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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: standoffs

‘Sovereigns’ arrested after SWAT standoff

Two men arrested after a SWAT team standoff in Otis Orchards Wednesday have been identified as Michael Francis Hicks, 55, and David Ray Galland, 58.

A sheriff's detective was driving east on Interstate 90 near Sullivan Road when he saw a red truck in front of him with what appeared to be an invalid or modified license plate. The detective advised dispatchers, who confirmed there was no record of the plate.

A sheriff's deputy and a Liberty Lake police officer, both in uniforms and riving marked patrol cars, responded to assist the detective in stopping the vehicle. They followed it northbound on Harvard Road in Liberty Lake, then eastbound to the 25600 block of East Kildea Road in Otis Orchards where they attempted to stop the vehicle.

The truck pulled into a circular driveway “in an attempt to return westbound on Kildea Road,” according to a news release, but the patrol cars blocked it. Hicks, the driver, and Galland refused to exit the vehicle. The deputy, detective and officer didn't approach the truck because of its sovereign license plate and the occupant's refusal to cooperate. The SWAT team was called because law enforcement believed “there was a high probability the occupants may be armed,” according to a news release.

The men's truck had stickers and signs indicating they were part of a growing “sovereign” movement that questions government authority

Hicks and Galland were eventually cut from their seat belts and taken into custody, ending the three-hour standoff. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich joined SWAT team negotiators because self-proclaimed sovereigns typically recognize the sheriff as the highest law enforcement authority, he said.
“They were, thank goodness, nonviolent and it ended very well,” Knezovich said.
Neither man spoke with police. They were booked into jail for obstructing a public servant and refusal to cooperate. Hicks also is charged with third-degree driving while license suspended.
  

Reports of gunman led to SWAT standoff

Spokane police arrest Maceo L. Williams, 27, after a SWAT team standoff on Thursday. (SPDphoto)

A SWAT team standoff in West Central Spokane Thursday was spurred by reports that a suspected drug dealer with a gun had told people he wasn't going back to jail without a fight.

Maceo L. Williams, 27, was arrested for violating his Department of Corrections probation after police pumped pepper spray into a home at 2301 W. Broadway Ave. Williams had refused to come out of the home for hours.

Williams is a reputed gang member who told people in the neighborhood about his arrest warrant, according to court documents.

Police were watching a home at 2415 W. Dean Ave., Thursday where Williams was said to be living when they saw him leave on a bicycle. He ended up at the West Broadway Avenue apartment.

Four occupants exited at the request of police, including Candice Lyons, who described herself as Williams' “street sister.” Amanda Tucker, who identified herself as Williams' girlfriend, told police Williams had a BB gun that he used “so no one disrespects us,” according to court documents. Lyons said Williams had a 9 mm handgun.

The SWAT team used a siren and bullhorn to try to contact Williams. They also used a robot to try to establish phone contact with him before pumping pepper spray into the home.

Police seized two BB guns and baggies of suspected methamphetamine or other white drugs at the home, according to a search warrant filed Friday.

Williams was arrested last December after a SWAT team standoff at 13110 N. Addison St., in north Spokane.

Police then were looking for him and a reputed Sureno gang member, Bobby S. “Angel” Decaney (pictured left), after a woman was assaulted and robbed of methamphetamine. 

Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza in April sentenced Williams to four months in jail with credit given for about four months already served for riot and second-degree attempted theft. He also was sentenced to two years probation.

Judge Greg Sypolt sentenced Decaney, who faced life in prison if convicted of his third violent felony, to nine months in jail and two years probation in April for the same charges. He remains in jail.

Fugitive arrested in Center of Universe

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A man who failed to appear in court on charges he caused a disturbance at a Missoula hotel was taken into custody by a bail bond company after a standoff at a Wallace, Idaho, hotel.

Michael Dell Babinski, 42, was booked into the Missoula County jail early Tuesday, the Missoulian (http://bit.ly/HHBR9U) reported.

Chase Investigations owner Kelli Martin told the newspaper her team took Babinski into custody at about 2 a.m. Tuesday at the Wallace Inn. She said he raved about bombs and the federal Department of Homeland Security during the standoff.

Babinski initially was arrested Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn. He had been kicked out of the Missoula hotel on Thursday for having a dog. He returned on Friday. On Saturday, prosecutors said Babinski was again asked to leave and threatened to “take down” the hotel. Officers said he was carrying several knives, a semiautomatic handgun, a stun gun and pepper spray and had a large dog with him.

Officers who searched Babinski at the jail Saturday reported finding eight hydrocodone tablets and 7 ½ tablets of lorazepam, an anti-anxiety drug.

Babinski was released from jail Sunday after posting bond on $50,000 bail. Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech issued a $100,000 bench warrant Monday when Babinski failed to appear in court on two counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal trespass and carrying concealed weapons.

A records check showed he had four restraining orders in Spokane County, Wash., and Shoshone County, Idaho, according to the affidavit. Two of those orders prohibit him from possessing firearms, it said.

Robot, tear gas help end 9-hour standoff

A nine-hour SWAT team standoff in Spokane Valley early Saturday ended with the arrest of a 31-year-old domestic violence suspect.

Justin D. Chance surrendered after SWAT members pumped tear gas into the 3500 block of North Ely Road, where officers were called to late Friday on a domestic violence report, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

The SWAT team arrived after Chance barricaded himself inside the home and threatened to shoot officers if they tried to enter. A robot was used to establish radio contact with him inside the home.

“The Sheriff's Office specialty units train together on a regular basis for events such as this one.,” according to a news release from sheriff's spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin. “These situations require a combined effort with these units to ensure the safety of the officers, citizens of Spokane County and people directly involved with the incident.”

Chance remains jailed on charges of second-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment.

3rd-degree assault charge in cop shooting

A man has been charged with third-degree assault for allegedly trying to shoot a Spokane police officer.

Chase J. Earl West, 22, is accused of pulling the trigger of a black semi-automatic pistol, which malfunctioned instead of firing.

Cpl. Nick Lundgren said he saw the gun's magazine slide down about a quarter-inch inside the magazine well of the firearm as Earl-West tried to fire it.

A confidential informant told police Earl West admitted to shooting a “real gun” at police during the Dec. 12 incident at the Randolph Arms Apartments near Spokane Falls Community College, according to court documents.

Lundgren said he feared Officer Micah Prim was going to be shot. Prim drew his weapon then retreated to a position of cover while ordering Earl-West to come out of the stairwell area. No officers fired their weapons.

Earl-West escaped from the apartment complex before an hours-long SWAT standoff began and was arrested in Addy, Wash., on Jan. 4.

He's to be arraigned next week on the assault charge. He's being held on $35,000 bail for that charge and no bail for violating drug court conditions imposed for a car theft charge.

Fugitive cop shooting suspect arrested

A man who officials say escaped capture last month after trying to fire a gun at a Spokane police officer has been arrested in Addy, Wash. .

Chase J. Earl-West, 22, who was wanted on a warrant for violating drug court conditions imposed for a car theft charge when he allegedly tried to shot at the officer Dec. 12, was taken into custody about 3 p.m. by the Spokane Police Patrol Anti-Crime Team, with the help of the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force, a Border Patrol helicopter and the Stevens County Sheriff's Office.

A no-bail warrant was issued Dec. 8 after Earl-West didn’t show up for a court hearing, according to court records.

Officers were looking for him at the Randolph Arms Apartments near Spokane Falls Community College late Dec. 12 when he allegedly pointed a gun at an officer and pulled the trigger, but it malfunctioned and did not fire, police say. A SWAT team standoff ensued and 30 surrounding apartments units were evacuated.

Police believe Earl-West escaped before a perimeter was set up and the nine-hour standoff began.

Crime Stoppers was offering a reward for tips that led to his capture.

Man w/ ‘Sureno’ face tattoo is 3 striker

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A reputed Sureno gang member who Spokane police say stayed hidden in a couch after tear gas was pumped into his apartment faces life in prison if convicted under the state's three-strikes law. 

Bobby S. “Angel” Decaney, 35, (pictured) pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery. He already has two convictions for violent felonies.

Decaney and Maceo L. Williams, 27, are accused of holding 22-year-old Jennifer M. Taylor while another woman assaulted her and stole methamphetamine from her pocket on Dec. 1.

The female assailant choked Taylor unconscious with her own necklace and threatened to kill her, according to court documents. The incident led to a SWAT team standoff in north Spokane.

Police contacted Taylor at a hospital, where she told them she'd gotten a ride on the the South Hill from Decaney, whom she knew as “Angel” and described as having “Sureno” tattooed across his forehead. Williams, the unidentified female assailant and Michael J. Hall also were in the car, she told police.

She said Decaney stopped the car and the woman accused her of talking badly about her ex-boyfriend, who police say also is a Sureno gang member. Taylor told police lost consciousness while being strangled then awoke to the woman punching her and stealing five ounces of meth that was hidden in her bra.

Police tried to contact Decaney and Maceo at Decaney's apartment at 13110 N. Addison, but they refused to come out and the gang unit and SWAT team were called to assist. Police evacuated the area and, after a few hours, pumped tear gas into the apartment. Williams, Hall and Nicole Coffey emerged and said no one was left inside, documents say, but a Spokane police dog, Stryder, found Decaney hiding in a large zippered bag that was secreted inside a couch, according to court documents.

Williams also pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and robbery charges Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court. Both suspects are in the Spokane County Jail. Hall and Coffey were arrested after the standoff but have not been charged.

The police investigation into the assault is ongoing.

Man who evaded SWAT still wanted

A man who officials say escaped capture after trying to fire a gun at a Spokane police officer is wanted by Crime Stoppers.

A reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of Chase J. Earl-West, 22, who was wanted on a warrant for violating drug court conditions imposed for a car theft charge on police went looking for him this week.

A no-bail warrant was issued Dec. 8 after he didn’t show up for a court hearing, according to court records.

Officers were looking for Earl-West at the Randolph Arms Apartments near Spokane Falls Community College Monday about 11:30 p.m. when he allegedly pointed a gun at an officer and pulled the trigger, but it malfunctioned and did not fire, police say. A SWAT team standoff ensued and 30 surrounding apartments units were evacuated.

Police believe Earl-West escaped before a perimeter was set up and the nine-hour standoff began.

Earl-West is 5-foot-8 and 145 pounds, according to Crime Stoppers. His last known address is in the 7000 block of North Cincinnati Street.

Anyone with information on his current location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters do not have to give their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

4 arrested in SWAT standoff w/ gas, K-9

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Four people were arrested after police pumped tear gas and released a K-9 into a north side apartment this morning during a six-hour SWAT team standoff.

A Spokane police dog, Stryder, entered the apartment before police and fought with robbery suspect Bobby S. Decaney, 35, until officers took Decaney into custody. Also arrested were Maceo L. Williams, 27; Michael J. Hall, 25; and Nicole M. Coffey, 27.

Police were looking for Decaney and Williams on suspicion of robbery and assault for a mugging Thursday evening.

Officers had contacted a 22-year-old woman at Providence Sacred Heart Hospital about 8:45 p.m. and learned she’d been choked unconscious and robbed by three people in the 1300 block of Southeast Boulevard. She knocked on a nearby door and was helped by the homeowner.

Descriptions of the attackers and their vehicle led police to Decaney’s apartment at 13110 N. Addison, where Officer Cory Lyons located the suspect vehicle, which contained some of the victim’s property.

Lyons and Officers Ron Van Tassel, Chris Douville and Reserve Officer Gobble tried to contact Decaney and Maceo about 2:30 a.m., but they refused to come out and the gang unit and SWAT team were called to assist.

Neighboring apartments were evacuated. Police described apartment managers as “extremely helpful” and said they helped find shelter for misplaced tenants and provided a warm place for a police command center. The tear gas and dog were released about 9 a.m.

Hall and Coffey were arrested after refusing to surrender or cooperate with police.

Police are still investigating whether they were involved in the mugging, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department.

Fugitive arrested after 8-hour standoff

Kootenai County sheriff's deputies and Coeur d'Alene police spent more than eight hours Sunday resolving a standoff with a man who they say was threatening to kill himself in his mother's home.

Law enforcement responded about 5:30 a.m. Sunday to a call at 317 S. Ross Point Road near Post Falls, after learning that Matthew W. Couture, 44, had barricaded himself in his mother's basement with a butcher's knife.

Following an argument with his mother, Couture reportedly threatened to use the knife on himself. Officers negotiated for about six hours with Couture before he agreed to surrender, said Sgt. Matt Street of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department.

Couture has a warrant issued in California for a felony probation violation related to a domestic-violence charge, according to a news release.

No injuries occurred during the standoff, Street said.

$200k bond for man jailed after standoff

A 24-year-old man prohibited from possessing firearms because of a felony conviction remains in jail on $200,000 bond after he was arrested during a SWAT team standoff early Wednesday.

 Jeffrey C. Salvage appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on a charge of first-degree robbery after two women were confronted at 3006 N. Hamilton Street  at 10:40 p.m. Tuesday by two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, accoridng to the Spokane Police Department.

The gunman demanded their purses, and the women dropped them and ran, police said. The second man told the gunman “don't touch them” and was detained for questioning but not arrested, according to court documents.

The man told police he'd been drinking with Salvage and other friends when Salvage went outside with a gun, gunshots sounded, and he came back inside and said he was out of bullets. The alleged robbery occurred about an hour or two later, according to court documents.

Police recovered a Bryco Arms. 380 semi-automatic pistol while executing a search warrant at 2924 N. Hamilton, where a several-hour SWAT team standoff led to Salvage's arrest. They also recovered a debit card stolen in the robbery; other items were found in the street.

Salvage has previous felony convictions for second-degree burglary and second-degree robbery, as well as money laundering and riot.

Armed man surrenders to pepper spray

A domestic violence suspect arrested after a standoff in north Spokane on Saturday made statements about “shooting it out with police” and “suicide by cop,” police said today.

James Michael Vandyke, 41, is to appear in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon on a second-degree assault charge after police used pepper spray to force him from a home in the 5500 block of North Greenwood Boulevard on Saturday.

Officers arrived to find Vandyke forcibly holding his wife while clutching a gun. He refused to drop the gun and went inside before allowing his wife and others to leave. The standoff last several hours.

After Vandyke exited because of the pepper spray, police found two loaded .40 caliber handguns and a loaded assault rifle on the living room floor.

In a news release issued today, Officer Teresa Fuller said police “have responded to several of these types of incidents in the last couple of months.”

“They are highly unpredictable and, as we’ve seen in jurisdictions around the country recently, can end in citizens and/or officers seriously injured or worse,” Fuller wrote. “Officers of the Spokane Police Department rely on expert training and state of the arts tools they have to try and resolve the incidents as peacefully as possible.”

Not all law enforcement officials carry pepper spray. Spokane County sheriff's officials say it comes down to personal preference.

Man gets 93 mos. for gunfire over $40

A Spokane man arrested during a SWAT team standoff on Christmas Eve will be celebrating the holidays behind bars for several more years.

Robert T. Finkbeiner, 45, was sentenced recently to 93 months in prison for first-degree assault. Finkbeiner was arrested last March after he shot a woman during a fight over a $40 debt.

The victim suffered a non life-threatening wound to her leg.

Finkbeiner was out of jail on bond when police tried to arrest hm on Christmas Eve at 121 S. Haven. A SWAT team used teargas to help take him into custody. He was sentenced Tuesday.

Gunfire over $40 leads to standoff

A Spokane man celebrated the holiday in jail after he was teargassed and arrested during an hours-long Christmas Eve standoff.

Robert T. Finkbeiner, 44, is set for trial next month for allegedly shooting a woman in her leg last March during a fight over a $40 debt.

Two young children were in the room when Finkbeiner pulled the gun, police said. Finkbeiner was allowed to leave jail pending trial on assault, burglary and robbery charges, but a warrant was issued Dec. 7 after prosecutors said Finkbeiner had contacted the alleged victim, Rachel A. Mitchell, 24, several times recently to try to persuade her not to testify.

“Mitchell stated she has full intent to show up in court against Finkbeiner because he should not get away with shooting her over $40,” according to court documents.

Finkbeiner also is charged with five counts of unlawful possession of a firearm for guns seized at his apartment at 1924 W. Gardner in March.

Finkbeiner was living at 121 S. Haven St. when police tried to arrest him about 9:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

A SWAT team used chemical agents to help take him into custody. Finkbeiner remains in jail on $50,000 bond. His girlfriend, Julie K. French, was arrested on second-degree rendering criminal assistance after telling police he wasn't at the house. French was released on her own recognizance on Christmas.

Man sought after SWAT comes up empty

Spokane police are looking for a domestic violence suspect they believe escaped before officers surrounded his Hillyard home for four hours on Saturday.

Police say Pedro J. Garcia, 35, was reported to be suicidal when they arrived at 2900 E. Diamond shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday to check on the safety of a woman there, according to the Spokane Police Department.

When the SWAT team entered the home after a four-hour standoff, Garcia wasn’t inside.

Now he’s being sought on charges of domestic violence, violating a protection order, burglary, unlawful imprisonment and harassment.

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

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