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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Pants defense tops Liberty Lake police calls

It’s a classic defense often given by those who find themselves on the wrong side of the law with something illegal in their pockets. Honest, officer, these aren’t my pants.

Spokane resident Qays Ghulam-Sarwar, 23, was arrested for investigation of several felony theft charges on March 20 after an investigation identified him as a suspect in several cases of alcohol theft from Liberty Lake grocery stores. Ghulam-Sarwar gave the “not my pants” defense when an officer found what they believe was oxycodone and drug paraphernalia in his pockets, said police Chief Brian Asmus.

Investigators believe Ghulam-Sarwar has been involved with a large number of thefts, Asmus said. “We’re still putting that together,” he said. “A lot, though.”

Other arrests during the week of March 18-25 in Liberty Lake include 10 for driving with a suspended license and one for driving under the influence. One driver stopped on Country Vista Drive on March 20 was arrested on warrants for driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license and for operating a vehicle without a required ignition interlock.

A 16-year-old was stopped for speeding at Wright Road and Sprague Avenue at 4:40 p.m. on March 18. The officer could smell marijuana in the car and also determined that the teen was violating his intermediate license by having passengers in the car, Asmus said. He reportedly had marijuana and a smoking device in a backpack, and charges are being requested from the juvenile prosecutor, Asmus said.

An Otis Orchards man was arrested at Country Vista Drive and Mission Avenue at 7:55 p.m. Saturday on several warrants, two for charges of driving with a suspended license, for a domestic violence order violation and another for third-degree malicious mischief-domestic violence.

A driver stopped in the 25000 block of Appleway Avenue at 4:20 a.m. on March 23 for having expired vehicle registration was booked into the Spokane County Jail on several charges. He was wanted on a warrant for driving with a suspended license. After arresting him, the officer noticed what looked like drugs in plain view in the car, Asmus said. The officer received permission to search the car and found what he suspected was methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. The driver was arrested on charges of driving with a suspended license, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A road rage incident was reported in a parking lot in the 1300 block of North Liberty Lake Road at 7:30 p.m. on March 20. One man grabbed a hammer and the other man said he had something “bigger and better” and would shoot the other driver with it, Asmus said. The man with the hammer called police. A license plate number he provided for the other vehicle was incorrect, Asmus said. A gun was not displayed during the argument.

During the week, officers assisted the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office on two domestic violence calls. In one of the cases, the officers were leaving after determining no assault had taken place. However, as they were leaving, they witnessed the woman hitting a man, Asmus said. She was arrested.

They issued four citations for expired registration, six for failure to show proof of liability insurance, two for failure to stop at a stop sign and five for speeding. Additional citations were given for license and plates required, improper lane usage, failure to stop/yield at an intersection and failure to signal.