A 19-year-old accused of stabbing an off-duty Spokane police sergeant told his friends the police have the wrong guy.
Kenneth James Kheel is in Spokane County Jail on a first-degree assault charge, according to the jail’s inmate roster. Kheel made his first appearance in court Monday. His bond was set at $75,000.
Gyles “Shannon” Dogskin, 23, remained at large. Kheel claims Dogskin brought the knife to the fight Friday.
Police say Dogskin fled the scene with the weapon after Spokane police Sgt. Brad Thoma was stabbed with the 4-inch butterfly knife, according to an arrest document.
Thoma, who was treated and released from a hospital, was attacked Friday when he and another off-duty officer, Amy Ross, confronted a group of four males who were harassing one of the officer’s female friends outside the Steam Plant Grill. The two had met there for dinner with at least three other friends, authorities said.
Police are told “if you see a crime and you can safely intervene, then intervene,” said Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Dave Reagan, whose agency is investigating the stabbing.
The incident began about 10 p.m. Friday when Thoma, Ross and a friend, Cindy Hahn, were leaving the parking lot in the 100 block of South Post Street.
After escorting Hahn to her car, Ross and Thoma were getting in his truck when they saw the men approaching the officers’ friend’s car and heard them making rude, sexual comments.
Thoma told investigators that he told the men to stop.
The men turned on him, Reagan said.
“Thoma identified himself and Ross as police officers,” Reagan said. “He told Ross to get her pistol from her car, and he displayed his identification to the men.”
Thoma didn’t see the knife until the men were four feet away, Reagan said. One of the men lunged at Thoma and stabbed the sergeant in the jaw, he said.
Ross retrieved her gun and called police, according to Kheel’s arrest document, and Ross said Thoma was bleeding when she got back. A fight ensued after the sergeant was stabbed. Kheel was held down until officers arrived. A sergeant responding to the scene sent Kheel to be cleared medically before being booked into the jail. The blood found on Kheel belonged to the sergeant, authorities said.
Several police officers responded and began searching for the men who fled, Reagan said.
Once a suspect was located, Spokane police Officer Cory Lyons took Ross in his patrol car to identify the person, who was not the assailant, authorities said.
On the way back to the scene, a car broadsided Lyons and Ross, injuring both.
“Ross received stitches in one of her legs, and Lyons was treated for an injured wrist,” Reagan said.
The driver who hit them was found about a block from the crash, police said. The driver’s name was not released. He received a ticket for having no insurance and running a red light, said Spokane police Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.