immediately returned a phone call.

Federal aviation records say Roessler was a certified commercial pilot and flight instructor but that his certificates are no longer active.

A man who answered the phone for Airpac Airlines identified himself as Roger and declined comment. The company is described on its website as a a contract cargo operator based out of Boeing Field since 1976.
  

Disgruntled bar customer returns w/ gun

A man who scuffled with employees at a Spokane Valley bar fired a gun in the bar's parking lot late Wednesday, police said today.

Bret A. Nemitz, 29, finished a drink at Boomers Classic Rock Bar, 18209 E. Appleway Ave., just as the bar was closing. The owner told Spokane County sheriff's deputies that they asked him to leave after he began harassing two customers who were playing pool, and Nemitz grabbed the owner by the shirt and neck.

The owner's father helped control Nemitz, but the owner said he had an uneasy feeling as Nemitz walked away.

Ashort time later, the owner saw Nemitz drive a vehicle into the parking lot and noticed a shiny object in his hand. The owner told his father to crouch down just before a gunshot ran out, according to a news release.

Deputies responded about 11:30 p.m. saw the bullet hit a window on the west side of the bar. They located his car at a home near the bar and found Nemtiz standing in the backyard. He was booked into jail on two counts of drive-by shooting.

Roving cows drink Mass. backyard brew

BOXFORD, Mass. (AP) — Police say a roving group of cows crashed a small gathering in a Massachusetts town and bullied the guests for their beer.

Boxford police Lt. James Riter says he was responding to a call for loose cows on Sunday and spotted them in a front yard.

Riter says the herd high-tailed it for the backyard and then he heard screaming. He says when he ran back there he saw the cows had chased off some young adults and were drinking their beers.

Riter says the cows had knocked the beer cans over on a table and were lapping up what spilled. He says they even started rooting around the recycled cans for some extra drops.

Riter says the cows' owner and some friends herded the cows back home.

Booze bottles lead to burglary arrests

Empty liquor bottles in the yard of a home that's typically immaculate led to the arrest of two Spokane residents on burglary charges last week, officials said today.

Ashley C. Spencer, 24, and her boyfriend, Zachary T. Harris, 23, had been staying in one of the burglarized homes, which belonged to a relative of Spencer, without permission when Pend Oreille County sheriff's deputies contacted them Friday.

Deputies were investigating burglaries at two vacation homes in the area of South Shore Road near Diamond Lake when they heard a burglary alarm at a nearby residence and found another home that bad been burglarized, according to the Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies began canvassing the neighborhood and noticed the liquor bottles and clothes in the yard of the normally well-kept home. Spencer and Harris were arrested, and deputies seized items from the burglaries at a family member's home.

They face residential burglary and malicious mischief charges. Harris also faces a marijuana possession charge.
  

Chronic drunken driver gets 17 months

A retired Spokane firefighter with a history of impaired driving and a conviction for vehicular homicide has been sentenced to 17 months in prison for drunken driving.

A jury convicted David W. Batty, 56, of drunken driving after a short trial in Spokane County Superior Court earlier this month.

He was booked into the Spokane County Jail on Friday, where he's awaiting transport to prison to begin his sentence. He'll be credited for time already spend in jail, which includes the month he was there after his arrest in January.

Batty had a blood-alcohol level of twice the legal limit for driving when he was stopped for speeding about 11:30 a.m. in January 2011 at milepost 310 on U.S. Highway 2.  Batty told police that he had two drinks early that morning and had taken four prescription medications, according to court documents.

The charge was a felony because Batty has a previous conviction for a fatal, alcohol-related car crash in 1993.

Batty was rehired by the Spokane Fire Department after serving time in prison for vehicular homicide but was on medical leave when he caused a crash in January 2007 that killed three people. He was not charged in that crash but never returned to the Fire Department.

Then in 2009, he was sentenced to nine months in jail after he was stopped in July 2008 and tests showed he was impaired on prescription drugs and alcohol.

Drunk man on chair arrested for burglary

A man arrested on suspicion of prowling a home early today was intoxicated and told deputies “he had no idea what was going on or where he was at,” authorities say.

A homeowner found Brandon L. Woodward, 22, as he was sitting on a chair on the deck of the home in the area of East Sprague Avenue and North Barker Road in Spokane Valley about 2:20 a.m. and detained him until deputies arrived, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

The man's wife called 911. He told police he saw a second man run from the backyard before he got outside.

Deputies say Woodward was drunk and possibly on drugs. He was booked into jail on a second-degree burglary charge.

Woodward was ordered to complete drug treatment after being convicted of residential burglary and second-degree burglary last November. He didn't do so, and he was arrested on a warrant in February.

He appeared in court Friday and was ordered to report to his probation officer Monday morning and to stay with his father while awaiting a new spot at a drug treatment center.

Drunken crash into house leads to arrest

A woman suspected of drunkenly crashing her car into a house will remain jailed on $7,500 bond, despite her lawyer's claim that she is not a danger to the community.

“Crashing into someone's house doesn't count as a danger to the community?” Judge Annette Plese asked public defender Steve Heintz.

Plese told suspect Angelique P. Sam, 39, that she disagreed with Heintz - someone driving drunk, suicidal and ramming a house is indeed a danger to the community, Plese said.

Heintz had asked for Sam to be released on her own recognizance, saying there was no indication she would put the public at risk.

Sam was arrested Sunday after police responded to a crash near East Foothills and North Standard Street about 4:20 a.m. An officer contacted Sam as she tried to run and noted she had slurred speech and appeared drunk

Police say Sam “had urinated herself, completely covering her groin and leg area,” according to court documents. She admitted to driving drunk, police said.

“I drank a lot and tried to hit the house,” Sam said, according to court documents. “I usually don't drink but I couldn't help myself.”

Sam's passenger, who was injured, told police Sam intentionally crashed into the home.

Sam was involved in a murder trial in 2007 involving her husband, Avery E. Sam, who's now serving 24 1/2 years in prison for murdering the couple's great nephew, who was placed in their home under an agreement between state welfare workers and the Yakama Nation Tribal Court.
  

Lewis to remain in jail on $500k bond

An 18-year-old man accused of killing a retired principal who was trying to break up an underage party will remain jailed on $500,000 bond.

If Treven Lewis does post bond, he is required to check in with his attorney regularly, refrain from using alcohol and must have no contact with what Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Larry Haskell described as “a lengthy list of people.”
 
Lewis' public defender, Kari Reardon, agreed to the conditions and did not ask Superior Court Judge Annette Plese to reduce the $500,000 bond at Lewis' court appearance this afternoon.
 
Lewis' family members attended his court appearance but declined to speak with reporters. Lewis' next court appearance is March 27 at 9 a.m.
 
Haskell noted that Lewis was supposed to stay away from alcohol as part of his conditions for leaving jail on a separate assault charge last summer.
 
Lewis was awaiting trial on that case when he was arrested for the beating of Frank J. Motta, 65, who died last Thursday after being attacked while trying to clear out his neighbor's teen son's drinking party the previous weekend.
 
Witnesses said Lewis pushed Motta to the ground and punched him once in the head after Motta nudged Lewis' girlfriend while telling her and others they needed to leave.
 
Motta, a Vietnam veteran and patient advocate at the Spokane veterans hospital, will be remembered Sunday in a memorial service open only to friends and family.

Lewis' criminal history began at a young age and includes an adult felony conviction and six juvenile misdemeanors.

Last July, he was arrested after a woman rding her bicycle near 1500 E. Upriver Drive told police she saw Lewis slap his girlfriend, then yell at her to get up when she fell to the ground. Lewis posted $1,000 bond, and prosecutors dismissed the misdemeanor assault charge because his girlfriend would not cooperate, accoridng to court documents.

Read more about Lewis' background here.

Past coverage:

March 16: VA hospital grieving after beaten employee dies

Sheriff’s ‘copter helps bust drunken party

A sheriff's helicopter helped police track drunken partygoers in Spokane Valley early Sunday.

Officers called in back up from other law enforcement agencies to help them control people at the part in the 16100 block of East Broadway Avenue, which they responded to about 1 a.m. after reports of a party and disturbance.

Sheriff's helicopter Air 1 was patrolling and alerted police to several people in the road and surrounding yards.

Police said several drunken people refused to obey their commands. The majority eventually went back inside as requested, but Rion Holmes, 24, was arrested after refusing commands to stop walking in he middle of Broadway and disrupting traffic, police say.

Police say Holmes also continued to yell at others around the home and encouraged them not to cooperate with police. He was arrested for riot, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.

Nicholas Loverro, 22, also allegedly refused commands and was arrested for riot, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Homeowner Justin Doggett, 25, was booked into jail on suspicion of providing alcohol to minors. An underage female was cited and released for possession of alcohol. Officers arrested a total of nine people, police said.

Man arrested for hate crime at Irv’s bar

A man was arrested for a hate crime Monday for allegedly throwing a glass at a downtown Spokane bartender and yelling slurs against homosexuals.

Two customers at Irv’s bar held Sean D. Slechta, 38, on the ground until officers arrived to arrest him, Spokane police say.

Slechta remains jailed on $1,000 bond after appearing in Superior Court on a malicious harassment charge.  Irv's bartender told police Slechta stumbled into the bar about 7 p.m. and tired to take customers’ drinks, so he asked him to leave.

The bartender told police Slechta yelled profanities and homophobic slurs at him and customers, then picked up an empty pint glass and threw it at him. The bartender was not injured.

Police said Slechta continued to yell homophobic slurs as he was led from the bar in handcuffs.

The hate crime charge alleges Slechta attacked the bartender and the patrons because of their sexual orientation.

Suspect threatens to eat police, dogs

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Police say a man in Indiana accused of stealing a car threatened to hunt down and eat his arresting officers, their families and police dogs.

The Journal & Courier reports that 39-year-old Paul M. Brock of Frankfort was charged Wednesday with auto theft, resisting law enforcement, intimidation and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Police in Lafayette, 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis, used dogs to subdue Brock during his arrest on Friday.

Police say Brock later told officers that he would hunt them down and eat them, their families and their dogs. He had a blood-alcohol content more than three times Indiana's legal limit.

He was jailed on a $25,000 bond at the Tippecanoe County Jail.

Tips sought on Chevron beer robbers

Spokane police are asking for helping identifying two men who assaulted a store clerk and stole a 20-pack of beer early Monday.

The men assaulted the clerk at Chevron Food Mart, 1703 E. Francis Ave., after he confronted them for stealing the beer about 12:25 a.m., police said today.

The robbers ran west on Francis. The men are described as possibly Hispanic, in their late teens with slight builds. One wore a red jacket, black baseball hat and jeans; the other wore a gray hooded-sweatshirt, dark jacket and jeans.

Police released surveillance images and video of the heist today.

Anyone with information on the men's identities is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Fla. man takes beer break to rob bank

PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Tampa Bay area man ordered a beer at a bar, left to rob a nearby bank then came back to finish his beer.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office says 52-year-old John Robin Whittle was arrested at the Hayloft Bar in Port Richey on Dec. 22.

Deputies say he's the man who robbed a Wells-Fargo bank branch earlier, but not before stopping off at the Hayloft for a brew.

A bartender there says Whittle ordered a beer, disappeared for about 30 minutes and then returned to his beer. Deputies say they arrested him at the bar about 10 minutes after he left the bank.

Whittle remained in jail Dec. 23 on $10,000 bond. No attorney was listed for him. 

New details in Riverfront murder case

A Spokane man accused of killing his friend in Riverfront Park after a night of drinking told police he was so intoxicated that he didn’t realize who he was assaulting until he saw his shoes, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Yukio M. Rideb, 21, (pictured) told officers Romero J. Vivit, III, needed to be hospitalized but was still breathing when he left him in the park early Saturday after the drunken assault. Rideb will remain in the Spokane County Jail on $500,000 bond after appearing in court today on a second-degree murder charge. Divers pulled Vivit’s body from the Spokane River on Tuesday.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Dec. 20: Murder arrest made in missing man's death

Trooper passed wrong-way I-90 driver

A wrong-way driver accused of injuring two people in a freeway crash early Sunday passed a state trooper just before the 3:34 a.m. crash

Eric Edward McElmurry, 28, was allowed to leave jail on his own recognizance Monday after appearing before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price on vehicular assault charges.

Trooper Falkner was westbound on Interstate 90 east of Liberty Lake when McElmurry passed him going eastbound in the neighboring westbound lane, according to a probable cause affidavit. Falkner tried to stop him, but McElmurry's 1999 Mercury Mystic crashed head-on into a 2006 Mercury Mariner driven by Tabatha B. Dudley, 22, of Spokane Valley, police said.

Dudley was injured, along with passengers Danielle L. Cowan, 23, of Coeur d'Alene, and Zachary O'Reilly, 25, of Spokane, who both suffered broken bones; McElmurry was treated at a hospital before being booked into jail.

Troopers say McElmurry smelled of alcohol and began to vomit when he woke up in the emergency room. McElmurry said he'd drank alcohol at a party near Altamont and at a home in Cheney. He said he drank six or seven beers beginning around 9:30 p.m. and “admitted that his ability to drive was affected by his alcohol usage.”

McElmurry told troopers he believed he got onto the freeway at Freya Street and said he had no idea he was driving the wrong way.

“The defendant was upset that other people had been injured and started crying,” accoridng to the affidavit

Troubled U-Hi school teacher to be jailed

University High School teacher Michael Cronin was placed on paid administrative leave in August and has been sentenced to serve nearly a year in jail after being found guilty of two criminal charges in September.

Additional charges from a separate incident in Pend Oreille County – resisting arrest and obstructing a law enforcement officer – are still pending.

Read the rest of Nina Culver's story here.

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