ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Tasers

Jury indicts Tasered fugitive for gun

A grand jury has indicted a mail thief who shot a round from a fire arm after being shocked with a stun gun by U.S. Marshals last month.

Tony L. Gust, 33, faces up to 10 years in federal prison if convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He was arrested July 20 after federal agents found him at his home in the 22000 block of West Jacobs Road, northwest of Airway Heights, and watched as he ran into his trailer and “armed himself with a firearm,” according to a news release.

He was struck with a taser, and “subsequently a round was fired from the weapon Gust was holding,” the news release said. Gust was arrested without further incident.

Gust was arrested in January 2011 after a postal inspector recognized him from surveillance video that showed him breaking into post office boxes at the Opportunity post office, 11712 E. Sprague Ave.

He was sentenced in June to three years of probation, but that was revoked in October and he was sent to jail for six months. He left in April and was to participate in a treatment program.

Authorities noted his “troubling history of violence and offenses involving firearms,” in court documents filed in May 2011, which his lawyer attributed to Gust's “physical, mental and dependency problems” and said treatment would serve well.

He remains in custody at the Spokane County Jail after pleading not guilty to the charge on Tuesday. A probation violation hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21.

Mail thief fires shot after Taser shock

A convicted mail thief wanted for violating his probation shot a round from a firearm after being shocked with a stun gun today northwest of Airway Heights, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

No one was injured and Tony L. Gust, 33, was arrested without further incident, authorities say.

Marshals were looking for Gust after a warrant was issued today in U.S. District Court. They found him at his home in the 22000 block of West Jacobs Road about 4:20 p.m. and watched as he ran into his trailer and “armed himself with a firearm,” according to a news release.

“Deputies deployed a taser striking Gust. Subsequently a round was fired from the weapon Gust was holding,” the news release said. “The Deputy U.S. Marshals then subdued Gust and took him into custody.”

Gust was arrested in January 2011 after a postal inspector recognized him from surveillance video that showed him breaking into post office boxes at the Opportunity post office, 11712 E. Sprague Ave.

He was sentenced in June to three years of probation, but that was revoked in October and he was sent to jail for six months. He left in April and was to participate in a treatment program.

Authorities noted his “troubling history of violence and offenses involving firearms,” in court documents filed in May 2011, which his lawyer attributed to Gust's “physical, mental and dependency problems” and said treatment would serve well.

Gust has previously been employed as a welder and a cook, according to court documents. In 2003, he was arrested for illegally shooting on a property in Liberty Lake, according to news archives.
  

Man Tasered over $150 heroin debt

A Spokane woman forced her way into a man's home and shocked him with a Taser over a $150 heroin debt early Wednesday, police say.

Faith M. Lee, 39, was arrested on a first-degree burglary charge with Roger Larry Blair, 53, after a resident at 2922 W. Hartson Ave., Micah W. Kaluzny, said they shoved their way into his apartment. Lee shocked Kaluzny with a Taser and stole his cellphone.

Spokane police saw red marks on Kaluzny's stomach that were consistent with a Taser.

Officers located Lee and Blair at an apartment at 2232 E. 1st Ave.  Police found a scale and heroin in the apartment, as well as Kaluzny's cell phone. Blair, who was wanted on a felony warrant, told police he accompanied Lee to collect a drug debt and “act as muscle” to make sure she didn't get hurt, according to court documents.

Both suspects remain in jail after appearing in Superior Court Wednesday afternoon. Blair also faces a drug possession charge.
  

Man in chase Tasered several times

A man who fled a police chase in the Four Lakes area was arrested after being shocked several times with a Taser late Sunday.

Jesse Ray Waldvogel, 25, ran from his car at milepost 267 on Interstate 90 about 5 p.m. as state troopers pursued him in a domestic violence investigation, according to the Washington State Patrol. He was believed to be armed, and law enforcement, including a helicopter and sheriff's K-9, scoured the heavily vegetated area but came up empty.

Waldvogel was arrested about 9:50 p.m. near Medical Lake-Four Lakes Road and Granite Lake Road but freed his right hand from cuffs and struggled with officers while saying “something to the effects of 'you're gonna have to kill me!'.” according to court documents. He continued to resist after one Taser shock, according to the WSP, so two to three more were applied.

“After the Taser cycled through Waldvogel stated that he was done resisting and asked something to the effects of 'why couldn't you guys just shoot me?,” according to court documents.

Troopers left the Taser probes in Waldvogel as he was examined by medics and told him he'd be shocked again if he resisted. Waldovgel had cuts on his forehead, hands and feet but declined hospital treatment, troopers say.

Waldvogel described the pursuit to police and said he'd been bit by a snapping turtle while hiding in the water, according to court documents.

He was booked into jail on charges of attempting to elude police and resisting arrest.

Tasered man, 56, died of heart attack

A man who died after being shocked with a Taser by a sheriff’s deputy in North Idaho in May suffered a heart attack, officials said Friday.

Daniel L. Mittelstadt, 56, of Mount Shasta, Calif., had a pre-existing heart condition and a long history of mental health issues when Boundary County sheriff’s Cpl. Clint Randall responded to a report of a naked man blocking a road with his car about 1 a.m. on May 16.

Read the rest of my story here.

Judge: Suspect ‘lucky he wasn’t shot’

A 20-year-old man who sped through downtown Spokane to escape arrest also avoided being shocked with a Taser in a wild chase that nearly led to police gunfire late Tuesday, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Andre R. Hallman was “told he would be shot” if he continued to refuse orders from Trooper R. Hill after speeding through downtown at 60 to 70 mph about 8:50 p.m. and exiting his car at 1921 W. Pacific Ave., according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police say Hallman was trying to open the trunk of his car after repeated orders from Hill to show his hands. He stood up and showed his hands after Hill warned of gunfire, but he refused to lay flat on the ground and ran from Hill when a Taser misfired.

The Taser missed again as Hallman ran onto Pacific Avenue, police said. He was arrested about three blocks away.

“He was lucky he wasn't shot, frankly,” Superior Court Judge Michael Price said at Hallman's first court appearance Wednesday.

Price said the eluding case was “just extraordinary” and called Hallman “a menace to the community” before imposing $25,000 bond.

Three female passengers, ages 18, 17 and 15, were not arrested. Hallman's aunt said he took the car from her without her permission.

Police found an unloaded 12-gauge sawed-off shotgun in the trunk. Hallman is a convicted felon, which means he's prohibited from possessing firearms.

He also had a warrant for first-degree robbery from last October. He was booked on that charge and new charges of attempting to elude police. Charges for the shotgun are pending.

$260k to woman strip-searched in jail

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The city of Olympia has agreed to pay $260,000 to a woman strip-searched and zapped with a stun gun in the city jail.

Cynthia Brown's lawyer Edwin Budge calls the agreement “vindication to some degree.”

While settling, the city denies liability. Its outside counsel for the case, Donald Law, says the city accomplished its primary goal, which was to “reach a fair settlement with Cynthia Brown.”

Brown had sued the city in September, alleging her civil rights were violated and that the strip search was illegal.

The Olympian says public documents show Brown was arrested and taken to the jail on Aug. 19, 2008, on a misdemeanor trespassing accusation, which was later dismissed. Records show Brown refused an order to strip to her underwear without a female officer present, then was shot with a Taser. She then removed her clothes.

The newspaper says the city changed jail booking procedures related to strip searches as a result of the case.

Bloody fight w/ Taser leads to five arrests

A bloody fight between a Spokane man, his ex-girlfriend and a group of her friends led to the arrest five people Thursday, police said.

Sandra L. Blindauer, 19, and several friends allegedly forced their way into the home of Anthony Haines, her ex-boyfriend, at 1735 W. Boone Avenue about 3:46 a.m. and beat him, according to an affidavit filed in Spokane County Superior Court.

Haines, who sustained facial injuries, said he used a knife and a Taser to defend himself and stabbed Jose Casarez during the altercation. Casarez sustained a non life-threatening stab wound.

Police said they found blood inside and outside Haines’ apartment, a taser just inside the door and a bloody knife on the stairs.

Christopher D. Blindauer, 22, and Sandra Blindauer are being held at Spokane County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Christopher Blindauer’s public defender asked for him to be released on his own recognizance, saying he was a student at Spokane Community College and missed a final exam on Thursday, but Judge Michael Price declined to do so and imposed the $50,000 bond. 

The judge imposed the same bond for the man's sister, saying he believes they share “I think, likely, equal responsibility.”

Price said the case was “really just an extraordinary situation that could have ended up much worse.”

“But all things considered, it's still pretty bad,” Price said.

Three other suspects, Annie F. Mendenhall, 20, Kayla R. Ensor, 20, and Karla R. Licea, 19, were arrested for first-degree burglary.
  

Trial begins over deputy’s use of Taser

A Spokane County Sheriff’s detective who has been the subject of a number of use-of-force complaints appeared in court Tuesday as a civil trial began by a man who claimed that he was unnecessarily shocked by a Taser during a traffic stop.

Daniel B. Strange, 41, (pictured above) filed a $1.5 million excessive force lawsuit against Spokane County in 2006 after a traffic stop on Jan. 22 of that year in which Deputy Jeff Welton shot Strange with a Taser during a traffic stop in Spokane Valley.

Read Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Dec. 6, 2006: Lawsuit seeks $1.5 million for use of Taser

Man douses himself in paint to deter Taser

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Cheyenne man who doused himself with white latex paint in hopes of avoiding a police Taser was hit with the stun gun anyway.

The Taser chase happened Sept. 16, when Cheyenne police went to Brian Mattert’s house on a domestic violence call. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that when police arrived, Mattert thought they’d use a Taser on him, so he hastily covered himself in paint and told officers that if they shot him with the stun gun, he’d die.

Officers told him the paint wouldn’t affect the Taser’s capability. According to police, Mattert scuffled with officers and was hit with a Taser twice before officers handcuffed him.

He faces several criminal charges. Police say the officers’ uniforms had to be cleaned.

Parents of Tasered bridge jumper file suit

The parents of a mentally ill man who died after jumping from the Monroe Street Bridge three years ago are suing the Spokane Police Department and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for $4.7 million.  

Joshua Levy, a 28-year-old with paranoid schizophrenia, jumped after a standoff with police that began July 26, 2007, and lasted into the next day.

Through lawyer Breean Beggs, Levy’s parents Susan Levy (left) and David Breidenbach, filed suit Monday in federal court against the city and county, as well as Chris Kehl of the Sheriff’s Office and Michael McCasland and Sgt. Sam Yamada of the Spokane police. The suit also includes 10 unnamed defendants.

The suit alleges police never consulted with a psychiatrist recommended by mental health professionals.

Police abandoned a “no hands” policy of dealing with Levy “without obtaining the assent of any of Joshua’s current or former mental health providers or the psychiatrist,” according to the lawsuit.

Levy left the ledge but quickly returned after McCasland deployed a Taser at him. He jumped to his death after he saw Kehl and other officers approaching him.

“David Breidenbach had no warning from either department that their tactics would be changing and thus was watching his son when he was rushed by department members and then jumped to his death,” according to the lawsuit.

Past coverage:

July 27, 2008: Levy’s parents speaking out on suicide

Aug. 2, 2007: Police feared dramatic ending in bridge suicide

July 29, 2007: Jumper’s father questions Taser use

County OKs settlement in Taser case

A Spokane County reserve fund will pay some $112,000 to a man who was shocked three times with a Taser by a deputy during a traffic stop in 2004.

County commissioners approved a settlement this week with Spirit Creager, (right) a painter who had sued the county for $5 million in 2006, saying he couldn’t work or sleep for weeks after being jolted by sheriff’s Deputy Chad Ruff.

The county’s risk management reserve fund will also pay $25,000 to Creager’s teenage son, who was in the truck shortly after midnight on Aug. 30, 2004, when it was stopped on Dartford Road.

Read the rest of Jim Camden’s story here.

Karen Dorn Steele wrote an in-depth article on Creager’s claim in June 2006. Read it here.

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Sirens & Gavels.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here