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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Riverfront Park

Sex offender posing in park arrested

A Spokane sex offender is in jail after police say he posed for sexually explicit photos in Riverfront Park Tuesday afternoon.

James Ray Febus, 36, told police that “there was really no full nudity” involved, but Spokane police Officer Shawn Pegram showed him photos to the contrary, and Febus asked for a warning and said it had been an “error in judgment,” according to court documents.

Febus was arrested for indecent exposure, which is a felony because he has previous sex offense convictions for third-degree rape of a child and failure to register as a sex offender.

Police were called to the park about 3:45 p.m. after a security officer on a bicycle saw Febus exposing himself to another man who was taking photos in the seating area overlooking the falls and gondola route adjacent. The officer said anyone in the area could have seen Febus' genitals.

The photographer, Richard Craven, told police he took pictures as Febus exposed “his penis, testicles and buttocks,” according to court documents.

Febus was sentenced in April 2009 to prison for failing to register as a sex offender. He was convicted of the same crime in 2002 and 2005. He was sentenced to 26 months in prison in 1997 for third-degree rape of a child.

Police call river rescue a ‘media circus’

Crews rescue a man from the Spokane River in Riverfront Park on Jan. 13. (SRPhoto/Meghann Cuniff)

Spokane police didn't mince words when describing a recent water rescue in Riverfront Park - they called it a “media circus.”

News crews were at the park Jan. 13 after hearing reports of a man in the river. Spokane firefighters pulled him to safety.

In a weekly report summarizing Spokane Police Department activity, police said the man was hooked mid-river on a rope and was “significantly hypothermic and non-responsive.”

“In the ensuing media circus, the male was rescued by boat, warmed up at the hospital, and booked for his outstanding Assault/DV warrant,” the report reads. Police believe the man was attempting suicide, according to KXLY.

The report details other police incidents that week, including man hit in the head with a hammer while he slept and a patrol officer who tracked burglary suspects using text messages.

The report is available here. An archive of monthly reports is available here.

Man pleads not guilty to murdering friend

A Spokane man accused of killing his friend in Riverfront Park after a night of drinking was arraigned today on a second-degree murder charge.

Yukio M. Rideb, 21, (pictured right) pleaded not guilty to killing Romero J. Vivit, III, 21, in a fight early Dec. 17.

Vivit's body was pulled from the Spokane River on Dec. 20.

Rideb and Vivit (pictured left) had been friends since attending North Central High School together.

 Rideb entered his plea before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette Plese. He remains in jail on $500,000 bond. His public defender is Anna Nordtvedt.

According to police, Rideb told detectives that Vivit needed to be hospitalized but was still breathing when he left him in the park after the drunken assault. He said he was so intoxicated that he didn’t realize who he was assaulting until he saw Vivit's shoes. Read more here.

Rideb’s trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 27, but that likely will be postponed.

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

Murder suspect expected in court today

Spokane police search Riverfront Park on Tuesday. Romero Vivit's body was pulled from the river later that day. (Jennifer DeRuwe/Spokane Police Department)

A 21-year-old man arrested after his friend's body was pulled from the Spokane River with what police described as “visible injuries to his body” is expected to appear in court this afternoon. 

Yukio M. Rideb (pictured left) was booked into jail Tuesday at 4:42 p.m., hours after Romero J. Vivit III was pulled from the river in Riverfront Park.

Family members found bloody clothes belonging to Vivit Saturday after he was last seen about 3 a.m. following a visit to the Revolver Bar, 227 W. Riverside Ave., according to police.

 Rideb and Vivit (pictured right) attended North Central High School together.

It's unclear what led police to identify Rideb as a suspect in Vivit's death, but Vivit is believed to have been assaulted in the park early Saturday.

Park staff told police of cleaning up blood near the Louff Carrousel that day after hearing of the missing person case.

Rideb is on state Department of Corrections probation for a year after pleading guilty in September to third-degree assault and violation of a domestic violence no contact order. He was arrested in August and spent 26 days in jail. He was released after sentencing with credit for time served.

In June, Rideb was sentenced to 29 days in jail for two counts domestic violence malicious mischief, a misdemeanor.

Rideb is scheduled to be appear in Spokane County Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. on a second-degree murder charge.

Man booked after body pulled from river

A police dive team searches the Spokane River in Riverfront Park on Tuesday. (Jennifer DeRuwe/Spokane Police Department)

A body believed to be that of a man missing since this weekend was recovered Tuesday in Riverfront Park, and a 21-year-old is facing a murder charge in connection with the death, police said.

 Taken into custody was Yukio M. Rideb, who is being held at the county jail on a second-degree murder charge in the death of Romero J. Vivit III, 21.

Read the rest of the story here.

Autopsy complete on body in river

A body found in the Spokane River on Sunday has been identified. Detectives are contacting family and expect to release the man’s name on Tuesday, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department.

Riverfront Park security staff spotted the body just north of the Skyride about 9:35 a.m. on Sunday and called police.

The corpse showed no obvious signs of trauma and did not appear to be in the water long, but officers said the cold temperature could be a factor. No identification was found.

Police said the man appeared to be about 30 years old. Investigation into his death continues.

Man sentenced for Riverfront Park rape

By Thomas Clouse

A brain-damaged, homeless man could serve either four more months or up to five years in prison based on a sentence Friday for a rape that occurred in broad daylight on a Saturday in Riverfront Park.

Terry L. Thomas, 54, earlier entered a guilty plea to third-degree rape in connection to the incident that occurred May 23. He was sentenced Friday to 15 months in prison and given credit for 11 months already served.

Bystanders originally told Riverfront Park security staff they saw two people 60-year-olds were having sex in some bushes close to the playground near the former old YMCA building.

But The 27-year-old woman and Thomas turned out to be 27, the man brain-damaged and both had been drinking whiskey, according to court testimony.

Witnesses told police they saw the woman push Thomas away and try to collect herself, but Thomas continued to pull her off her clothes.

“We believe … this started as a consensual act,” defense attorney Al Rossi told Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno. “They met on the bus. They both had been drinking. They both were going to the park. Mr. Thomas doesn’t remember a lot after he got off the bus.”

“Mr. Thomas, unfortunately, was not in a situation where he understood ‘no’ … as a result of his level of intoxication.”

Rossi said explained that Thomas, who has does have a previous sex crime conviction in Oregon, fell in 1993 and severely damaged his brain. Since then, he He since has had trouble finding his words, has been homeless and sometimes has trouble controlling his impulses, Rossi said.

“After his brain injury, Mr. Thomas’ life went to hell,” Rossi said. But “after the injury … he has pretty much abandoned his criminal career.”

Deputy Prosecutor John Love said the sentence could be as much as five years in prison because after Thomas serves the additional initial four months, the case will then go before the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board, which could impose the higher sentence.

Thomas told Moreno that he remembered meeting the woman and sharing two pints of whiskey.

“I do not remember any of this after we got off the bus,” Thomas said.

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