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Aryan member accused of shooting at cop

Bill Morlin The Spokesman-Review
An Aryan Nations member awaiting trial on hate-crime charges in Kootenai County is in jail in southwestern Washington, accused of shooting at a police officer during a standoff. Zachary Loren Beck, who unsuccessfully ran for the Hayden City Council last fall, was arrested Friday in Longview, Wash., after a brief standoff with police at a residence, Acting Police Chief Don Barnd said Monday. During the standoff, a bullet was fired through a window at a police officer, who was not hit, Barnd said. “He displayed a gun to our officers” as they sought cover outside the residence, the acting chief said. “The man in the house waited a few minutes, then a round was fired through the window at one of our officers.” The Longview Daily News reported that Beck “was taking shooting stances” inside the home and pointing a handgun at officers outside. Moments after the shot was fired, Beck walked out of the home in a new housing development, carrying only a cell phone and keys, the Longview newspaper reported. After initially refusing to comply with officers’ orders to drop to the ground, Beck was taken into custody without further incident, the newspaper reported. The bullet fired from inside the home struck a fence, the newspaper said. When officers later searched the home, Beck’s bedroom and computer “were filled with literature for the Aryan Nations, Ku Klux Klan and skinheads,” the newspaper said. Beck, 25, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Cowlitz County Superior Court on charges of first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, felony harassment and fourth-degree assault. He was ordered held in jail under $400,000 bond after an initial appearance before Superior Court Judge Jill Johanson. Longview Police went to the home looking for Beck after getting a report from police in nearby Kelso, who were investigating a first-degree burglary, Barnd said. A woman who lived in the Kelso home told police she had met Beck through an online dating service, and had gone out with him a few times, the Daily News reported. When she attempted to end the relationship, Beck threatened to kill her, the newspaper quoted the woman as saying. Beck showed up at her home at 2 a.m. Friday, kicked in her back door and hit her when she tried to stop him from assaulting a guest, the Longview newspaper reported. Beck left that Kelso home before officers arrived and drove to the home in Longview, where he had been living with another woman. When police arrived there, that woman came out of the home and told Longview police that Beck had a gun and was unwilling to come out. Beck moved to North Idaho from Arizona in 2002 and lived for a time with Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler at his Hayden home, which serves as headquarters of the white supremacy group. Last year, Beck filed to run for the City Council in Hayden, while Butler ran for mayor. But candidates were trounced in the November election. On Oct. 31, Beck was arrested in Kootenai County after allegedly punching a man in the face. Authorities said the assault occurred after the man was asked if he was a “Mexican.” Beck was charged with felony malicious harassment, and is scheduled to stand trial June 14 in Kootenai County on that hate crime charge.
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