Man who fought police dies in hospital


A 35-year-old man who was hospitalized Saturday after fighting with police died about 3:30 p.m. Monday at Deaconess Medical Center.

An autopsy is planned to determine the cause of death for Otto Carl Zehm.

Acting Police Chief Jim Nicks said the fight was under investigation, but “appropriate defensive tactics were used by the officers to subdue this man who fought violently.”

Nicks said Taser stun guns were ineffective after Zehm attacked one officer shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday and fought several more.

The incident began when a woman reported a man behaving suspiciously at Ruby and Indiana. A police officer approached Zehm at the Zip Trip store at Division and Augusta, and Zehm lunged at the officer, according to Cpl. Tom Lee. It took four or five officers to subdue Zehm, who gave an address of 1934 N. North Center Street, Lee said.

Zehm began having trouble breathing, Lee said, and was taken to Deaconess.

– John Craig

Robber allegedly says she needs cash for kids

Coeur d’Alene police briefly closed streets in the downtown area Monday afternoon to search for an apparently pregnant woman who held up a Bank of America branch.

Bank tellers told police the woman came into the branch at 401 Front Ave. at about 1:30 p.m. and said she had “four kids to take care of and a fifth on the way.” They said she was holding a list of bills she needed to pay and “appeared stressed.”

The woman told a teller she had a gun, but she didn’t brandish a weapon. She left on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash, Sgt. Christie Wood said.

Witnesses last saw the woman in the 400 block of North Fourth Street.

Police said the suspect appeared to be in her mid-30s and looked pregnant.

She was described as 5 feet 9 inches tall with “very blue eyes,” a fair complexion and dark hair pulled back in a bun.

Police are asking anyone with information to call (208) 769-2296.

– Taryn Brodwater OLYMPIA

Parking fees out at Washington parks

Goodbye, “iron ranger.”

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill Monday doing away with the unpopular $5-a-day parking fees at Washington’s state parks. The change will kick in April 9.

Lawmakers and Gregoire said the change will encourage families to go to state parks. Many lawmakers blamed the fee for a recent decline in visits.

But park advocates say the fee – usually paid in envelopes and slipped into heavy metal canisters at park entrances – raised millions of badly needed dollars for park maintenance, clean restrooms and interpretive programs.

Lawmakers must come up with another source of maintenance money during the next session, Gregoire said Monday.

– Richard Roesler

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