Liberty Lake Police Chief Brian Asmus learned last week that social media can be the police department’s best friend – or its worst enemy.
His department used Facebook to spread the word about a suspected child luring incident in the 24000 block of East Desmet Road the evening of Sept. 25. Two young boys say they were approached by a man in a white van while playing in a neighbor’s front yard. The post with the description of the man and the van was quickly shared multiple times. “It’s one of the most efficient ways to do that,” Asmus said.
But the information got twisted in the retelling. Soon, officers were being approached by people demanding to know why nothing was being done about the kidnapping of a young girl, Asmus said.
The mistake may have been based on a brief mention in the post that the boys first noticed the man after they heard a girl scream.
Asmus said there had been no report of a girl being kidnapped. “That’s some of the dangers of social media.”
Officers pulled over a white van at Interstate 90 and Liberty Lake Road on Sept. 26. “The driver didn’t match the description,” Asmus said.
The white van involved in the suspected child luring incident was described as white with tinted windows and no visible markings. It may have been missing the front license plate. The driver was described as a white male in his 40s with a skinny build, short hair and a black beard. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
Other incidents from Sept. 23-30
Sept. 23: A Liberty Lake woman was notified that a man was trying to pass one of her checks at the Liberty Lake Safeway for more than $200. The man fled after the manager took a picture of the man’s identification. The case is under investigation.
Sept. 24: A man was arrested for domestic violence assault in the 23000 block of East Boone Avenue after a witness said he threw a woman off a porch. The woman involved may also face a charge of malicious mischief after allegedly kicking holes in the wall.
A power distribution unit was reported stolen from a construction site in the 1400 block of North Liberty Lake Road.
Sept. 25: A man was arrested for domestic violence assault in the 20000 block of East Country Vista Drive.
Friday: A vehicle prowl was reported in the 1800 block of North Caufield. The victim, who reported $10 in change missing, left his vehicle unlocked. He had previously had his wallet stolen from the same unlocked car several weeks ago.
Sunday: A .38 caliber revolver and a $400 pair of prescription sunglasses were reported stolen from a car parked in the 1900 block of North Aladdin Road.
Police arrested Marlo E. Haulcy at Spokane International Airport on a felony charge of domestic violence-threats to kill. Haulcy allegedly threatened to kill her ex-boyfriend and became “extremely obstinate” and was yelling and cursing as she was placed under arrest.
Arrests: There were 10 arrests for driving with a suspended license and three for driving under the influence.
Citations: Officers handed out nine citations for expired vehicle registration, 14 for failure to show proof of liability insurance, two for defective muffler and 20 for speeding. Additional citations were given for driving without a license without identification, speeding in a school zone and use of a cellphone.