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Tuesday, March 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Father of man killed during attempted vehicle theft faces charges of attempted vehicle theft

The father of a Spokane man shot to death in March while trying to steal a car will appear in Superior Court today — for trying to steal a car.

Brian J. Kaluza was arrested in April after he tried to steal a fully marked Spokane Police Department patrol car, according to police reports.

Kaluza’s son, 25-year-old Brendon T. Kaluza-Graham, was shot and killed by Gail Gerlach, 57, in March after Kaluza-Graham attempted to steal his truck. Gerlach faces charges of first-degree manslaughter.

Police say Kaluza, 41, was shouting and banging on the windows of the Public Safety Building, near the booking area of the Spokane County Jail, on April 14, three weeks after Gerlach shot his son. Two officers, who were leaving the jail at that time, asked him what he was doing. Kaluza said he was visiting friends.

Kaluza’s car, meanwhile, was running in the Juvenile Detention center parking lot with music blaring loudly, according to police reports.

Before police could ask Kaluza any further questions, he returned to his running car and drove away, according to police reports. Police drove after Kaluza to ask him about the bizarre behavior at the Public Safety Building, as well as for violating the noise ordinance by blasting his music.

Kaluza fled police pursuit, driving recklessly through downtown before stopping in a parking lot at Bernard Street and Main Avenue, according to police reports. Kaluza exited his car, and when officers attempted to stop him he opened the door to an idling patrol car and sat in the driver’s seat.

Police ordered Kaluza out of the car, but he refused, according to police reports. When officers tried to pull him out of the car, he fought back until police handcuffed him and placed him under arrest. No one suffered serious injuries during the struggle, though Kaluza had several abrasions to his face.

Kaluza will appear on felony charges of attempting to elude police and attempted theft of a motor vehicle in Judge James Triplet’s courtroom this afternoon.

This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.

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