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Bottle bomb response requires no closures in Liberty Lake


The Spokane County bomb squad responded to a suspicious device near the outlet trail along Trailhead Golf Course in Liberty Lake at 10 a.m. Saturday, creating a bit of a stir. “It was a bottle bomb,” said Liberty Lake police Chief Brian Asmus.

A bottle bomb is created when household chemicals are mixed in a plastic bottle. It is usually set off by throwing it on the ground but in this case the device never exploded, Asmus said. The bottles produce a surprisingly big explosion along with a caustic gas created by the chemicals, Asmus said.

Asmus said he suspects kids may have created the device and said he easily found instructions for making one on YouTube. The device was removed with a minimum of fuss. “It was far away from anybody,” he said. “We didn’t have to shut down the road or close down the golf course.”

After a previous crackdown on unlicensed solicitors selling everything from magazine subscriptions to home security systems, there were no further reports of door-to-door selling during the week of June 11-18. Asmus said he has heard that the number of calls for unlicensed solicitors in unincorporated Spokane County – where it is not illegal – has risen sharply since his department made arrests.

The calls police received during the week ranged from rowdy teenagers to vehicle prowling. Someone dumped trash at Pump House Park at Boone Avenue and Simpson Road and a resident in the 1400 block of North Cavalier Court reported that someone shot out a window in his car with a pellet gun.

Someone called police at 11 a.m. on June 14 to report that two men were fighting at Mission Avenue and King James Lane, and that one of them was armed with a hammer. Officers found two men who said they got into an argument and then a fistfight. “We never saw a hammer come into play,” Asmus said. One of the men was arrested for fourth-degree assault.

There were three arrests for driving with a suspended license during the week. Officers also assisted the Washington State Patrol and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office on several calls. An officer on patrol who found a golf cart outside a business in the 23200 block of East Knox Avenue with the keys in it late one night parked the cart with several others and removed the keys for safekeeping, Asmus said. The keys were returned to the business the next day.

During the week officers handed out two citations for license and plates required, two for operating a motorcycle without a helmet and two for failure to wear a safety belt. Additional citations were given for parking on a bike path, riding a motorcycle without a motorcycle endorsement, speeding and speeding in a school zone.

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