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Homeowner chases burglars out with knife

Homeowner Gary Dressler looks at the back of his home in West Central where he discovered intruders and chased the pair with a knife as they ran out the back door Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013. The intruders headed off down the alley and the man confronted one of them before they took off again. (Jesse Tinsley)
Homeowner Gary Dressler looks at the back of his home in West Central where he discovered intruders and chased the pair with a knife as they ran out the back door Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013. The intruders headed off down the alley and the man confronted one of them before they took off again. (Jesse Tinsley)

Gary Dressler said he came home this evening to use the bathroom, but lost the urge when he found two burglars living inside his newly renovated West Central house.

A large kitchen knife used to barricade the front door dropped to Dressler’s feet when he broke into his own home because the key no longer worked, he said.

He picked up the knife and chased the burglars out of his home near the 1800 block of West Boone.

A man police later identified as Richard W. Denman, 37, ran off yelling, “I didn’t do nothing,” Dressler told The Spokesman-Review. “I didn’t believe him.”

Dressler, 64, chased him for about a block without losing his felt hat, but eventually Spokane police caught up with Denman around 6:15 p.m., taking him into custody near Chestnut and Boone, Cpl. Lydia Prichard said.

Police didn’t find the other reported intruder, a woman, Prichard said, but the homeowner identified Denman as the burglar he saw running out of his home.

They likely had been living inside the home for about 24 hours, Prichard said.

They at least had time to heat up a pepperoni pizza, Dressler said.

Dressler believes the burglars broke into his home through a punched-out basement window, he said, showing the damage in his backyard outside the window. He noticed something was strange when he found a window screen lying on the ground on the side of the house.

Dressler and his son were in the process of moving in since they recently finished an extensive renovation. The burglars had taken electronics belonging to his son, he said.

“A lot goes on in this neighborhood. We’re trying to settle things down and look out for each other,” Dressler said. “I know there’s a lot of good people in this neighborhood because I just met them.”



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