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Police sergeant stabbed in attack outside restaurant

Sun., Jan. 25, 2009

One suspect in jail; another still sought

A Spokane police sergeant was stabbed in the face late Friday, and later two officers investigating the attack were injured in a hit-and-run accident.

One suspect in the stabbing is in custody on a felony assault charge and another, described as a transient, is still at large.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Department major crimes detectives are investigating the attack in downtown Spokane.

Sgt. Brad Thoma was stabbed in the jaw outside the Steam Plant Grill about 10 p.m. Thoma was taken to a nearby hospital, where he received stitches and was released.

In a news release Saturday morning, detectives reported how both the assault and hit-and-run unfolded:

Thoma, Spokane police Officer Amy Ross and a civilian female friend were leaving the Steam Plant Grill. They had split up and were getting their individual vehicles from the parking area.

As Ross was pulling up to Lincoln to exit, she was confronted by two men walking southbound on the sidewalk. The men began making rude and sexually inappropriate comments to her, detectives said.

Thoma told investigators that he walked over and told the men to knock it off and to show some respect. The two suspects began advancing on him, and Thoma identified himself and Ross as police officers. He told Ross to get her pistol from her car, and he displayed his identification to the men.

The two men continued to advance on Thoma, and when they were about four feet away, Thomas saw that one of the men, identified as 19-year-old Kenneth James Kheel, was holding a knife in his right hand.

Kheel lunged at Thoma and stabbed the sergeant in the jaw, detectives said.

Thoma was able to grab the suspect’s arm, but Kheel tossed the knife to his companion, identified as 23-year-old Gyles “Shannon” Dogskin, who fled the scene with the weapon, detectives said.

Thoma, Ross and a civilian passer-by fought and detained Kheel until patrol officers arrived to arrest him. Kheel was booked into the Spokane County Jail on a first-degree assault charge.

Meanwhile, patrol officers located a man they thought might be the other suspect. Spokane police Officer Cory Lyons drove Ross to the man’s location to attempt an identification, but the man detained was not Dogskin.

As Lyons and Ross were driving back to the scene of the assault, their patrol car was broadsided by a hit-and-run driver. Both officers were injured and taken to the hospital. Ross received stitches in one of her legs, and Lyons was treated for an injured wrist.

The Police Department is investigating the collision. Patrol units also are searching for Dogskin, the Sheriff’s Department said, “because they best know the downtown haunts where he likely is hiding.”

Police say there is probable cause for Dogskin’s arrest for rendering criminal assistance. Anyone who knows his location is encouraged to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

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