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.
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