Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Coeur d'Alene Police Detectives are investigating a robbery of The Jitterz coffee stand in the 2800 block of Government Way on Friday between 5:55 p.m. and 6 p.m. The suspect is described as a white male, early 20s, 5-Foot-8 to 5-foot-9, very skinny build, white T-shirt and blue jean shorts. The suspect male entered the coffee stand through the entrance/exit door. Once inside the coffee stand the suspect male ordered the two female employees to the ground and stated "this is a robbery, I have a gun." No weapon was displayed as the suspect had a black shirt over his right hand and was pointing it toward the female employees. The suspect attempted to open the cash register, but was unsuccessful. He then took an unknown amount of cash from the tip container/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene police photo)
"The emotional reaction is to blame the police officers, cops gone wild … I think there is an underlying issue of crime in this community that has these peace officers on edge, they're stressed out. People forget that it is a very stressful career, a lot more stress than you and I have in our careers. They have to confront the worst stuff that they see … I get both sides, and I get the reactionary part to blame the rogue cops and what have you. … The last thing we want to do is create a bunch of hysteria on the police officers without getting the facts in order" — Jeff Block/Coeur d'Alene.
- North Idaho reacts to officer-involved shootings/Devin Heilman, Coeur d'Alene Press
David Patterson, who owns and operates Java on Sherman with his wife, Lindsay, said he is devastated by the officer-involved shooting of a dog that occurred in the parking lot of his store Wednesday. Patterson called the non-emergency line at the Coeur d'Alene Police Department after he arrived at work Wednesday morning and saw a white van. The van, which was facing Lakeside Avenue, matched a description he received on social media of a vehicle suspected of targeting children in the area. "It's my responsibility to call the police department. As a father, as a business owner, as a member of this community, it's my responsibility to make that phone call," David said. According to the Pattersons, several police officers and at least two patrol vehicles responded to the call. David returned to work and said he did not hear the gunshot that killed Craig Jones' 2-year-old Labrador, Arfee/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
The Coeur d'Alene Police Department may be taking the heat this week, but a string of officer-involved shootings in the past couple of years has many law enforcement agencies concerned about their eroding public image. Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger and Undersheriff Dan Mattos met with Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug, pictured, on Friday to discuss just that. "That's what we are doing here today. We were discussing how to deal with that image," Wolfinger said after a morning meeting at Calypso's Coffee in Coeur d'Alene. "You should start seeing some stuff come out on this early next week." The KCSO became embroiled in controversy last week when two deputies were filmed in a cellphone video, accusing a car full of young adults of drug-dealing because the officers thought they heard one of them say "nickel sack"/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you think local police have an image problem?
The owner of a dog fatally shot by a Coeur d’Alene Police officer on Wednesday says the dog wasn’t a “vicious pit bull,” as initially reported by the police department in a news release Wednesday, but a 2-year-old black Labrador named “Arfee.”
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Ron Clark, in a statement today, said the department is reviewing the shooting incident. “The Police Department had a veterinarian examine the dog and it has been identified as a lab mix,” Clark said. “We understand the grief the family is dealing with due to the loss of their pet. We also understand the distress this has caused for citizens,” Clark said. “The officer who shot the dog is also distraught over this incident.”
Police reported that they were responding to a report of a suspicious van, possibly containing someone watching young children nearby. When an officer approached the van on the driver’s side, he reported that a dog he thought was a pit bull lunged out the window toward his face, prompting him to fire his service weapon, striking the dog in the chest and killing it; no one was in the van. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
You can argue all you want about who's the most powerful person in Kootenai County, but until one week ago, here would have been our vote: Wayne Longo. For the past six years, Longo led the largest municipal law enforcement agency in North Idaho, the Coeur d'Alene Police Department. With all due respect to fellow pen-wielders, real power resides in the hands of the men and women who are authorized to use deadly force on a daily basis. With that power comes tremendous responsibility, a burden Longo carried gracefully, never losing his humanity or his humility/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here. (SR file photo: Jesse Tinsley)
Question: Are you a Wayne Longo fan?
Coeur d’Alene police arrested a 21-year-old man today for allegedly stabbing another young man Wednesday afternoon on East Sherman Avenue near downtown. Jayde A. Brown, a transient, was booked into the Kootenai County Jail for attempted homicide. Brown, suspected of stabbing a 20-year-old man in the chest, was arrested at a local motel. The victim, who police have not named, was rushed into surgery Wednesday and is in stable condition. Like Brown, he also was listed as homeless. Detectives determined the two men had previous disputes over stolen property/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Except for bad guys who've had him at their heels in a foot pursuit, Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo comes across as about the nicest guy in town. On Tuesday at the Coeur d'Alene Police Department headquarters, Longo, 60, was celebrated by his peers on the eve of his retirement. His last day in office is Friday. Wiping away a tear or two here and there, Longo said being the chief the past six years was the crowning achievement of his career. "I've always felt like I've been one of you, working side-by-side with you," Longo told a conference room full of officers, department support staff and volunteers. "I never felt like I was any better." He added: "I couldn't think of any better way to end my career than working with all of you"/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust CdA Press photo: Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo is emotional during a presentation by Sgt. Christie Wood on Tuesday during a retirement celebration)
Question: I wouldn't want to be the Coeur d'Alene police chief to try to fill Wayne Longo's shoes, would you?
Coeur d’Alene is the host to numerous outdoor events during the summer months. Many of the planned activities take place in the city parks. Every year animal control officers deal with complaints of citizens bringing their dogs to the parks. Citizens are reminded that dogs are not allowed in any City Parks with the exception of Tubbs Hill. Allowances have been made for users of the Centennial Trail in which dogs are allowed on the concrete portion of the Coeur d’Alene City Park. Softball, Baseball, and Soccer fields are not an exception. Owners are not allowed to bring their dogs to the playing fields. Residents who live in the area of City parks are not allowed to let their dogs use the park as an area for excrement. The 4th of July celebration in the park brings about the largest number of complaints/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. More here.
Question: I would like to see dogs outlawed from major community events, like the Art on the Green, Car d'Lene and the 4th of July Parade. How about you?
The Coeur d'Alene Police Department has released the surveilance footage of a robber wearing a SpongeBob SquarePants mask Wednesday evening at Lean Bean Espresso, 1207 Sherman Ave.
Police said the robbery left with an undisclosed amount of cash in the hold-up and there were no injuries reported.
A man with a gun ordered two employees of the coffee stand to hand over cash and fled on foot along 13th Street.
The robber is described as 5-foot-8 with a medium build and weighing about 180 pounds. In addition to the mask, he wore a black hoodie pulled over his head and dark baggie jeans, according to police.
Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Coeur d'Alene police at (208) 769-2320.
- Update: More background, photo of shooting victim/KREM
The Kootenai County Sheriff's Department confirmed today that a 19-year-old Hayden man shot to death by Coeur d'Alene police and a man he'd shot earlier knew one another. A news release circulated moments ago by sheriff's Mayor Ben Wolfinger didn't detail how Christian Buquet (Mallon) and Frank James, 30, of Coeur d'Alene, were acquainted. The KCSD added that James, who was shot in the chest by Buquet at 11th and Lakeside around 11 a.m. Saturday, was in stable condition today at Kootenai Medical Center after undergoing surgery Saturday afternoon. An autopsy was performed today on Buquet, who died in a shootout along Coeur d'Alene Lake Driver near Higgens Point. Autopsy results are expected to take several days while toxicology results are expected to take six to eight weeks, the news release said.
Crime scene investigators work the scene of a shooting at between 11th and 13th Avenues in Coeur d'Alene Saturday. A man shot another man around 11 a.m. in downtown Coeur d'Alene then led police on a chase that ended near Higgins Point where police shot and killed the suspect. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
- Original: Lake City police kill suspect in shootout/SR
The suspect in Saturday’s shooting in Coeur d’Alene has been identified as Christian Nicholas Buquet, also known as Christian Nicholas Mallon, 19, of Hayden. Buquet was shot and killed by police Saturday after he shot another man and then fired a gun at officers and civilians as he drove through Coeur d’Alene, authorities said. According to a release from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, Buquet had one previous arrest for attempted robbery in 2011. The man police say Buquet shot has been identified as Frank James, 29, of Coeur d’Alene. The release did not give James’ condition, but said he is still a patient at Kootenai Medical Center after undergoing emergency surgery Saturday. A hospital spokeswoman said she could not confirm if James was a patient there. Witnesses said the victim had been shot in the chest/Jennifer Pignolet, SR. More here.
Question: Does the shootout and events preceding it make you feel less secure re: Coeur d'Alene area?
Coeur d'Alene Police Department news release: Coeur d’Alene Police Detectives obtained a warrant of arrest for Christopher Michael Hastings, 26, from Hesperia, California, for two counts of robbery, with a seventy-five thousand dollar bond. Detectives developed information that led them to identify Hastings as the male suspect responsible for the robbery at Walgreens and Tesoro that occurred on Sept. 17. Hasting is currently wanted on a Felony Drug Warrant out of California. Hastings appears to lead a very transient lifestyle, and has recently spent time in Coeur d’Alene. Hastings has a criminal history of violence that includes armed robberies and weapons offense. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at 769-2320.
A North Idaho College student is no longer allowed on campus after, according to police, Patrick Budig (pictured) made a veiled threat to his counselor, referring to Columbine in his comments. Budig, 33, is being sought by both Coeur d'Alene Police as well as police in Spokane where he lives. The college has since been working closely with police the last few days to keep tabs of the situation and, so far, there hasn't been an imminent danger to the campus and no need to let students know what was going on right away. While classes are going on as usual, some students expressed concerned about the police officers around the NIC campus. "We had a right to know. This campus should have been shut down," student Amanda Razzaia said/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here.
Question: Was the North Idaho College response in this situation appropriate?
- Weekend Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation say the Coeur d'Alene Police Department is handling crime/problems created by transients well. 62 of 139 respondents (44.6%) took that position. 49 of 139 respondents (36.25%) said local police weren't doing a good job handling such problems. 28 of 139 respondents (20.14%) were undecided.
- Today's Poll: Do you agree with the decision by Sandpoint to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity?
Coeur d’Alene Police Detectives found and arrested two people suspected in recent mail thefts and check cashing: Michael Graham Wilkins, 28, of Coeur d’Alene, and Lacey Lynn Fugate, 17, who is currently wanted for being a runaway from Douglas County, Ore. They were taken into custody at the Lake Drive Motel, 316 E. Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive, where they were staying. Detectives searched their room and discovered property they had purchased with the use of stolen credit cards and stolen checks. Among the items located were a new printer and a package of blank checks that had been purchased from Versa Check on- line with one of the stolen credit cards. Both suspects were taken into custody on outstanding warrants from Douglas County, Oregon. Detectives expect to seek charges today on both suspects for Grand Theft and Burglary/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department.
Police today arrested a convicted killer accused of trying to kill another man in a stabbing Monday night north of Coeur d’Alene. James H. Kountz, 56, was arrested about 5:40 p.m. in the same wooded area near U.S. Highway 95 and Wilbur Avenue where he stabbed another transient, James R. Hoglen, 42, on Monday. Kountz has a long criminal history that includes an involuntary manslaughter conviction in California. He was originally arrested for murder in 1989, said Sgt. Christie Wood, spokeswoman for the Coeur d’Alene Police Department. Kountz has amassed arrests from traveling all over the United States, Wood said. He’s been in the Coeur d’Alene area for about a year. Wood said police have arrested him three times for aggravated battery and contacted him several other times for trespassing/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.
Question: Is it time to clean out the transient camp in the woods behind Target?
The North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force has located wanted subject James H. Kountz. Kountz was taken into custody at 5:40 p.m. today. He was located in the same wooded area where the stabbing occurred Monday evening Near US Hwy 95 at Wilbur Avenue. Kountz had an outstanding warrant for attempted 2nd degree murder. The victim in this case, James R. Hoglen, 42, originally of Reno, Nev., and currently a transient is in stable condition with no life-threatening injuries/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department.
Update: Sgt. Christie Wood tells Hucks Online that there's nothing new in search for suspect, other than fact that he faces attempted 2nd degree murder charges & a bail of $100,000 when caught.
Coeur d’Alene Police officers, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department and Idaho State Police responded to the area of US Hwy 95 at Wilbur Ave at 6:00pm for the report of a stabbing. Motorist reported seeing a male stagger out of the wooded area on the east side of Hwy 95 and cross over the highway to the grassy highway divider. The male victim collapsed in the grass and bystanders provided basic first aid to his wounds. Officers arrived and also provided first aid while waiting for EMT’s to arrive. A 42 year-old male transient sustained multiple stab wounds to his upper torso and one on his face. He was transported to KMC and is currently in stable condition. He was able to provide the name of the suspect who stabbed him as James H. Kountz. Kountz is a 43 year-old transient and is known to law enforcement for prior arrests for aggravated battery. Officers immediately shut down US Hwy 95 at Canfield and Wilbur as well as surrounding streets in order to contain the suspect in the wooded area/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. (KHQ photo) More below.
Pursuit of a suspected shooter had law enforcement hunkered down at a Coeur d'Alene apartment complex from early morning through early afternoon on Thursday. After Coeur d'Alene police and a multi-agency SWAT team had surrounded his residence for roughly seven hours, Zebulon R. Batke, 33, was detained with little fanfare at Park Place Apartments on Ramsey Road. Police reported that the SWAT team breached Batke's apartment and found him asleep in his bedroom, where he had barricaded himself. Taken into custody peacefully, the Coeur d'Alene man was arrested and charged with two counts of shooting into an occupied residence, a felony, and one count of aggravated assault, also a felony/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
A Coeur d'Alene woman was arrested with methamphetamine inside her vaginal cavity this morning. Detectives with the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force located Christine R. Davis-Jasinks, 36, at the Coeur d'Alene Casino and searched her home at 114 Borah Ave. in Coeur d'Alene about 5:30 a.m. today. Davis-Jasinks was booked into jail for drug charges for the meth found in her body and for meth and drug paraphernalia found in the home. A SWAT team used an armored vehicle to approach the home. Police used the extreme measures because of “information about several weapons inside the residence as well as four pit bull dogs,” according to a news release by Coeur d'Alene police Sgt. Christie Wood/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.
Update: Coeur d’Alene Police have worked with SD271 personnel in all of the surrounding schools and have determined no children are currently missing from school. Local private schools and nearby daycares have also been contacted and have not reported any missing children
Coeur d'Alene police are looking for an 8- or 9-year-old boy who may have been abducted by a man in a white van in Coeur d'Alene Place this morning. A 25-year-old Coeur d'Alene woman driving her child to school saw the boy get into the dirty van, leaving his mountain bike in the area of Hanley & Courcelles. The woman described the van as a full-size cargo van with ladder rack. The child is described as 8 to 9 years old, 4-foot-1, wearing blue jeans, a yellow, green, and black neoprene jacket and dark shoes. His mountain bike is described as a green-and-black Huffy/Alpine 18-speed with black-and-green seat, black pedals, and front suspension. Police are working with Coeur d'Alene School District personnel to decide if any children failed to arrive at school this morning. CPD news release here.
JimmyMAC & the Coeur Group will be moderating a forum for Kootenai County sheriff's candidates in the community room of the Coeur d'Alene Library at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22. The event is being conducted by the Coeur d'Alene Police Officer's Association, with Jimmy's group moderating. Jimmy explains the purpose of the event in an email: "The goal of this event is to provide an opportunity for each and every candidate in the upcoming Kootenai County Sheriff election to let their voices be heard. While we do not take collective stances when it comes to local politics, we are very engaged in the community and passionate about being as informed as possible." GOP sheriff's candidates are: John Green, Ben Wolfinger, Keith Hutcheson, Adam Johnson, and Bob Foster.
Question: Do you know enough about the candidates in the Kootenai County sheriff's race to cast an educated ballot?
Wanna know why I stay away from downtown Coeur d'Alene after hours? Check out this battery report from 10:15 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22: "Officers responded to the Eagles Club (209 E. Sherman) for a battery call involving two males and a female at a wedding party. According to the female victim (33 years), she was having a conversation with several people about religion, and the suspect male (31 years) did not like what she had to say. At one point, the female’s husband, a 33 year old male, stood behind her and said “hi” to the suspect who in return (for unknown reasons) punched him in the face three times causing him to fall to the ground and loose consciousness. When the suspect began walking away, the female followed him asking, “What in the hell did you do that for?” and when she was near the top of the stairs, the suspect male either grabbed or pushed her causing her to fall down 4-5 stairs causing lacerations on her legs, bruising, rug burns and a bump on the head." A lot of battery & some serious injury in latest Bar Report here.
A popular midtown breakfast and lunch spot was the target of an arsonist sometime Sunday, reports the Coeur d'Alene Police Department. City fire and police units responded at 4:45 a.m. to a report of a structure fire at The Breakfast Nook on Fourth Street. Officers arrived on the scene first and made contact with the owner Paul Wiles who was opening up the business for the morning. Wiles noticed a strong odor when he opened the rear door and called 911. No one was inside the building at the time of the call/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Update: Runaway Ryan Tobiasson was located at 5:35 p.m. in the 2200 block of N.12th St. at a residence. The owner of the residence called police after learning nine year-old Ryan was a runaway — CPD Blue.
Coeurd’Alene police officers are currently searching for a 9-year-old female who ran away from home at 2 p.m. today in the 1400 block of Kaleigh Court. Ryan Tobiasson is 4-foot-3, 75 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue coat, jeans, and pink/black/and white boots. The girl left behind a note saying she was running away. Due to her age and extreme weather conditions this child is in danger. CPD asks you to call 769-2320 if you see her.
I didn't realize another anniversary of the near-fatal shooting of former Coeur d'Alene police officer Mike Kralicek had almost passed until I read this Facebook post from Mike's wife, Carrie, last night: "It has been 7 years today since K57 was "down". Our lives changed for what "appeared" to be the worst. Things are not always as they appear to be and what appears to be is not always what it seems. We have found peace and joy through the suffering, and an understanding you cannot have one without the other. I love you K57 you are more than a number. I love the new Mike and what you can do for others through honestly and openly speaking to agencies about officer involved shootings, overcoming adversity, and disability etc. You are still a HERO and one of a kind." (2006 SR file photo: Mike Kralicek and then state senator Mike Jorgenson)
Question: Any shoutouts for Mike, Carrie, & their family?
Jessica White, victim of a hit-and-run accident in downtown Coeur d'Alene b/n 2-3 p.m. Sunday, is shown at Kootenai Medical Center, prior to her release. Jessica is the granddaughter of retired, long-time SR/CdA employee Jeanne Helstrom. Jessica's mother, Kris, tells HucksOnline that Jessica suffered "three fractured vertabrae, lots of road rash and bruising, a nice gash in her side." Also, Monday was Jessica's 22nd birthday.
Police are looking for the driver of a red truck that struck a woman in downtown Coeur d'Alene early Sunday, then sped away. Jessica White, 22, was released from Kootenai Medical Center Monday evening after suffering three broken vertebrae, along with scrapes and bruises, when she was hit while in a crosswalk about 2:30 a.m., family members said. "She's really a tough kid," said Jessica's mother, Kris Helstrom. Police interviewed a witness at the scene. Sgt. Christie Wood said they have a vehicle description and a possible suspect/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Has anyone seen a suspect red pickup that may have been involved in this hit-and-run?
The Coeur d’Alene Police Department is working with area agencies to fully investigate a series of burglaries that have occurred in the City and County. These burglaries have a similar pattern of taking place in the day time hours with suspects brazenly kicking open doors to residences. … On Nov. 9 a resident reported he was home alone at 1000 block of W. Fallview Drive at approximately 2:15 pm.. The reporting party said two suspects, a male and a female, knocked and rang the doorbell multiple times. The reporting party was home alone and decided not to answer the door. The male suspect pulled some keys out of his pocket, and tried to open the front door. The victim heard this, and locked the dead bolt to the door. The male suspect looked through the half-moon shaped window on top of the front door and saw the victim. Both suspects then fled the scene/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. More here.
Question: Have you seen suspicious people knocking on doors in your neighborhood?
Officer Winston Brooks of the Coeur d'Alene Police Department kept traffic away from the Kootenai County Courthouse on Tuesday during a bomb scare that was proved to be false. See AM Scanner Traffic items about the false bomb scares here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)