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‘Disparaging remarks’ led to Valley hit and run

Jonathan Wayne McElfish (Crime Stoppers)
Jonathan Wayne McElfish (Crime Stoppers)

A hit-and-run crash that injured a bicyclist in Spokane Valley was apparently a driver’s revenge for the biker insulting his girlfriend, police said today.

Dallas Cress, 22, called Crime Check Sunday afternoon and said he “intentionally struck the bicyclist,” identified as Jonathan W. McElfish, 42, of Spokane, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

McElfish was in the intensive care unit at a local hospital late Monday but had been upgraded to serious condition from critical.

Investigators believe Cress struck McElfish while driving a red 1996 Ford Mustang, then possibly ran him over or drug him with the Mustang. Cress said he and his girlfriend were drunk and arguing in the Costco parking lot in Spokane Valley when McElfish approached on his bike “and says some disparaging remarks about this guy’s girlfriend and pedals away,” said Detective Dave Thornburg.

Cress said he followed McElfish and struck him with his Mustang, Thornburg said.

“He said he meant to hit him with his car because he was mad,” Thornburg said.

Cress faces assault charges but is cooperating with investigators and has not been arrested.

“He gave us a written confession,” Thornburg said. “We seized the car. He knows he screwed up.”

Just because someone says, ‘I did it’ doesn’t mean we’re going to arrest you,” he continued. “We”ll match up the physical evidence to say ‘yes, that car did strike this bike.’”

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Then and Now: McGoldrick Lumber

James P. McGoldrick, born in 1859, started in the timber business in Minnesota. Seeing that most of the lumber he sold came from the Northwest, he moved to Spokane in 1906 and bought a mill south of Gonzaga College, east of downtown Spokane.