Sheriff’s deputies were searching Monday night for a bank robber who kidnapped an 83-year-old woman and forced her to be his getaway driver.
The woman, who walks with a cane, drove her kidnapper to the Inland Northwest Bank branch at 1021 E. Hawthorne Road and waited outside while he robbed the bank shortly after 3 p.m.
She dropped off the robber near the Ziegler Lumber Co. at 620 E. Holland Ave. and drove home without reporting the crime, according to sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan.
Officers found the woman in her garage in the 500 block of West Sierra Avenue when they were able to match her white 1992 Pontiac Bonneville to the partial license plate witnesses reported. She appeared unharmed, Reagan said. He said officers were interviewing the woman Monday night but didn’t immediately have an explanation for her actions.
The robber stole an undetermined amount of cash in a white box. Bank officials said no gun was seen, and no bank employees were injured. Witnesses weren’t able to offer a good description of the robber because he wore a Halloween skull mask and a blue-and-orange hooded sweatshirt. They thought he was at least 6 feet tall and skinny. Anyone with information about the kidnapping or robbery is asked to call (509) 242-TIPS.
Man accused of kidnapping girlfriend
A 19-year-old Spokane man is accused of kidnapping a woman who jumped out of a moving car to escape.
Spokane police arrested Kevin Lee Linhart early Sunday after he allegedly went on a rampage in his girlfriend’s home and kidnapped her using her own car.
According to court documents, Linhart first slashed Ashley A. Dickelman’s leather chairs with a kitchen knife, broke a window by kicking her television into it, bloodied her nose by throwing her against a wall, and bit her on the shoulder.
Neighbors said they saw Dickelman, 20, being shoved into her car by a man who grabbed her hair when she tried to escape. They said she yelled and honked the horn.
Dickelman told police she tried to get out of the car several times, but Linhart prevented her from escaping until they got to the area of Desmet Avenue and Fancher Road. She said she jumped out of the moving car and hid.
Spokane police said in court documents that Linhart was still driving Dickelman’s car when he was stopped at Seventh Avenue and Thierman Road.
Linhart was booked into jail on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping and first-degree malicious mischief.
School locked down during search
Stevens Elementary School, 1717 E. Sinto Ave., was locked down Monday afternoon while police tracked down an angry woman who allegedly told school officials she was going to return with a gun.
Only about 30 students were affected by the approximately 15-minute lockdown because the school day had ended when the incident occurred about 3:55 p.m.
Police spokesman Cpl. Tom Lee said Tammy Jean Bush, 38, apparently went to the school in hopes of picking up a child whom state officials had removed from her custody Friday.
Lee said officers quickly found Bush at the nearby home of her relatives. Bush was arrested on suspicion of felony harassment and was to remain in jail at least until a preliminary court appearance today.
16-year-old arrested in Airsoft shooting
Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 16-year-old Millwood boy in connection with an Airsoft pistol shooting on Sept. 25 after responding to his home over the weekend on a separate incident – a fight between the boy and his sister.
While interviewing the teen about Sunday’s fight at a home in the 8800 block of East Frederick, deputies learned the boy was involved in the shooting, said Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan.
In that incident, two West Valley High School girls were walking to soccer practice about 2:35 p.m. when they were shot with Airsoft pellets, Reagan said. One suffered a welt on her leg while the other girl received a puncture wound.
The teen was booked into Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center Sunday on one count of third-degree assault for the shooting, Reagan said. He was also booked on fourth-degree assault in connection with the fight with his sister.
The pellet shooting was one of two incidents last week involving West Valley High School students. On Sept. 26, deputies were called to the high school for what was reported as a boy armed with a knife and the casing for an improvised explosive device, Reagan said. The items turned out to be a pocket knife and a lip balm tin with a hole in the bottom.
Suspect jailed in theft of deputy’s car
William H. Gearhart remained in the Spokane County Jail Monday night on suspicion of driving with a suspended license – in a patrol car.
Gearhart, 44, was booked on numerous other counts, too, when he allegedly stole sheriff’s Deputy Brett Hubbell’s cruiser. Hubbell was overcome by his own pepper spray while trying to subdue Gearhart.
Sgt. Dave Reagan said Hubbell confronted Gearhart Sunday afternoon at a yard in the 100 block of D Street in Deer Park, where Gearhart allegedly was breaking things in a domestic dispute. Other deputies and state troopers found Hubbell’s car abandoned on West Burroughs Road with a blown tire. A sheriff’s dog tracked Gearhart to the 29600 block of North U.S. Highway 395 and bit him several times before officers arrested him.
Although Hubbell’s rifle and shotgun were still in his car when it was found, Gearhart was booked on suspicion of two counts of firearm theft – after hospital treatment for his bite wounds. He also was booked on suspicion of resisting arrest, second-degree malicious mischief, reckless driving and third-degree driving with a suspended license.
Bail was set at $50,000 on those counts, but Gearhart also was being held Monday in lieu of $26,050 bail on warrants charging four more counts of third-degree driving with a suspended license, two counts of drug possession and attempting to elude police.
– Compiled from staff reports
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