Liberty Lake police: Man – offered release – winds up in jail

A man apparently determined to go to jail got his wish Sunday after he reportedly refused to cooperate with Liberty Lake police officers and challenged them to a fight.

The incident started around 8:10 p.m. when someone at the Liberty Lake Albertsons reported several men in a gold Honda Civic appeared to be intoxicated, said Police Chief Brian Asmus. The description and license plate matched that of a car involved in an earlier call at Barker Road and Mission Avenue in Spokane Valley in which a Christmas tree lot employee was assaulted by one man while another one sliced an inflatable Santa with a knife.

The Honda was spinning its tires and sliding sideways in the Albertsons parking lot when officers arrived, Asmus said. The driver stopped when ordered to and after he was detained, one of the passengers became agitated and theatened officers, Asmus said. When the officers tried to handcuff the passenger he began to fight them, Asmus said.

Spokane Valley police officers arrived with a witness to the earlier incident, who identified the passenger as the person who cut the Santa, Asmus said. An open pocket knife was found in the Honda where the passenger had been sitting, Asmus said.

Two cars full of friends of the people in the Honda arrived and attempted to interfere, Asmus said. “The subjects were ordered to leave the area, and they walked back to their cars but stayed in the parking lot watching officers,” he said. “Additional units were called back to the scene to provide cover for the investigating officers.”

By this point the passenger had calmed down, and the handcuffs were taken off, Asmus. The officers planned to give him misdemeanor citations for resisting arrest and obstructing a law enforcement officer and release him. The man became agitated and threatening again and was told that if he didn’t leave he would be arrested and booked into jail, Asmus said. “The subject refused to leave and began walking toward the officers,” he said. He was handcuffed and taken to Spokane County Jail.

The rest of the calls received by police the week of Dec. 3-10 were relatively tame. An employee in the 1300 block of Whitman Lane called police to report that his co-workers told him that it looked like mechanics were working on his car in the parking lot. He later discovered that its catalytic converter had been removed, Asmus said.

A commercial burglary was reported in the 1300 block of North Liberty Lake Road at 9 a.m. on Dec. 5. The business reported that sometime overnight someone had stolen a flat screen television, 70 bottles of nail polish and nail grinder equipment. Police did not find any signs of forced entry but did recover some tools that were likely used to remove the television from the wall, Asmus said.

A man with a German shepherd on a leash reportedly entered the Albertsons at 7:30 p.m. Friday and walked out without paying for several cans of beer. Video surveillance shows that the man is white, about 30 years old and about 5 feet 10 inches tall, Asmus said. The theft is under investigation.

During the week officers also made two arrests for driving with a suspended license. They handed out three citations for failure to show proof of liability insurance and eight for speeding. Additional citations were given for failure to move for an approaching emergency vehicle and reckless driving.

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