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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Interstate 90

I-90 traffic stop leads to meth bust

A traffic stop on Interstate 90 Saturday led to the arrest o a 54-year-old woman on drug charges, police said today.

Deputies credited “training and experience” with helping them identify a bag of a white substance as methamphetamine when it fell from a purse belonging to Feryl D. Woodworth, 54, according to a news release by Deputy Craig Chamberlin, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Woodworth was retrieving her driver's license after being stopped in her red Honda by two sheriff's deputies in a patrol vehicle.

Woodworth told police she didn't know what the baggie was and that she was taking it to her friend “to find out what it was,” Chamberlin wrote.

Woodworth was booked into jail on a felony meth possession charge, according to jail records. She was released today on her own recognizance after appearing in Superior Court.

Cop arraigned in road rage gun case

A Portland police captain accused of brandishing a gun during a road rage incident on Interstate 90 in Post Falls acted arrogantly to state troopers as if he thought “I'm a cop and it's no big deal,” according to a police report recently unsealed in Kootenai County.

Todd Loren Wyatt, 43, pleaded not guilty Friday through his attorney in Kootenai County District Court to exhibition of a deadly weapon, a misdemeanor, for the alleged incident on Aug. 13. Trial is scheduled for Feb. 6.

A 20-year police veteran, Wyatt was off duty when he was stopped on I-90 at the Freya Street exit in Spokane by Washington State Patrol troopers after his alleged victim called from the Post Falls area stayed on the phone with dispatchers describing Wyatt's blue Ford F-150.

WSP Trooper Greg Birkeland said Wyatt asked to speak to him away from his wife and children, and Birkeland asked “what difference it would make talking in front of them compared to his prior actions in front of them,” according to the report.

“Mr. Wyatt's response to him was, 'All right, I hear your attitude,'” according to the report. “Trooper Birkeland said he thought Mr. Wyatt showed lack of common sense and good judgment. He was arrogant and cocky and played the situation down, not realizing the severity of what he had done.”

Another trooper told investigators he thought Watt's attitude was that of “I'm a cop and it's no big deal,” according to the report.

Wyatt's lawyer, Gary Amendola, said Wyatt disputes the charge..

“I'll tell you right now, Capt. Wyatt did not point his gun at anyone,” Amendola said. Amendola said Wyatt was “concerned for the safety of his family” because the alleged victim appeared to be trying to cause a crash.

Wyatt, who was with his wife, 16-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son, when he was stopped in August told troopers there was a road rage incident “and he did in fact display his weapon in a holster along with his service badge,” according to an Idaho State Police report. “It was reported the gun was never pointed at the reporting party.”

Wyatt's wife told troopers she thought “those people were going to kill us.”

Wyatt was not arrested. He was removed from his position as head of the Portland Police Bureau traffic division when the investigation opened and was placed on paid administrative leave after he was formally charged last month, The Oregonian reports.

The alleged victim, Nicholas James Cox, 28, told police he was driving westbound on Interstate 90 behind Wyatt's Oregon-plated pickup when he passed the pickup because it was driving slowly.

Cox said the pickup started tailgating and trying to pull up beside him before the driver pointed a gun at Cox and his wife.

“Mr. Cox said he did not wish to pursue charges but wanted the driver to be aware of the seriousness of the offense,” according to the report. But Cox later changed his mind. He told police he'd spoken with his father-in-law, who is retired from the Seattle Police Department, and realized the severity of the incident.

“Mr. Cox told me he could not drive past where the incident happened without getting a sick feeling in his stomach,” according to the report, prepared by Idaho State Police Trooper Kevin White. “He also said when he sees a pickup that looks like the one the suspect was driving, he gets nervous until he sees the state of the plate.”

“Mr. Cox said when he first saw the pickup tailgating, he thought it was just some crazy guy,”  the report continues. “When he saw the pistol, he knew it was more than some crazy guy.”

Wyatt was on vacation from the Portland Police Bureau when the incident occurred.

Wyatt told police Cox was driving his Honda dangerously and appeared to be trying to cause a crash after passing him.

Wyatt said the driver and passenger “were young and possibly gang members” and he showed them his police badge in hopes they would leave him alone. When they didn't, he held up his holstered gun behind his badge, according to a report.

“He indicated once the problem was solved and the Honda quit trying to cause a crash, he put his badge and gun away,” according to the report.

Driver arraigned in wrong-way I90 crash

A Spokane woman who was driving the wrong way on Interstate 90 when she struck and killed 27-year-old Post Falls motorist in March was arraigned today on two felony charges. 

Teri Marie Scheele, 30, told police she had taken an oxycodone pill and “a couple” of hydrocodone pills before the three-car crash on March 25 about 3:10 a.m. at milepost 293 in the eastbound lanes under the Barker Road overpass, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Nov. 4 in Superior Court.

Kenneth Joel Hardin (pictured) was pronounced dead at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Police say Scheele had slurred speech but did not smell of intoxicants. A blood test showed signs of Oxycodone and Hydromorphone use, according to the affidavit.

A Washington State Patrol detective talked to seven people who saw Scheele driving the wrong way on the interstate.

The detective also talked to the driver of the third vehicle, Andrew R. Samek, 37, of Hayden, who, despite initial reports that he wasn't injured, suffered a broken neck when he struck Hardin's 1989 Mazda MX6 coupe while trying to avoid the crash then hit a cable barrier, documents say.

Scheele pleaded not guilty today to vehicular homicide and vehicula assault. She's out of custody awaiting trial, which her public defender, Derek Reid, said is scheduled to begin Feb. 13.

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

Speeding I-90 driver arrested with pistol

A motorist stopped for driving 83 mph in a 70 mph zone Monday was arrested on felony charges after Spokane County sheriff's deputies found marijuana and a loaded pistol in the vehicle.

Juan C. Cervantes, 22, of Moses Lake, was stopped on Interstate 90 about 2 p.m. after deputies Jeffrey Thurman and Chuck Sciortino noted he was speeding and driving a Chevrolet Tahoe registered to a woman with a suspended license and warrant for city theft, according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan.
 
The owner, Tina M. Zarate, 28, of Moses Lake, was in the passenger's seat. Deputies say they smelled a strong odor of marijuana” and were told by Cervantes that his license was suspended and thee was a small amount of marijuana in the Tahoe, Reagan said.
 
Zarate and Cervantes gave deputies permission to search the vehicle, where they found a glass pipe with partially burnt marijuana and a loaded Rossi .38 caliber pistol wrapped in a bandanna. The gun's serial number had been filed off, Reagan said.
 
Cervantes has four previous felony convictions, which prohibit him from possessing weapons. He was booked into jail on charges of altering/obliterating identification marks on a firearm, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana and third-degree driving while license suspended. 
 
 Zarate’s warrant was non-extraditable, so Sciortino cited and released her for possession of marijuana. 

Woman charged in deadly I-90 crash

A Coeur d'Alene woman who rear-ended another driver on Interstate 90 in December has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Lisa Marie Calbick, 33, was seriously injured in the crash that killed Donald Graham, 77, of Rathdrum. Graham was driving a yellow Chevrolet Equinox westbound near milepost 3 when he was struck by Calbick's Kia Optima, according to Idaho State Police.

Graham lost control of the Chevy, which rolled off the right shoulder and landed on its top. He was pronounced dead at Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene.

Calbick was hospitalized in critical condition but has since recovered and is wanted on a $50,000 warrant in Kootenai County District Court.

Anyone with information on her location is asked to call the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department at (208) 446-1300.

Absconder in chase returns to prison

A Spokane man who triggered a weeks-long federal manhunt and a wild police chase in Montana is going back to federal prison.

 Anthony E. Burke, 23, was sentenced to a year in prison last week for escaping from a halfway house last spring. After he serves that sentence he's to return to Montana, where he's to serve four years in prison for criminal endangerment related to the April 2010 chase.

Burke, alias Garver, served three years in federal prison after police found him with 100 rounds of Russian ammunition at his family’s Spokane-area home. He was prohibited from having the bullets because he’d been committed to a mental hospital as a teen.

Burke was to report to a work release center when released from prison, but he never showed up, triggering a search that ended with his arrest on July 31, 2009. He was sentenced to an additional seven months but later left a halfway house for an eye appointment and never returned.

A warrant for his arrest was issued the same day Burke led Montana law enforcement on an intense chase that included Burke driving the wrong way on Interstate 90, driving in reverse, sideswiping barriers and trial, smashing a guardrail. Police drew their guns on him “several times” before h e was arrested after trying to swim away in a creek, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Burke has serious mental health issues and has threatened to kill public officials and cause mass casualties at public events, according to court documents. Documents portray Burke as a troubled man haunted by his stepfather’s abuse and angry at authorities for calling him mentally ill.

Burke will be on probation for nine months after his release. 

Driver hits off-duty SPD sergeant’s pickup

Negligent driving caused a three-car crash Friday afternoon on Interstate 90 in Spokane, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Neida Rios, 58, of Fair Oaks, Calif., was in a Nissan Altima westbound on I-90 when she crossed the median and hit an eastbound Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Patricia Sodorff, 55, of Sandpoint, according to a WSP news release.

Rios also hit Joel Fertakis, 49, of Spokane, (pictured) who was eastbound in a Chevrolet pickup towing a 27-foot trailer. The crash caused the trailer to roll into the median and one of the lanes.

 Sodorff and Rios were injured but not taken to a hospital, the news release said.

Fertakis, a sergeant with the Spokane Police Department, was not injured.

Wallet theft leads to 100 mph car chase

Two suspected wallet snatchers led the victim on a 100 mph chase in Spokane Valley Thursday night, police said today.

Valley resident Robert A. Hunter, 25, and Jenna L. Myers, 25, of Coeur d'Alene, were arrested on theft charges after allegedly fleeing the Tesoro gas station, 13800 E. Trent Ave., with a wallet Myers picked up in the parking lot.

A 22-year Spokane Valley man dropped the wallet about 7:45 p.m. as he exited his car to buy a soda at the store, where he was a regular customer.  The store employee told police he saw Myers (pictured) get out of a car and pick up the wallet, then enter the store and whisper something to Hunter before the two fled.

The victim ran to his car and pursued the couple westbound on Trent as the Tesoro employee called police with the suspects' license plate number.

The victim gave up the pursuit, police said, but officers soon arrested Hunter and Myers at Sprague Avenue and Flora Road. The victim told police the couple ran stop signs and reached speeds of more than 100 mph on arterials, neighborhood streets and Interstate 90.

Myers stashed cash in her underwear and threw the wallet from the car as they crossed a bridge over the Spokane River, police said. Officers recovered both.

Both suspects are to appear in court today on felony counts of second-degree theft of credit cards and third-degree theft for the wallet. Hunter also was booked for third-degree driving while license suspended.

Myers, a 2009 Crime Stoppers graduate, has at least two previous convictions for theft.

Man arrested on I-90 w/ 3 lbs of pot

A California man was arrested with more than 3 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 90 near Spokane Tuesday.

Donald James Stollmeyer, 24, is in jail on a felony charge of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

Sheriff’s deputies smelled marijuana coming from the Santa Margarita, Calif., man’s GMC pickup when they stopped him near the Fishtrap exit.

Deputies say Stollmeyer allowed them to search the truck, where they found marijuana and a pipe under the driver’s seat and 3 1/4 pounds of pot in the bed of the truck.

Stollmeyer was released from jail on his own recognizance today after appearing before Judge Michael Price.

CdA cop avoids head-on freeway crash

 A Coeur d’Alene police officer responding to a domestic violence stabbing had to swerve to avoid a wrong-way - and allegedly drunk - driver on Interstate 90 last weekend.

Officer J. Noble crashed into a concrete barrier while eastbound on the freeway about 9 p.m. Sunday when he saw a driver later identified as Jodi L. Warner, 43, alias Jodi Turbin, headed westbound in his lan, according to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.

Warner, of Post Falls, continued driving the wrong way on I-90 until crashing into a guard rail near Atlas Road, where she was arrested, police said.

Warnerwas booked into the Kootenai County Jail on charges of drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident and is out on

bond. Noble scraped his arm during the crash, police said.

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