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Record week for suspended licenses in Liberty Lake

The Liberty Lake Police Department had a record-breaking week from April 9 to Monday, at least in terms of the number of arrests for driving with a suspended license. There were 13 arrests for the offense, most of which came after officers spotted cars speeding or with expired vehicle tabs.

One of the suspended license arrests generated yet more charges. A driver spotted at 7:20 a.m. on April 12 in the 19000 block of East Broadway Avenue was recognized by an officer, who knew he had a suspended license, said Police Chief Brian Asmus. The driver, a 33-year-old Liberty Lake man, also had two warrants for his arrest.

The officer called the registered owner of the car the man was driving to have her come get the car. The owner said the driver did not have permission to have the car, Asmus said, so the driver was also charged with theft of a motor vehicle and possession of stolen property.

There were plenty of other calls to keep officers busy during the week. An officer was heading eastbound on Interstate 90 on April 9 when he saw a car going 82 mph, following too close and making illegal lane changes, Asmus said. The driver also cut off the patrol car at one point, forcing the officer to brake to avoid a collision, he said. The driver was pulled over and reportedly said he was taking a friend home and didn’t want to be late for work, Asmus said. He was cited for reckless driving.

A vehicle theft was reported in the 22800 block of Country Vista Drive at 2 p.m. Saturday, but the issue turned out to be more complicated than that. A woman reported that she had parked near some stairs while dropping off a resident and left her keys and two children, ages 10 and 11, in the car while carrying suitcases upstairs.

The woman told police that when she came back down she saw her car being driven across the parking lot. An elderly man parked the car and reportedly told the woman that he had moved it because it was in his parking spot, Asmus said.

There was some debate about whether the man knew the children were in the car, Asmus said. “The kids said that he looked in the windows at them before he got in the car and drove off,” Asmus said. “He said he didn’t see the kids until after he pulled across the parking lot.”

Asmus said he forwarded a request to the Spokane County prosecutor’s office to charge the man with taking a motor vehicle without permission and unlawful imprisonment.

Other arrests during the week include one for driving under the influence and another for domestic violence assault. Police were notified at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday that two boaters were in the water near the Liberty Lake boat launch after their boat capsized. Other boaters rescued the two, who were not wearing life vests, Asmus said.

A suspicious person was reported in the 23000 block of Valleyway at 10:35 p.m. on April 11. A resident reported that a man was on his back deck trying to open the back door, Asmus said. Officers responded but couldn’t locate the man. A caller reported seeing a group of people smoking marijuana in Pavillion Park on April 10, but an officer couldn’t locate the group when he walked through the park, Asmus said.