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Police ombudsman will host national conference in Spokane

Had the Spokane City Council not passed an emergency resolution last month to retain police ombudsman Tim Burns through the end of the year, he would have been out of a job following his contract’s August 24 expiration date.

The city’s Office of Police Ombudsman is now making a big swing at national transparency by hosting the Ombudsman National Conference later this year for other government ombudsmen across the country.

Burns said he applied for the United States Ombudsman Association conference last year and it was not related to his contract issues with the city. Mayor David Condon had originally decided not to renew his three-year contract before the community stepped in. 

“It was a matter of coincidence that things evolved the way they did in Spokane,” Burns said.

The five-day conference addresses ombudsman training and advanced conflict resolution skills which come in handy for handling citizen complaints targeted at local government. Other sessions include discussing the legal issues ombudsmen face and new approaches to measuring fairness in resolutions.

Naked man burns his clothes outside Fire Station 1

A man was transported to the hospital last week following a strange incident of nakedness in downtown Spokane.

During a September 4 incident, a 22-year-old male decided to remove his clothing and light them on fire outside the fire station near Riverside and Browne.

A report with Spokane Police said citizens were able to put out the fire before the fire department had a chance to respond to the 8:07 p.m. incident on their door step.

The man was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center following the incident.

Inmate assaults corrections deputy during attempted escape

An inmate at Spokane County Jail assaulted a corrections deputy while at Deaconess on Friday evening. Wayne Davis, 30, was being moved to another bed during an evaluation around 8:45 p.m. when he attempted to escape.

Davis was being guarded by Deputy J. Durkin at the time of the altercation. During the struggle, Davis tried to gain possession of the deputy's sidearm, but failed when Durkin was able to maintain control of him with the help of medical staff.

Davis had been booked earlier that evening for obstruction and indecent exposure. A report with Spokane Police said Davis was arrested after an officer responded to him urinating in a parking lot near 1300 W. College.

When officers attempted to detain Davis, he tried to repeatedly gouge out his eyes with his fingers - prompting the trip to the hospital.

Deputy Durkin was injured during the struggle. Sheriff's Office spokesperson Craig Chamberlin said the deputy's head wound required stitches.

Davis will face additional charges of 2nd degree assault.

Woman arrested for challenging correctional deputies to a duel

A woman faces two counts of harassment after challenging two corrections deputies outside Spokane County Jail to a duel on August 22.

Around 10 p.m., a woman, later identified as Carey C. Sterling, 45, approached deputies on the western side of the jail waving her arms in the air and shouted: “Hey, yo, I’ve got a loaded 9mm. I challenge you to a duel.”

Both Deputy Fred M. Bozanich and Ryan N. Grooms explained in an affidavit of facts they retreated inside the jail in fear of their lives after taking Sterling’s death threat seriously.

Multiple officers with Spokane Police responded to the area within minutes for a “person with a weapon” call after Deputy Bozanich called for assistance.

Sterling was tracked to the nearby Charlie’s Bar, located at Monroe and Broadway, where Officer Cory Lyons developed probable cause to arrest her. It was determined she was not armed though she earlier claimed to be carrying a loaded 9mm pistol.

At the time of arrest, she was booked on possession of a controlled substance (marijuana), but that charge was dropped due to the lack of probable cause.

Meth lab found in Carlyle Apartments, dismantled

A meth lab was found in the Carlyle Apartments, located at 206 S. Post, last month and dismantled by Spokane Police’s special investigations unit.

An officer found the lab during the power shift patrol on August 27. The lab was equipped with meth-making components including bi-layer liquids and a hydrogen chloride gas generator.

The apartment’s resident Norman Butte, 37, had been arrested the previous day by Spokane Police on a felony warrant in the state of Arkansas.

Butte’s previous arrest was issued out of Pulaski County for a list of drug related felonies including the possession, use, delivery, advertising of drug paraphernalia and carrying a weapon.

Butte is expected to be in Spokane County Superior Court again on Thursday afternoon.

Gonzaga campus security recap first week of bike thefts

Gonzaga campus security recap first week of bike thefts

The first week of work is over for Gonzaga’s campus security. They have had only seven reports of bicycle thefts on campus and sent one man to jail for bicycle theft.

Campus security John Vansant said one of the bicycles was recently recovered on August 26.

Vansant said suspicious activity outside Coughlin Hall on Sunday morning led was discovered on surveillance video. Campus security found a man and a woman riding two bikes. One of them was identified as a blue Fezzari taken the previous morning from the Kennedy Apartments complex.

The man admitted to stealing the bicycle and was in possession of burglary tools including a bolt cutter. The man, identified as Cory M. Gonzalez, 24, was also riding a bicycle stolen from an off-campus location.

Police found Gonzalez in possession of stolen property and burglary tools and was arrested for 2nd degree theft. Both Gonzalez and the woman were trespassed from the campus.

Vandals destroy gas tank for non-profit's van

A van used by a Spokane non-profit to transport homeless families was vandalized over the weekend.

Board members for Family Promise of Spokane officials say the van was parked overnight in St. John’s Cathedral’s parking lot where somebody punctured the gas tank with a screw driver. The tank was full at the time so Spokane Fire had to respond to clean up the hazardous material spill.

Executive director Madelyn Bafus said in a news release that repairing the van takes away from the funds they need to provide these services.

The van seats 15 people and is used to transport families to churches for meals and housing. It’s currently out of service until it can be repaired. Volunteers will transport families with their personal vehicles in the meantime.

If you’re interested in helping out, please contact Madelyn Bafus at (509) 859-8213.