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Church Locking Its Doors After Man Assaulted, Robbed

An assault Tuesday afternoon at Valley Fourth Memorial Church has forced church leaders to lock the building’s doors.

Rocky Banks was hit in the back of the head with a piece of 2-by-4 lumber as he measured a window at the church. His assailant stole his wallet, making off with some money, credit cards and “all of the normal stuff you have in your wallet,” Banks said.

The Post Falls man, who works for Northwest Windows in the Valley, was taking measurements to prepare a bid on a job at the church when he was attacked at about 2 p.m.

Banks suffered a mild concussion and was taken to Valley Hospital and Medical Center, where he was treated and released later that same evening.

Pastor George Hippe said the attack was the second unusual event in less than a week at the church, which is at 23rd and Bowdish.

In a separate incident earlier in the week, a man entered the church, approached school business manager Don Lewis and said he was a preacher who needed money. The man left after Lewis began to question him.

The visit by the stranger startled church leaders, but the attack was the last straw. Hippe said the main entrance is now the only door left unlocked during business hours.

Even the inside door to the reception bay is locked.

“We usually have everything open, but we’re not doing that anymore this summer,” Hippe said.

Because Banks was approached from behind and could give little information about his attacker, deputies have no suspects in the case.

“The last thing I remember, something hit me,” the 36-year-old said.

Though he was stunned, Banks said he felt somebody reaching into his back pocket while he laid on the ground. When he reached for his wallet, his attacker stomped on his hand and kicked him in the back.

“I couldn’t believe this happened in broad daylight at a church,” Banks said.

Valley man arrested

Deputies used chemical spray to subdue a Valley man Tuesday after an off-duty officer said he saw a man breaking windows out of a Valley house.

Tony Shinskie, 13609 E. Broadway, was charged with residential burglary, second-degree burglary, first- and second-degree malicious mischief, resisting arrest and obstruction of deputies.

Shinskie, 41, was being held at the Spokane County Jail on a $10,000 bond for the two counts of burglary and the two counts of malicious mischief.

The off-duty deputy noticed windows being broken out of a house at 14425 E. Wellesley and called for backup, according to a Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

Two more deputies arrived, and the suspect approached them with fists clenched, deputies said. The deputies sprayed the man to calm him down and allow them to arrest him.

The Valley home where Shinskie was arrested had been extensively vandalized. Almost every window was broken, and the television set, microwave oven, several plants and other household items were destroyed.

Blaze damages Valley home

Fire raged through the living room of a Valley woman’s home Wednesday afternoon, destroying the room and leaving smoke damage throughout the house.

When firefighters arrived at 4310 N. Silas, smoke was pouring out of Diane Christiansen’s front door as flames danced through the living room.

Damage was estimated at $25,000.

Investigators said the motor of a fan that had fallen on the couch started the fire.

Teen injured in fight

A 13-year-old boy was beaten while he watched a baseball game Wednesday at Bowdish Junior High.

Deputies arrested a 15-year-old Valley youth on a charge of seconddegree assault.

The 13-year-old boy was treated at Sacred Heart Medical Center for a concussion and a broken nose.

He was on the roof of a building at Bowdish watching a Little League baseball game when four teenage boys and two girls motioned for him to come off the roof to talk to them.

A discussion ensued and quickly escalated into a fight. Deputies said the 15-year-old kicked the boy four to five times in the face and stomach while the others looked on.

, DataTimes