The latest reporting from the Times’ criminal-justice team.
December 5, 2013 at 11:53 AM
A Bellevue police officer who was disciplined for his drunken off-duty behavior at Seattle Seahawks game in September 2012 has been charged with misdemeanor drunk driving in an incident in which a fellow Bellevue officer stopped him for erratic driving and then allowed him to go home with a relative.
The officer who was pulled over has been identified as Andrew Hanke.
Bellevue police say on Nov. 20, an unidentified off-duty Bellevue police officer was driving home in his patrol car when he stopped a car on Interstate 90 near Issaquah to investigate the driver for possible DUI. The driver of the vehicle that was pulled over was Hanke, according to Bellevue city Prosecutor Lynn Moberly, who filed the DUI charge Thursday in King County District Court in Issaquah.
The off-duty officer did not arrest Hanke and instead allowed him to be driven home by a relative, police said.
The investigating officer notified a supervisor of the incident.
The following morning, Bellevue police Chief Linda Pillo was notified of the incident and Hanke was immediately placed on administrative leave, said Bellevue police public information Officer Seth Tyler. The department has also opened an internal investigation into the officer who stopped Hanke but did not arrest him.
“While officers are allowed some discretion during a traffic stop, the officer’s decision in this case not to make an arrest is undergoing a thorough and objective internal investigation. That investigation will determine whether the on-duty officer used poor judgment and/or failed to perform their duties,” police said in a news release. (more…)
December 5, 2013 at 11:20 AM
The Associated Press
BOISE, Idaho — A 19-year-old Boise man is charged with filing a false police report after Ada County deputies say he reported being assaulted in an effort to gain the sympathy of his former girlfriend.
Shawn Sheltra Jr. was arrested Tuesday after police investigated his report that he was attacked by two men and strangled with an electrical cord.
Deputies received a call at about 5 p.m. Tuesday with a report that a man was found lying on the ground with a cord around his neck.
Officers said Sheltra told them he was knocked unconscious and woke up on the side of the road. After hospital medical staff could find no injuries consistent with the attack, Shelton confessed to fabricating the story in an attempt to win back his former girlfriend.
December 5, 2013 at 9:10 AM
STEVENSON, Skamania County (AP) — A woman who was injured in a fall on Mount St. Helens was airlifted by rescuers Thursday and taken to a Vancouver hospital.
The Skamania County sheriff’s office says 28-year-old Alana McCammon of Vancouver fell into a snow cave Wednesday night at about the 7,000-foot level of the volcano in southwest Washington. She was with 25-year-old Kyle Knight of Petersburg, Alaska.
The sheriff’s office received a call for help and rescuers reached her overnight. She was stabilized until she was airlifted off the mountain by a helicopter at daylight.
McCammon was taken by ambulance to PeaceHealth Medical Center in Vancouver. Spokeswoman Michelle Halfhill says she was admitted in satisfactory condition.
December 5, 2013 at 8:14 AM
An 83-year-old Seattle woman was attacked and robbed by three armed men who broke into her home last night, police said.
The woman was on her computer at her home in the 4900 block of 28th Avenue South just before 8 p.m. when the three men, armed with handguns and wearing ski masks, forced their way inside, according to Seattle police. The men held guns to the woman’s head and chest and dragged her around the home, demanding money.
The woman handed over a small amount of cash; the robbers took jewelry as well, police said.
After the attack, the woman ran to a neighbor’s house and called for help.
The woman later told police that a gunshot was fired inside her home, but officers have not determined whether a bullet was actually fired.
Police have not released descriptions of the suspects.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911, or the Seattle Police Robbery Unit at 206-684-5535.
December 5, 2013 at 5:39 AM
UPDATE, 5:35 p.m. | Authorities say the 8-year-old girl’s body was found today. She was the twin of the 8-year-old boy who managed to escape. The search for the doctor’s body has been suspended until Friday because of darkness and the instability of the building, according to The Associated Press.
UPDATE, 3 p.m. | Authorities are saying one body has been found, though they haven’t said whether it was the doctor or his daughter, according to a report by The Associated Press.
The doctor has been identified as Thomas Babson.
ORIGINAL POST | FOX ISLAND, Pierce County (AP) — The Pierce County sheriff’s office says a man and his 8-year-old daughter are presumed dead in a fire that burned their waterfront home on Fox Island.
Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer says the man is an emergency room doctor who was a commissioned reserve deputy.
The fire was reported at 11:10 p.m. Wednesday. The man’s wife and two other children made it out of the home with the help of a neighbor.
Troyer says the man and the 8-year-old daughter did not make it out of the house.
The fire was still burning six hours later. Firefighters from Gig Harbor kept the flames from spreading to nearby houses, their water freezing in the cold.
As a reserve deputy, the doctor responded with SWAT teams to provide medical care in emergencies, Troyer says,.
December 4, 2013 at 10:23 PM
A Vancouver, Wash., woman who posts traffic news on her Twitter account was live tweeting about a car crash early Wednesday afternoon, only to learn later that it was her husband who died in the accident.
According to the Washington State Patrol, Craig Johnson, 47, crossed a grassy median as he entered the southbound I-205 lanes near Padden Parkway in his Hyundai Elantra.
He struck a Toyota pickup driven by a 54-year-old woman from Tacoma, who suffered a broken femur, collapsed lung and broken pelvis, said the State Patrol.
The live tweets from Caran Johnson, CJ @ScanCouver, began, “this accident sounds horrible.”
They grew progressively more frantic, in tweets captured by KGWNews in Portland.
“I’m trying not to panic, but my husband left work early and he drives 205 to get home. he’s not answering his phone”
“and he’s late.”
“well he uses his bluetooth, so he would answer his phone. he also wasn’t feeling good so his work was concerned when he left”
“i’m a basketcase”
“I just called his work and he was feeling faint when he left work. #panic”
“what do i do now? he might have pulled over because he was feeling faint and then passed out or had a seizure. he has epilepsy”
“how long do i wait for him to come home before I call the police?”
“i just called 911 and they transferred me after I gave them his license number and told me that they will call me back. wtf?”
“and now my kids are home from school…”
“it’s him. he died”
“Thank you all so much for the prayers and thoughts. I’ll reply to everyone later tonight”
And, finally at 10:30 Wednesday night:
“my boys are finally asleep. I feel like a block of cement fell on me.”
December 4, 2013 at 9:56 PM
LOON LAKE, Stevens County — Stevens County deputies are searching for a missing Tacoma woman who hasn’t returned home after a Thanksgiving holiday weekend stay at a cabin on Loon Lake in northeast Washington.
KHQ-TV reports that deputies were asked Monday to conduct a welfare check on 51-year-old Susan Yager.
Deputies say witnesses told them the woman was seen in a canoe over the weekend. They later found a canoe floating in the lake.
Marine deputies and dive team members searched the lake Tuesday.
The sheriff’s office says the search for Yager will continue.
December 4, 2013 at 5:34 PM
King County prosecutors charged Vanetta Richardson, 34, of Renton, with second-degree murder today, accusing her of shooting her unarmed husband seven times as he tried to flee their house on Sunday.
Richardson allegedly fired a .40-caliber handgun nine times at Jerry Butler Jr., 31, while her children were in her line of fire, charging papers say. Butler was shot twice in the back, once in the back of the head, once in the buttock, once to the front of his left shoulder and twice to the side of his body, according to the charges.
Though Richardson had told police she fired at Butler who lunged at her during an argument, his injuries are inconsistent with her description of events given “there were no gunshot entrance wounds to the direct front of Butler’s body,” the papers say.
Richardson called 911 just after 1:30 p.m. Sunday and reported that she had shot her husband because he had been hitting her, according to the charges. Butler died at the scene and was found lying face down in the yard outside their house in the 12400 block of Southeast 184th Street in Renton, the papers say.
“Although aiming at her husband, the defendant fired her gun multiple times when her children, who are all 16-years-old or younger, were in her line of fire. Her willingness to kill her husband while simultaneously endangering her children with injury from the gunfire establishes she is a danger to the community and her children,” King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Don Raz wrote in charging documents.
Richardson, who remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail, is to be arraigned Dec. 16.
December 4, 2013 at 5:13 PM
A 28-year-old woman who allegedly dropped a case of Red Bull as she fled on bicycle from a University of Washington fraternity house was arrested Tuesday in connection with the burglary, said Seattle police.
Police said that “science and old-fashioned police work” led detectives to the suspect.
It all started on Nov. 18 at about 6:30 in the morning when a male house member at the frat, in the 4600 block of 22nd Avenue Northeast, saw an unknown man walking down the stairs from the second floor.
When confronted, the man quickly left the house and was last seen riding a bicycle, said police.
When the frat member went outside, police said, he heard a rustling noise in the bushes and discovered an unknown female. She was carrying a case of Red Bull, which she dropped as she also fled on a bicycle.
Then, on Dec. 2, shortly after midnight, two North Precinct police officers located and arrested a female for a warrant and violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, said police.
She was booked at the King County Jail.
The next day, on Dec. 3, the woman confessed to the Red Bull burglary, said police.
Police said other burglaries at UW fraternities and sororities remain under investigation.
December 4, 2013 at 4:36 PM
A self-proclaimed “pirate” accused of stealing the Victoria Clipper on Sunday was charged today in King County Superior Court with second-degree burglary, first-degree theft and first-degree malicious mischief.
Samuel Kenneth McDonough, 34, of Preston, is being held at the King County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail for a crime spree that was called ”spectacularly reckless and deadly perilous” by Deputy Prosecutor Ian Ith.
“Apparently on a whim as a birthday present to himself, McDonough took control of an $8 million, 480-ton, 132-foot passenger cruise vessel and ripped it from the dock at the Seattle waterfront in the predawn darkness,” Ith wrote in charging documents.
“When contacted by police SWAT-team officers while adrift in Elliot (sic) Bay, Mr. McDonough proclaimed himself a pirate, and said he had intended to flee the country to Victoria, B.C.”
Ith wrote that McDonough later told authorities that he “sought passage to West Seattle.” McDonough also told police that his name was “Zero” and asked officers to bring a woman to the ship “because he was lonely,” according to police.
According to the document of probable cause, and an official with Victoria Clipper, McDonough snaked through a very small hole in a security fence at Seattle’s Pier 69, where the Clipper docks its vessels, partially untied one of the boats and managed to start the vessel Sunday morning.
Darrell Bryan, CEO of Victoria Clipper, called for help when he saw that the Clipper IV was missing from its slot and appeared to be headed toward Harbor Island.
McDonough was arrested without incident by a police SWAT team that boarded the Clipper IV.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
Trending with readers