The Spokane Police Department honored a man hailed by many in the community as a hero for helping capture an accused killer.
Joshua Gahl received the Chief’s Citizen Award on Monday. Gahl chased down 17-year-old Avondre C. Graham after Graham allegedly beat a woman with a mallet in a random attack along the Centennial Trail near Mission Park on Sept. 13.
Gahl, who works near the location of the attack, heard the woman’s screams for help and sprung into action, chasing Graham into the Spokane River. He helped police corner Graham on the other side of the river, where he was taken into custody.
After that attack, Graham was also charged with the May 3 stabbing death of Sharlotte McGill and with attacking a female Gonzaga University student jogging on the Centennial Trail on Aug. 29.
Gahl told The Spokesman-Review in September, “I was just doing what needed to be done.”
Man admits setting car ablaze
A Spokane man remains in jail on a $20,000 bond after he admitted to smashing out the windows of his ex-girlfriend’s car before he set it ablaze early Saturday morning.
Matthew A. Radeck, 26, appeared Monday before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese on the charge of second-degree arson.
Several witnesses heard noises outside her apartment at 5317 S. Palouse Highway early Saturday. They went out to investigate and found her car windows broken out. At about 1:31 a.m., the witnesses went out again and found the car engulfed in flames.
Deputy Steven Paynter responded to the report of a vehicle fire and spoke with the ex-girlfriend. She indicated that Radeck had just been at the apartment and was upset because he believed that she was involved with another man.
Paynter then found Radeck just a few blocks from his home at 623 E. 27th Ave. Paynter wrote in court records he could “smell the distinct smell of fire coming from Radeck’s clothing.”
“Radeck admitted smashing the windows out with a rock, scratching ‘whore’ into the paint, and then returning a few minutes later to set the vehicle on fire,” Paynter wrote. “Radeck stated that he did this because he was ‘blinded by anger.’ ”
Teens hospitalized after collision
A high-speed collision in Spokane Valley sent two teens to the hospital Tuesday.
The Washington State Patrol arrived at the crash at Progress Road and Trent Avenue about 2:40 p.m. and found a Pontiac van on the highway and a two-door Mazda wrapped around a sign post.
Investigators say William A. Buckholdt, 64, was eastbound in a van on Trent in the center turn lane when he turned in front of a two-door Mazda, which was westbound on Trent in the left lane.
They collided in the intersection, according to WSP.
Spokane Valley fire crews had to extricate the two occupants of the Mazda. They were treated at the scene before being transported to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. Both the driver, Joseph A. Johnson, 17, and the passenger, Timothy T. Hudkins, 17, sustained serious injuries.
Buckholdt appeared shaken but unhurt, according to the Spokane Valley Fire Department.