Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 64° Clear
News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man suspected of throwing hammer at 8-year-old son of Good Samaritan who tried to help him

UPDATED: Wed., May 25, 2022

A 39-year-old man, Cole L. Healy, is accused of throwing this hammer through an open window of a passing vehicle, striking an 8-year-old boy in the forehead Monday near Spokane Valley. Healy was arrested for suspicion of first-degree assault and two counts of possession of an incendiary device.  (Courtesy of Spokane County Sheriff's Office)
A 39-year-old man, Cole L. Healy, is accused of throwing this hammer through an open window of a passing vehicle, striking an 8-year-old boy in the forehead Monday near Spokane Valley. Healy was arrested for suspicion of first-degree assault and two counts of possession of an incendiary device. (Courtesy of Spokane County Sheriff's Office)

A 39-year-old man is accused of throwing a hammer that struck an 8-year-old in the forehead when the child’s father stopped to try to help the man Monday near Spokane Valley.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded around 3:30 p.m. to the area of South Cree Drive and East Apache Pass Road for the report of a man, later identified as Cole L. Healy, potentially under the influence, blocking traffic while swinging a hammer around and trying to light his vehicle on fire, according to a sheriff’s office news release. Healy was also reportedly carrying Molotov cocktails and threatening to throw them at cars and people.

A deputy saw Healy’s Jeep blocking the intersection and a red gasoline can on the ground near the vehicle. The deputy located Healy walking up Zuni Drive off Lochsa Drive, according to the sheriff’s office.

Healy, wearing a T-shirt, shorts and one sock, was holding what appeared to be an oil bottle with a blue paper wick sticking out of the top of the bottle, deputies said. Healy set the bottle on the ground and laid down, complying with the deputy’s commands.

With Liberty Lake police officers arriving to assist, Healy, who smelled of gasoline, was detained after dropping the lighter he had in his hand, the release said.

One witness told deputies she saw Healy standing next to the Jeep as she drove past. He appeared to be pouring gas into bottles and waving them around, possibly trying to divert traffic, she told deputies.

A second witness reported driving by the Jeep and stopping to help, thinking the vehicle had broken down, the sheriff’s office said. He told deputies Healy was instantly confrontational.

With his son in the truck, the second witness continued driving to avoid Healy, the release said. Apparently without warning or provocation, Healy threw a large hammer through the witness’ open passenger side window, striking his son in the forehead. The blow caused the area over his eye to swell rapidly, and his father drove him to the hospital.

Healy is suspected of attempting to light the homemade incendiary devices as he waved them around in a threatening manner. One of the recovered devices had burnt material in the opening of the bottle.

Healy was booked into the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of first-degree assault and two counts of possession of an incendiary device. He remains in jail with his bond set at $100,000. He was also found to be in possession of methamphetamine but was not charged, the release said.

Healy also faces a misdemeanor charge of hit and run for an earlier incident on the 4100 block of South McDonald Lane, where he is believed to have crashed into an unattached garage, deputies said. The victim told deputies he saw a green Jeep crash into his garage before driving away. The front license plate of Healy’s Jeep was recovered at the scene.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.