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Monday, September 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sirens & Gavels Spokane Police Department archive


Ignition device law a test for agencies

Changes to a state law put a fired Spokane police sergeant in a new class of drunken drivers: first-time offenders required to drive with an ignition interlock device.That new requirement led to Brad Thoma’s dismissal from the Spokane Police Department after the department said public...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 2, 2010

Suspect arrested in weekend stabbing

A man who told a judge two weeks ago that he planned to "make better decisions" and "be a parent" is back in Spokane County Jail after police say he stabbed two men early Saturday. Michael R. "Mikey Mike" Gardner was booked into jail Tuesday,...

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Man accused of stabbing drinking buddy

An argument between two men drinking at a North Side apartment early Tuesday ended with one stabbing the other, Spokane police said. Matthew J. Blizzard, 32, is accused of stabbing Paul J. Erickson, 39, with a pocket knife inside Erickson's apartment at 6616 N. Addison...

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MONDAY, FEB. 1, 2010

Gunman threatens bail bondsman

A man accused of trying to steal an ATM last fall was arrested today after a bail bond company employee said he pointed a gun at her. George W. Butrick, 32, pulled a 9mm Ruger handgun on a woman who works at Angel's Bail Bonds,...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 27, 2010

Police chief testifies in Olympia

From Jim Camden at Spin Control: OLYMPIA — Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was among law enforcement brass who told said they should be allowed to fire an officer who lies without fear of being overruled by an arbitrator. Kirkpatrick joined sheriffs from King and...

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MONDAY, JAN. 25, 2010

Police: Gun in homicide belonged to felon

A gang member involved in a fatal shooting five years ago is accused of possessing the gun that was used to kill a man outside a north Spokane party 10 days ago, newly filed documents alleged. ahdwEric Burton Jr.,Ö is charged with illegal weapons possession...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 19, 2010

Another charged in crime spree shooting

Another man has been accused of a shooting that left a teenager wounded and began a crime spree that included shots fired at a Spokane police officer. Greg Sharkey, Jr., 25, (left) is due in Spokane County Superior Court today on 10 counts of first-degree...

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One dead in weekend shooting

Police have seized guns and drugs as part of their probe into the city’s first homicide this year, a suspected gang-related shooting early Sunday in a north Spokane alley. Multiple shots were fired after fighting partygoers spilled from an apartment at 5403 N. Crestline St....

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FRIDAY, JAN. 15, 2010

SWAT team nabs robbery suspect

A man police believe robbed a coffee stand was arrested Friday after a SWAT team standoff. Shawn Michael Westlie, 41, hid inside a home in the 2100 block of Montgomery Avenue in west Spokane when police arrived about 3:30 p.m. but surrendered about 90 minutes...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13, 2010

Rico, a Belgian malinois, hangs from the arm of Deputy Nate Nelson of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office  while Rico's human partner, Sgt. Troy Teigen, left, of the Spokane Police Department tries to get the dog to disengage Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010. Rico was demonstrating his training for the media. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

New police dogs ready for patrol

Rico sprang out of the police cruiser and demonstrated a takedown he’d perfected during more than 400 hours of training with the Spokane Police Department. The 3-year-old Belgian Malinois (left) grabbed the pad-covered arm of the provoking deputy and didn’t let go. He was demonstrating...

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Man sought in north Spokane rape

A 16-year-old girl was raped last Friday near the NorthTown Mall, and police are looking for help finding the assailant. The rape occurred during the middle of the afternoon, police said. Police said the rapist was last seen by residents walking west toward the mall...

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(From right) Justin Lancaster, Eric Stapleton, Rosmary Blanks and Camilla Henry hold signs at the corner of Post and Riverside in downtown Spokane Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010 to protest the lawsuit by former Spokane Police officer Brad  Thoma and his attorney, Bob Dunn, whose office was near the protest site. Dunn, on behalf of  Thoma, has filed a $4 million lawsuit against the city of Spokane for unjustly firing  Thoma after a hit-and-run drunk driving accident, saying  Thoma is disabled by alcoholism. JESSE TINSLEY (The Spokesman-Review)

Police union backs Thoma 10 

The Spokane police union is asking the department to reinstate and give back pay to a sergeant fired after a drunken hit and run crash. A grievance notice was sent to Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, Assistant Chief Jim Nicks and Human Resources Director Dave Chandler Dec....

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MONDAY, JAN. 4, 2010

Police: 'Ninja' biker tried to tow away SUV

Spokane police sent to check out a vehicle prowler at a North Side apartment complex this morning discovered a man with a long criminal history trying to steal a Chevrolet Suburban by towing it away. The call turned into a chase with man police identified...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 30, 2009

TUESDAY, DEC. 29, 2009

Search ends with suspect still at large

Police searched the area of Sharp Avenue and Stone Street in east central Spokane today for a man wanted on a state Department of Corrections warrant. Officers didn't find Joshua A. Jackson, 31, and ask anyone who knows where he is to call 911. Police...

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“I still have trouble with it on Mother’s Day,”  Vicky Littell said last week. Her daughter, Susette G. Werner, was struck and dragged to death, and the driver has never been identified. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Dragging death still unsolved

Ten months since their daughter was found dead in a Spokane street, dragged more than 13 blocks by a driver who has never been found, and the questions remain: How? Why? And, above all, who? “I have a hard time with it, especially on Mother’s...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 23, 2009

Spokane cop shooter still at large

A gunman fired several rounds at a Spokane police officer early this morning, missing the officer but striking his patrol car.The shooting occurred as the officer, who has not been identified, was guarding the scene of a shooting several hours earlier in the 1100 block...

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Thoma files $4 million claim 

A Spokane police sergeant fired after a drunken hit and run crash filed a $4 million claim against the city of Spokane Wednesday, claiming he was wrongfully fired because he’s an alcoholic. Bradley N. Thoma, 44, was fired Monday after refusing an offer from Chief...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 22, 2009

Sergeant in drunken hit and run fired

A police sergeant involved in a drunken hit and run crash in September has been fired. Bradley N. Thoma, 44, is no longer with the Spokane Police Department as of Monday, police said today. Thoma, a 20-year police veteran, will avoid criminal prosecution for the...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 18, 2009

Man accused of threatening to kill police 

A man accused of threatening to kill Spokane police has been arrested by U.S. Marshals. Shawn Michael Buroker, 21, was taken into custody Thursday in Asotin County, Wash. Buroker was sentenced in January to three years probation for conspiracy to commit burglary in Nez Perce...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 15, 2009

Jerry  Keller of the Spokane Police Dept., shown in downtown Spokane Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009, spent most of his 36-plus years in law enforcement investigating sex crimes. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

'He saved many children'

Jerry Keller retired last week after 36 years as a Spokane police officer. For 20 of those years, he was a detective in the sexual assault unit.He interviewed hundreds of suspects and hundreds of their young victims. He has come to understand pedophilia as a...

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Woman struck on Division Street dies

A woman who was struck by another driver after she crashed her car and tried crossing Division on foot last month has died. Micheala Larson, 38, died Dec. 3, Spokane police announced today. She was northbound on Division Street on Nov. 20 when she lost...

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MONDAY, DEC. 14, 2009

Pot law proposal postponed 

Marijuana advocates won't have a chance of seeing relaxed enforcement of pot laws in Spokane anytime soon. A ballot initiative seeking to make marijuana offenses the "lowest law enforcement priority" has legal issues with its language that supporters wanted to address before presenting it to...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 8, 2009

Patrol Deputy Gavin Brodwater, of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, prepares to depart from the Coeur d’Alene Police Department on Monday  as part of a North Idaho law enforcement caravan  to Western Washington for the funeral of four slain Lakewood, Wash., officers. (Kathy Plonka)

Funeral today for Lakewood officers 

Dozens of area law enforcement are taking part in the funeral procession for the slain Lakewood police officers in Western Washington today. The Spokane Police Honor Guard traveled with officers from the Cheney Police Department on Monday. The Coeur d’Alene Police Honor Guard was joined...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 1, 2009

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.