Latest from The Spokesman-Review
A Spokane man tried to run over a police officer before abandoning the car and fighting with a K-9 today, officials say.
Melvin A. Gillespie, 41, who was released from jail earlier this year after pleading guilty to assisting a suicide, is back behind bars on charges of first-degree assault, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and attempting to elude.
Spokane police stopped a stolen 2002 Subaru Impreza at East Rowan Avenue and North Nevada Street and tried to detain the driver and passenger who had exited, but the driver got back in the car and drove in reverse toward a police sergeant, who had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck.
Police located the Subaru, which had been reported stolen Christmas Eve from the Spokane International Airport, in the 500 block of East North Avenue unoccupied. A police dog, Leonidas, found the suspected driver, later identified as Gillespie, hiding in leaves in a backyard in the 500 block of East Everett Avenue.
Police say Gillespie punched Leonidas in the head several times before he was controlled by officers. The dog was not seriously injured.
Gillespie was sentenced in April to six months in jail for helping his friend William Pickard jump to his death from the Sunset bridge above High Bridge Park in June 2010. Pickard’s body was found wrapped with a cord in what police first suspected was a homicide.
After months of investigation, Gillespie admitted to police that he'd helped Pickard kill himself at Pickard’s request.
A suspected gunman took a plunge into a cold koi fish pond but couldn't hidehis smell from the police dog that tracked him to his backyard hiding spot Sunday, police said.
Before being carted off, Aaron P. Williams, 23, of Spokane, was checked for hypothermia. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail on a charge of first-degree assault with a firearm, police said.
Williams is to appear in Superior Court today on that charge and an additional charge of second-degree unlawful posession of a firearm.
The arrest followed a shooting just before 2 a.m. in the parking lot of the nearby Goodtymes Pub, 9214 E. Mission Ave., during a confrontation between two groups of men.
One man suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the leg, police said.
The alleged shooter ran south from the pub and was tracked by the Spokane Valley police dog to a home in the 9300 block of East Sinto Avenue.
A small, semi-automatic handgun that police believe was used in the shooting was found in a nearby mailbox.
A burglar described only as a man who jingled as he ran away was captured by a Spokane County sheriff’s K-9 team and patrol deputies early today.
Sheriff's K-9 Jet found Brian James Blankenship, 44, hiding in a bush at a home on East Salmon after a homeowner said he'd surprised a burglary in his garage in the 100 block of West Falcon about 5:15 a.m., according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan.
The only description offered by the homeowner was that the thief made a "jingling" noise as he ran, but deputies Mark Melville and Bob Bond were able to track him with the help of Jet.
Blankenship surrendered to police and was booked into jail on a felony residential burglary charge. He had a pocketful of coins that jingled as he moved, Reagan said.
A 65-year-old man was assaulted in his home by two masked intruders Monday, the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department said today.
A sheriff's dog searched the home and surrounding area of Horsehaven Avenue and Greensferry Road but did not find the assailants.
The victim suffered "significant injuries to his head and face" from an unknown cause and was transported to Kootenai Medical Center for treatment.
Sheriff's deputies, Post Falls police and Kootenai County Fire/Rescue personnel responded to the area about 9:15 p.m. The victim was inside his home when he discovered the intruders. He escaped to his parents' home across the street and called 911.
"Due to the victim’s injuries and subsequent treatment at the hospital, deputies were unable to immediately determine what, if anything was stolen," according to a news release.
The investigation is ongoing.
A carjacking suspect led police on a chase early Sunday morning, but his attempt to escape on foot was foiled by a Spokane Police Department search dog.
A man reported that he was parked outside the Holiday Gas Station at 9620 N. Division Street just before 3:30 a.m. while a friend was inside. He was approached by someone who pulled a gun on him and told him to get out of his silver Toyota Camry, according to a Police Department press release. Police responded and spotted the car 25 minutes later driving north on Division past the same gas station where the car was stolen.
There was a short chase until the man jumped from the still moving car and ran, the press release said. Police officers, assisted by the Washington State Patrol, searched the area and found a handgun holster in an apartment complex courtyard just east of Ritter's Nursery.
The dog, Leo, and his handler, Officer Craig Hamilton, found the suspect inside the fenced nursery. Justin S. Brown, 29, was booked into jail on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree burglary and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
The gun believed to be used in the carjacking was later recovered in the same area the holster was found.
Spokane police are looking for a 24-year-old man after a fight at a trailer park that involved a gun early today.
Julian D. Morrison (right) is wanted for first-degree burglary and is considered armed after an incident at the Wishing Well trailer park, 4911 N. Florida St.
Officers arrived about 1:37 a.m. and were told by a woman that an acquaintance had entered her home, assaulted someone and brandished a gun before leaving in a Dodge Stratus driven by another man, according to a news release.
Officer Mike McCasland spotted the Stratus at North Freya Street and East Empire Avenue as officers were responding to the scene. The driver refused to stop and jumped out of the car with his passenger at East Buckeye Avenue and North Stone Street, police say.The vehicle stopped after hitting a curb.
Officer Craig Hamilton and his K-9, Leo, located the driver, 31-year-old Josephus McDonald, in the 2600 block of North Lee Street. He was booked into jail on charges of first-degree burglary and attempt to elude police.
McDonald (pictured left in 2007) has been described by police as a founder of one of Spokane's larger homegrown Crips gangs, according to this 2007 article.
Anyone with information on Morrison's location is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
A Spokane man was arrested on suspicion of injuring a police dog after during a domestic violence arrest call last weekend.
Gerry R. Elerding, 39, is accused of violently fighting with Spokane police K-9 Leo as police responded to a report of an assault and no-contact order violation at an apartment in the 1300 block of South Adams Street about 4 a.m. on Saturday.
An officer forced the door open at the home and found Elerding's ex-girlfriend but could not locate the suspect, so he requested assistance from a police dog.
K-9 Leo entered the basement, and police heard him yelp "as if he had been hurt," according to court documents.
Officers found Leo moving toward the basement stairs with his leg caught in his partially pulled off harness, documents say.
Police say the secured harness had never before come off "nor has Leo ever left a suspect during a fight or capture." Leo has been involved in nearly 30 violent captures, according to police.
Elerding remains in jail on a state Department of Corrections probation hold, as well as $1,900 bail for charges of violating a no-contact order and harming a police dog.
He has previous convictions for drugs, eluding police and, just in June, violating a domestic violence no-contact order.
A convicted felon is accused of brandishing a gun during a road rage incident on U.S. Highway 395 that led to the discovery of heroin.
Brian L. Sellers, 34, is in jail on felony assault, gun and drug charges after the alleged victims called police about 3:45 p.m. May 3 and said a man in a Toyota was pointing a silver handgun at them while following too close on the highway near Wild Rose Road. Sellers appeared in court Wednesday after police recommended further charges.
The caller said the Toyota was following them at 90 mph and was just inches from their rear bumper. Two children ages 1 and 2 were in the back of the caller's vehicle, police said.
A Washington State Patrol trooper and a Spokane County sheriff's deputy stopped Sellers' car and arrest him and a passenger, Michael George Swan, 41.
Sellers told police about the gun, which they found sitting on the passenger-side floorboard with a loaded magazine next to it.
Sellers is on Department of Corrections probation and has several felony convictions, including first-degree theft and forgery, which prohibit him from possessing weapons.
The victim said she saw the Toyota driving erratically and trying to pass her before the driver exited and tried to stop her. She drove away, but Sellers followed and motioned with his gun for her to pull over, according to court documents.
Police found a baggie of methamphetamine in Seller's 2002 Toyota Tundra.
A search with a K-9, Jet, revealed a digital scale with 84.6 grams of black tar heroin.
A police dog caught an armed robbery suspect in north Spokane on Wednesday.
Steven A. Shoffner, 22, of Medical Lake, told police that K-9 Stryder did a great job and that officers would not have found him were it not for the dog, according to a news release.
Stryder was called to the scene with his handler, Officer Shawn Kendall, after a clerk at G & B Grocery, 2104 E. Francis Ave., said two men fled with cash and cigarettes after stating they had a gun.
Officer Ben Yinger spotted two suspects at North Napa Street and East Decatur Avenue and arrested one, Jenson T. Richards, 23, before Stryder caught up with Shoffner in a garage in the 1700 block of East Decatur. He was hiding under a mattress; police recovered the stolen cash and cigarettes but did not find a gun.
Both suspects are due in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon on a first-degree robbery charge. Shoffner also faces a charge of second-degree burglary for entering the garage.
Police are looking for tips on a smash-and-grab cigarette burglary that damaged a Spokane Valley convenience store early today.
MASON, Ohio (AP) — Police say an Ohio man has been charged with a misdemeanor for barking at a police dog.
A police report says 25-year-old Ryan James Stephens was charged with teasing a police dog in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason.
Officer Bradley Walker wrote that he heard the K9 dog barking uncontrollably inside his patrol car while he was investigating a car crash at a pub early Sunday morning. Walker says Stephens was making barking noises and hissing at the animal.
Walker reported that Stephens said "the dog started it" when asked why he was harassing the animal. The officer said Stephens appeared highly intoxicated.
There was no answer to calls to Stephens' home in Mason. He is to appear April 21 in municipal court.
A Spokane police dog helped his handler arrest three burglary suspects late Monday.
Arlyanne M. Ellicott, 21, fought with K-9 Maximus before Officer Paul Gorman arrested her on suspicion of burglary in the 5000 block of North Lacey Street, police said today.
Gorman and Officer Michael Russo were responding to a report of a burglary in progress at 11:13 p.m. when they saw a broken window at the vacant home, then saw a man throw a furnace motor out a window.
Ellicott fled the home and tried to scale a six-foot fence before Maximus caught up with her, police said.
Gorman noticed a large knife discarded on the basement stairs and called for others in the home to exit. He released Maximus when there was no response, police said.
The dog found suspect Bryant T. Graham, 38, hiding in the basement, then on a second trip found Harry D. Lashbrook, 47, hiding in the attic under insulation.
Ellicott, Graham and Lashbrook were treated at a hospital for dog bites before being booked into the Spokane County Jail on charges of residential burglary and first-degree malicious mischief, where they remain on $10,000 bond.
In a news release, Sgt. Kevin King said the case "illustrates how quick and effective police K-9s are."
"Police K-9s can perform a search quicker, more thoroughly and more safely than their human counterparts," King wrote.
It's been a busy few days for Maximus, who's pictured with Gorman.
On Saturday, he tracked a domestic violence suspect for two blocks, leading to the man's arrest.
A Spokane police dog tracked a man for two blocks after a domestic dispute Saturday, leading to the suspect's arrest.
Maximus, Officer Paul Gorman's K-9, found Leo Kenneth Landon, 30, hiding in the backyard of a home in the 1600 block of West 11th Ave., after responding to a domestic dispute at 1617 W. 12th Ave., at 11:13 p.m., police said.
Landon's wife told police her husband had a felony warrant for escape and had ran northbound as officer arrived. Officers set up a perimeter the neighborhood and brought in Maximus.
Landon "quickly surrendered" when he heard the dog, police said.
Landon was booked into jail for a felony warrant for escape from community custody.
A sheriff's dog helped deputies arrest two brothers suspected of an attempted burglary this morning in north Spokane County.
A resident in the 1000 block of West Eastmont Way called 911 a few minutes before 7 a.m. and said he was following two burglars. He lost sight of them, but deputies spotted suspects Joseph E. Whipple, 23, (pictured) and Luke R. Whipple, who turns 22 on Tuesday, behind a bank at 7300 N. Division St.
Joseph Whipple was arrested just after fleeing; Deputy John Cook and his K-9, Ekko, tracked Luke Whipple to a basement window well of a home north of Holy Cross Cemetery.
Neither suspect was injured in the pursuit and arrest, but a sheriff’s deputy suffered a minor hand injury while climbing a fence, said Sgt. Dave Reagan.
The brothers were booked into jail on charges of attempted residential burglary and possession of marijuana.
Luke Whipple also faces a charge of obstructing a police investigation, and Joseph Whipple had an arrest warrant form the Department of Corrections for a 2009 second-degree robbery conviction.
A man on probation for drug offenses remains in jail after being accused of a beer robbery at 7-Eleven.
Shane A. Lemmons, 26, was found hiding under a trailer after he fled from the car at Ninth Avenue and Ivory Street, about a mile from the robbery, about 3 a.m. Thursday.
He was ordered to say in jail on $35,000 bail after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on Friday. He’s also being held on a probation violation.
Police believe he and another man stole two 18-packs of beer from the 7-Elven at 1317 S. Grand Blvd. about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, then pointed a gun at a clerk who tried to take a photo of their license plate.
At 3 a.m., a patrol officer spotted a Neon matching the description of the getaway vehicle and followed it for two blocks before the driver got out and ran. Police K-9 Leonitis later tracked the man to the trailer. Police also arrested passenger Nichole L. Roemer, 30, on an arrest warrant.
Lemmons was sentenced to 42 months in prison in March 2003 for second-degree robbery.he also has convictions for obstructing a law enforcement officer and theft, and is on probation for two drug convictions from September 2008.
A Spokane man sought on a car theft warrant faces an additional felony charge for allegedly attacking a police dog.
Cephas W. Parham, 34, choked Spokane police Officer Paul Gorman’s K-9 Maximus during a pursuit in the Shadle Park area.(Gorman and Max are pictured.)
Parham appeared in Superior Court on Monday on a felony charge of harming a police dog, a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Police were trying to arrest Parham on a warrant for possession of a stolen motor vehicle when he ran from a home at 4207 N. Cannon on Oct. 25.
Maximus caught up with Parham three times, but Parham (pictured) assaulted the dog each time, police said. Gorman used a neck restraint maneuver to stop Parham from choking Maximus, who was thrown into a brick wall by his collar and also sustained injuries to the inside of his mouth, according to court documents.
“These injuries would be difficult to articulate based on obvious inabilities on the canine’s part to communicate injury and pain,” police wrote.
Parham was treated for dog bites at hospital before being booked into jail.
Colleague Meghann Cuniff covered an arrest on South Ivory Thursday night. Cuniff writes: “Members of the Spokane gang unit saw Brian J. King, 39, while patrolling the area of East 7th Street and South Perry Avenue, but King fled.
Then at 11:05 p.m., residents in the 600 block of South Ivory Street, just east of the vacant lot, reported a white man in a dark-colored sweatshirt trying to break into the home.
Spokane police Officer Shawn Kendall and his K-9, Stryder, found King hiding near South Ivory Street and East Newark Avenue.”
Here’s a link to the full story and a picture of King.
A Spokane police K-9 who died after surgery to remove a brain tumor was honored this week by the Washington State Police Canine Association.
Var, a 10-year-old German shepherd who died last June, was awarded the Medal of Valor for a March 17, 2009, shooting that struck him twice. Var’s handler, Officer Dan Lesser, shot and killed the suspect, 22-year-old Johnnie L. Longest III.
Longest, a meth addict, had abandoned a stolen car and ran from police; investigators said he was preparing to shoot again when Lesser shot him. (Var is pictured at front in April 2009; Lesser is in back with his new partner, Rav.)
Lesser accepted the award for Var in Yakima on Tuesday. About 100 K-9 handlers from around Washington attended the spring seminar.
Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy John Munson, president of the Canine Association, said Var saved Lesser’s life “and possible the lives of others,” according to a news release.
Var also received the Spokane Police Department’s Purple Heart in April 2009.
A police dog helped catch two teenagers accused of burglarizing an East Boone Avenue building supply store this morning.
Officers saw two men run from Allied Building Supplies, 2808 E. Boone Ave., to a car that fled until crashing in the area of East Garnet Avenue and North Market Street.
Police arrested the suspected driver, Shelbie L. Harding, 20, on one count of attempting to elude a police vehicle. Officer Jake Jensen’s K-9, Duke, found another suspect hiding atop a shed, then found the third suspect a few blocks away. Jonothon A. Delay, 18, and Daniel R. Burland, 18, each face a second-degree burglary charge.
Police called the arrests “an example of excellent patrol work form the K-9 handler and his partner as well as patrol officers.”
“Fleeing suspects demonstrate that they are willing to actively avoid capture and often have a plethora of hiding places in which to secrete themselves,” according to a news release. “The K-9s are able to locate suspects with much less risk to responding officers.”Jensen and Duke are pictured above at the Spokane police training center in March 2008.
Two men suspected of a home invasion robbery in Spokane last month are now in police custody.
A Spokane police dog, Bennie, captured Wesley I. Veazie, 22, (right) after he ran from traffic stop near North Lincoln Street and West Boone Avenue Wednesday about 6:20 p.m., police said today.
Officers conducted the stop with members of the U.S. Marshals Las Vegas police captured his suspected accomplice, Taveus M. Brown (left), 30, Wednesday also.
The men are suspected of bursting into another man’s apartment at 2500 E. South Riverton on March 2 and holding him at gunpoint.
A SWAT team searched a home at 1921 E. 4th Ave. the next day but didn’t find the men.
Now they’re in custody on charges of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary and attempted first-degree robbery. Veazie is due in Superior Court this afternoon; Brown is in jail in Las Vegas.
Brown’s extensive criminal history includes convictions for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, theft, riot and second degree unlawful possession of a firearm. ’
Veazie has convictions for making a false statement, fourth-degree assault, obstructing an officer, conspiracy to possession of a controlled substance, theft, riot and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.