September 27, 2012 in Washington Voices

Two arrests thwarted in Liberty Lake

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Map of this story's location
Proposed budget

 The proposed 2013 budget for Liberty Lake includes a new police officer and two new police cars. One of the cars would be assigned to the new officer and one would replace an older car currently in use, said Liberty Lake Police Chief Brian Asmus.

 The police department has a staff of nine, including the police chief.  “Our goal is to have two people on every shift,” Asmus said. The department can’t do that with its current staffing, which has been unchanged since 2007, he said. But even adding the new officer won’t be enough.

 “We need two more to make that happen,” he said. “This is an incremental increase.”

Liberty Lake Police officers had a busy week from Sept. 17 to 24, responding to everything from domestic violence calls to identity theft and fraud.

At the top of the list were two arrests officers were unable to make even though the people involved were wanted on warrants. A car was pulled over at Mission Avenue and Grady Road on Sunday and the officer learned the passenger was wanted on a warrant. But a problem with the computer system meant the warrant couldn’t be confirmed and the man had to be released, Asmus said.

Later that same day, an officer contacted a man in a vehicle in the 20000 block of East Glenbrook Avenue. The man was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant but the jail was full and wasn’t accepting misdemeanor arrests, Asmus said.

It can be frustrating to have a wanted man and have to let him go, Asmus said. “It happens,” he said.

Several thefts were reported during the week as well. A business owner in the 22100 block of East Country Vista Drive reported to police on Sept. 18 that he noticed eight pairs of glasses missing after three people were in his business. The Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District reported Sept. 19 that someone had cut the fence in the 1900 block of North Harvard Road and took wiring from a cellphone tower on the property.

A man arranged to meet another man Friday in the parking lot near Starbucks to buy a Morgan Silver Dollar listed on Craigslist. He paid $2,500 in cash for the coin, Asmus said, but later learned that it was fake. He provided the man’s cellphone number to police and officers learned that a man arrested in Lewiston had the same phone number, Asmus said. The case is under investigation.

Officers were sent to investigate a cut-off 911 call in the 21500 block of East Bitterroot Lane at 10:15 p.m. on Sept. 19. Officers found nothing, but one of them remembered being called to the same area recently for an “extremely intoxicated” man, Asmus said. The officers went to the man’s home and found him covered in blood. He appeared to be drunk and had fallen down and hit his face on the floor, Asmus said. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

A resident in an apartment complex in the 25000 block of East Hawkstone Loop called police at 3:35 a.m. on Sept. 20 to report that a man had kicked in his neighbor’s door and gotten into an argument with the female resident. The man was gone when police arrived but the woman identified the man as her boyfriend and said he had broken down the door when she wouldn’t unlock it so he could come inside to get his keys. The doorjamb was broken and the wood around the door’s lock was cracked, Asmus said.

The man was contacted by phone and refused to return to the scene because he said he was drunk and didn’t want to be arrested for driving under the influence, Asmus said. Police have requested that he be charged with third-degree domestic violence malicious mischief.

Someone stole the identity of a Spokane Valley man and used fake identification and a counterfeit check to open a bank account in Liberty Lake, Asmus said. The case is under investigation and a suspect has been identified, Asmus said.

A driver pulling into the Rockwood Clinic parking lot in the 1300 block of North Stanford Lane apparently hit the gas instead of the brake on Sept. 20. The car jumped the curb and hit the building, causing the wall to cave in under a window, Asmus said. No one was injured.

There were seven arrests for driving with a suspended license. During the week officers handed out three citations for failure to show proof of liability insurance and three for speeding. Additional citations were given for license and plates required, driving without a license, failure to wear safety belts, missing or improper bumper, following too close, speeding in a school zone, use of a cellphone and driving with wheels off the road.


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