June 18, 2009 in City

In brief: Man fatally shot in back in suspected gang attack

From Staff Reports
 

A 19-year-old Moses Lake man was shot to death in a suspected gang killing Tuesday in a residential area near the Grant County airport.

Juan M. Vasquez Jr. died at Samaritan Hospital. He was in a Honda Civic when gunfire erupted from an approaching vehicle with an unknown number of occupants.

Vasquez attempted to flee in the vehicle but collided with a 1979 Ford Bronco driven by Jeffery E. Forrest, 50, of Moses Lake, at Patton Boulevard and Doolittle Drive. Deputies said they believe Vasquez died from an apparent gunshot wound to the back.

Undersheriff John Turley said it is potentially the third gang-related killing and 11th gang shooting in unincorporated Grant County this year. Deputies are working to identify the assailant or assailants.

One injured, one jailed in machete attack

A machete attack near downtown Spokane sent a man to a hospital and another man to jail Wednesday.

A man and woman were sitting on the 200 block of West Sixth Avenue about 10 a.m. when a man left a home and confronted them without provocation, police said.

He attacked the man with a machete, police said, causing a “substantial” injury.

The three do not appear to know one another, police said, and the suspect, 49-year-old Douglas Harmon, was described as a possible mental health patient.

Officers used a Taser on Harmon following a short standoff and transported him to Spokane County Jail, police said. He was booked on two counts of first degree assault.

Developer agrees to pay EPA fine for creek runoff

G.F. Barnes Construction will pay $12,900 for allegedly mismanaging runoff from its Granite Peaks condo project near Sandpoint, officials announced.

The settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency resolves violations that included discharging sediment into a tributary of Schweitzer Creek and failing to get proper permits. Federal and state inspectors saw the alleged violations beginning in April 2005.

Under the Clean Water Act, developers must create plans for controlling storm water at construction sites. The plans must show how the developer will prevent sediment and other waste from entering nearby streams, rivers or lakes.

Man arraigned on charges of stalking estranged wife

A gang member charged with five counts of stalking and three counts of threatening to kill his estranged wife was arraigned Wednesday in Spokane County Superior Court.

Larry Glenn “Tiny Loc” Gatewood, 34, also faces two counts of first-degree burglary and malicious mischief. Superior Court Judge Annette Plese ordered Gatewood held on a $200,000 bond and set his trial for Aug. 10.

According to court records, Gatewood for months made harassing phone calls to his estranged wife at home and at work.

In several instances, Spokane police officers were present when Gatewood called, including some where he threatened his wife’s life.

Last October, police said Gatewood made threats that prompted officials to briefly shut down Logan Elementary School.

Killer’s boyfriend to be extradited to Spokane

The married boyfriend of convicted killer Shellye L. Stark, accused of helping plan to kill her husband, is due in Spokane next week.

Spokane police will travel to Orange County, Calif., on Monday to get Brian L. Moore after he recently waived extradition, police said Wednesday.

Moore, 43, has been in jail there since his arrest April 27 for first-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy to commit murder in the Dec. 9, 2007, shooting of Dale Robert Stark in his Spokane home.

A jury rejected Shellye Stark’s self-defense claims in March, and she’s serving a 50-year sentence at a women’s prison in Gig Harbor.

Stark’s lawyer, Julie Twyford, said Moore will likely use a public defender.

Program provides meals to low-income children

A program to provide nutritious food to children during the summer months when school meal programs are not available opened Wednesday at West Central Community Center, 1603. N. Belt St.

It is the second Kids Café to open in Spokane in collaboration with Second Harvest Inland Northwest. One was launched at the Northeast Youth Center in Hillyard last year.

The nationwide program offers free meals and snacks to children of low-income families.

More information about Kids Café is available at www.2-harvest.org or by calling (509) 252-6259.

City workers invited to closed meeting

Spokane City Hall won’t open until 11 a.m. on Monday to allow Mayor Mary Verner to hold an all-staff meeting at the INB Performing Arts Center.

Verner will address the staff and answer employee questions, said city spokeswoman Marlene Feist. Verner has asked Gonzaga University President Rev. Robert J. Spitzer to give a keynote address about coping in hard times.

The meeting, which will be closed to the public, will address the city’s budget woes and other issues.

All city workers able to attend are invited. “She wants to make sure that she can have an open dialogue with the employees,” Feist said.

Woman knocked to floor in courtroom ruckus

A brawl that began when a man tried fleeing a courtroom Wednesday ended with the man, a deputy and three attorneys falling onto a bench of bystanders, officials said.

Micah W. Hasselstrom, 34, tried running when Spokane Municipal Court Judge Tracy Staab ordered him jailed with increased bail after the defendant said he wouldn’t appear in court again, a news release said.

Hasselstrom’s public defender, Tony Tompkins, grabbed Hasselstrom’s leg as Deputy John Pederson tried to handcuff him, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Two other public defenders joined the struggle, and the group fell onto the bench, knocking a 68-year-old woman to the floor and partially burying her under the group, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Hasselstrom was arrested for third-degree assault, fourth-degree assault, attempted third-degree escape and violation of no-contact order.

Hasselstrom was in court on the violation charge when the incident occurred.


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