December 28, 2011 in City

In brief: Police say man tried to run over officer


A Spokane man tried to run over a police officer Tuesday before abandoning the car and fighting with a K-9, officials say.

Melvin A. Gillespie, 41, who was released from jail earlier this year after pleading guilty to assisting a suicide, is back behind bars on charges of first-degree assault, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and attempting to elude.

Spokane police stopped a stolen Subaru at Rowan Avenue and Nevada Street and tried to detain the driver and passenger who had exited, but the driver got back in the car and drove in reverse toward a police sergeant, who had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck.

Police located the Subaru in the 500 block of East North Avenue unoccupied. A police dog, Leonidas, found the suspected driver, later identified as Gillespie, hiding in leaves in a backyard in the 500 block of East Everett Avenue.

Police say Gillespie punched Leonidas in the head several times before he was controlled by officers. The dog was not seriously injured.

Officers arrest two after store break-in

Two burglary suspects were arrested early Tuesday after residents witnessed a break-in at an east Spokane convenience store.

Officers located Carl J. Biamond 18, and Jelemeto B. Akilang, 20, near North Magnolia Street and East Tilsley Place after bystanders observed two men breaking into the Mission Food Mart, 1905 E. Mission Ave., and called police.

Biamond was bleeding from a 3- to 4-inch cut on his inner thigh near his groin when police arrested him, according to the Spokane Police Department.

Police say Biamond claimed to have been robbed and stabbed earlier that night, but police believe he cut himself on broken glass at the store. Police treated his wounds with a clotting agent and requested medical attention.

Biamond and Akilang were booked into Spokane County Jail on second-degree burglary charges.

Two arrested after ATM burglary foiled

A police officer responding to an alarm interrupted an ATM burglary in progress early Tuesday, according to the Spokane Police Department.

Officer Paul Buchmann arrived at the Washington Trust Bank ATM at 4500 S. Regal St. about 1:45 a.m. and saw two men by the machine who ran east when they saw him.

Buchmann discovered the ATM had been burglarized. Backup officers arrived seven minutes later, and officers tracked the suspects to a home in the 4200 block of East 34th Avenue.

Sean W. McNally, 22, and Kiel A. Frey, 20, were arrested for second-degree burglary, police said.

House fire blamed on portable heater

Combustible items left too close to a portable heater were blamed for a house fire Tuesday morning in northeast Spokane.

No one was injured in the 9 a.m. fire at 2214 E. Heroy Ave.

Firefighters cautioned residents to be careful when using portable heaters. Too often, fires are started by them. Overloading a wiring circuit is a common problem with them as well.

It took firefighters about an hour to stop the blaze that spread through portions of the basement, first floor and attic. A hole was cut in the roof to ventilate the fire. The aggressive effort preserved contents for the residents. Damage was estimated at $35,500.

Firefighters said the past few weeks have been unusually busy with house fires.

Man suspected of many car prowlings

A Spokane man stopped a car prowler in action early Tuesday and held him until deputies arrived, police say.

Coty M. Gillespie, 20, is suspected of breaking into several vehicles in the area of 7400 N. Pittsburg St., where he was arrested after a resident spotted him prowling his neighbor’s car about 3:30 a.m.

Craig Browne, 37, heard the sound of breaking glass from inside his home and found Gillespie in the driver’s seat of his neighbor’s Nissan SUV. His wife called police.

Spokane County sheriff’s deputies tracked shoe prints from the SUV to 11 other vehicles that had broken windows. They also found cans of beer in Gillespie’s bag that matched beer found in one of the prowled vehicles. The bag also contained broken glass, according to court documents.

Gillespie was booked into jail on one count of second-degree malicious mischief and 12 counts of vehicle prowling.

Information sought in rapper’s death

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that leads to the arrest of six men charged in a fatal confrontation between two aspiring rappers at a Spokane hotel.

Jermaine S. Bedford, 22; Kalen J. Bedford, 21; Rashad F. Toussiant, 25; Roderick D. Shanks, 21; and Tyrone J. Carell, 23, are wanted for second-degree assault. Stafone N. “Stix” Fuentes, 27, is charged with first-degree assault.

The charges stem from a Nov. 27 fight at the Quality Inn, 110 E. Third Ave., that led to the shooting death of Jose J. “Junior” Solis, 21, of Moses Lake. 

Aaron A. Maxwell, 23, Anthony L. Fuentes, 29, and Michael J. Charles, 34, already have been arrested. John A. “Lil Danger” Castro, 27, was arrested just after the homicide and remains in jail on a second-degree murder charge. Castro faces life in prison if convicted under the state’s three-strikes law because of his criminal history.

Anyone with information on the current location of any of the six men is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or submit tips online. Photos of the suspects can be viewed at

New 10th District plan promised today

OLYMPIA – Two members of Washington’s redistricting panel reached an agreement on new congressional district maps Tuesday but declined to immediately release details on where the new 10th District would be located.

Republican commissioner Slade Gorton and Democratic counterpart Tim Ceis said they will release the plan today.

“Since this agreement is only a few minutes old, we obviously do not have maps at this point,” Gorton said. Gorton and Ceis refused to describe the plan or say whether it includes a majority-minority district, which some had sought.

The negotiators had initially set a goal of finishing in November.

Commission members must reach a deal by New Year’s Day, or the process will be sent to the Supreme Court. The panel includes two Republican and two Democratic appointees. At least three of them need to agree on the maps.

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