September 2, 2005 in City

Hate crime suspect in jail

By The Spokesman-Review

A skinhead accused in last week’s attack on a group of American Indian youths in Spokane was in jail Thursday – in Wyoming – after he allegedly assaulted another person.

Daniel Gean Wilson, 28, was released from Spokane County Jail last week after Spokane Police failed to produce the necessary paperwork to keep him there.

Police Chief Roger Bragdon said Wednesday a detective worked hard, but was unable to finish paperwork in time. He said more than a dozen witnesses had to be interviewed, and some of them lived out of town, making the deadline difficult to meet.

“Believe me, we weren’t happy that they got out,” Bragdon said.

On Aug. 21, Wilson, 28, and Andrew C. Lovelace, 24, attacked seven American Indian youths who arrived at the Spokane River near Pettit Drive to swim, according to court records. The men slashed tires of the van the youths arrived in, ripped the seats and smashed a window, according to police, and later tried to run over one of the teens with a car.

In the days that followed, the Spokane City Council met to condemn the crime in a special meeting, and Bragdon ordered extra police protection for last weekend’s powwow in Riverfront Park.

Lovelace was released from jail Aug. 23 after he posted a $40,000 bond. Wilson remained behind bars an extra day.

Bragdon said that as soon as the department had warrants, officers worked to arrest both men again. Lovelace was found less than an hour after they had the authority to put him back in jail, he said.

Wilson, however, went to Laramie, Wyo., where he was arrested on a felony charge of aggravated assault on Aug. 28, Laramie Police Commander Dale Stalder told the Laramie Daily Boomerang on Thursday evening. Further information about Wilson’s alleged crime was unavailable. He was held in the Albany County Jail on $25,000 bail.

Bragdon said he wishes another detective had been put on the case to finish the document in time to prevent Wilson’s release.

The police investigation was ready before the 11:59 p.m. deadline for prosecutors to file paperwork, but it was too late for prosecutors to get the documents ready.

Bragdon said he told detectives that in future similar cases, they should shift resources or pay overtime to ensure the deadline is met.

“What I’ve done is reinforce the importance of addressing hate crimes very aggressively,” Bragdon said. “This is important stuff, and they know that.”

Sgt. Joe Peterson, who leads the department’s major crime unit, said resources are tight and that the nine detectives in his unit are working several high-profile crimes, including homicides.

“I thought that we were going to get it in under the wire,” Peterson said. “I could have allocated other resources to the case, but then someone else’s case would have sat.”

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