Local Search and Rescue group looking for funds, and members

Grays Harbor’s Volunteer Search and Rescue group is looking for some help. President, and Sergeant Brian Dayton tells us “We’re trying to raise funds to get new radios. That’s been the big issue for our team. The radios that we have are borrowed circa 1980, they don’t transmit very far. A lot of times we have relay teams so we can get information to and from the command post.” The non-profit has setup an account for online collections at http://www.gofundme.com/ghvsar.

Dayton said they also have a fundraiser next month “One o’clock in the afternoon at the Grays Harbor Country Club, it’s a golf tournament, 4 person scramble $75 per person.” The Kristine Fairbanks Memorial Golf Tournament will be held September 20th, an entry fee of $75 per person covers 18 holes and a catered lunch. For details on golf carts and reservations, call 360-532-1931. Entry forms can be picked up at the Hoquiam Police Department, or the day of the event at the Grays Harbor Country Club in Central Park.

The volunteer group is always looking for new members, for details visit ghvsar.org

Aberdeen man cornered in Grays Harbor City swamp

An Aberdeen man was cornered in a swamp North of Hoquiam this morning, after leading police on a car chase through Hoquiam, then foot chase through the woods of Grays Harbor City.

Sgt. Jeremy Mitchell with the Hoquiam Police Department tells us the 33 year old was driving with a suspended license when an officer attempted to pull him over downtown around 9 Wednesday morning. He sped down side streets toward State Route 109 where he ditched his car on Harborview Court and disappeared into the thick woods. About an hour and a half later, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s K9 unit found him in a swampy area near the bay. Mitchell said the chase adds felony eluding charges to driving on a suspended license. A passenger in the car, a Hoquiam transient, was also taken into custody on outstanding warrants from the Department of Corrections.

Detective Sergeant Shane Krohn tells KBKW on 07-30-14, Hoquiam Officers were conducting surveillance on a suspected drug location in the 500 block of Emerson Avenue.  While conducting the surveillance a vehicle belonging to a known drug dealer was seen at the location.  Officers observed two males and one female enter the vehicle and drive away from the location.

Officers attempted to intercept the vehicle, but the driver saw the officer and immediately fled at a high rate of speed.  The vehicle traveled through streets in the west end of Hoquiam at very high rates of speed.  The vehicle then turned west onto Emerson Avenue heading for Highway 109 with police in pursuit.

The driver and passengers abandoned the vehicle in a driveway on Harborview court in the Grays Harbor City Hills.

Officers were in a short foot pursuit of the suspects until they ran off into the heavily wooded area.  Containment was setup in the area and assistance from the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s department Canine unit was requested.

Once the Canine team arrived and began their search one of the suspects, a 26-year old Aberdeen man, immediately surrendered saying “he had a warrant and it wasn’t worth getting bit for”.  The suspect was arrested on a confirmed Department of Corrections warrant and booked into the Hoquiam Jail.

The second man, a 33-year old Aberdeen man, was shortly located by the canine team but refused to surrender and was contacted by the canine.  The man was taken into custody and was treated and released at the hospital for a dog bite to his upper left arm.  The suspect was booked into the County Jail for Felony Eluding.

The female who was in the vehicle was located at the residence where the vehicle had been abandoned; no charges have been filed on her.

National Night Out block parties adding up in Hoquiam

The Hoquiam Police Department is proud to sponsor 2014 National Night Out on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 in Hoquiam.

National Night Out is an informal, community based event held all across the country on August 5th.  The idea is for neighbors to get together at a block party so they can visit and get to know each other better.  Neighbors who know each other tend to look out for each other.  Strong neighborhoods make for safe communities.

At this time, Hoquiam has seven scheduled block parties:

o Elk’s Lodge at 624 K Street
o Channel Point Village
o 914 Maple Street
o 408 J Street
o 1420 Marion Street
o 2641 Pacific Avenue
o 330 Eklund Avenue

But, it is not too late!  All hosted block parties will receive give-away items from the police department as well as a visit from police, fire and city officials during the night.  If you want to host a BLOCK PARTY in Hoquiam, please sign up with Tracy Wood at 538-3970 or twood@cityofhoquiam.com.

Hoquiam man sentenced to prison for 5th DUI

A Hoquiam man was sentenced to prison for his fifth DUI earlier this month, the arresting officer, Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers thanked the County Prosecutor for getting tough on repeat DUI drivers.
Arresting documents show 55 year old Carl C. Weber was driving his son home from the hospital on a revoked license on April 15th when he tested at twice the legal limit for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol. Interim County Prosecutor Gerald Fuller said on July 9th, just 4 days after Weber’s birthday, he was sentenced to 25 months for felony DUI.
Myers said in his report that the man repeated several times during the traffic stop, and his arrest, that he “was going to go to prison this time.”

Reported drug house in Hoquiam shut down after complaints

Heavy foot and vehicle traffic reported at a suspected drug house turned up a few arrests for Hoquiam Police yesterday. Chief Jeff Myers tells us deputies from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department aided in serving a search warrant in the 200 block of K Street yesterday morning. A 34 year old Hoquiam woman was arrested on methamphetamine charges. A 28 year old Hoquiam man was also arrested on DOC felony warrants.
Myers said the home had no electrical service, and was in such disrepair that the city plans to condemn the building
In the morning hours of June 26, 2014, detectives with the Grays Harbor Drug Task Force, along with officers from the Hoquiam Police Department and Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant at 211 K Street in Hoquiam pursuant to an investigation regarding small-scale methamphetamine sales.
During the course of the search warrant, the suspect and resident of the premises, a 34-year old Hoquiam woman, was arrested for multiple counts of Violation of the Uniform Substance Act. The female was subsequently booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail on pending felony drug charges.
A 28-year old Hoquiam man, who was staying at the home, was arrested on an outstanding DOC felony warrant for probation violations. Suspected methamphetamine was also found on his person. He was booked at the Hoquiam City Jail under the contract with DOC to hold state probation offenders and may face additional felony drug charges.
Other occupants staying at the residence at the time of the search warrant were checked for outstanding wants and released.
This investigation stemmed from numerous neighborhood complaints to the Hoquiam Police Department of heavy foot and vehicle traffic to and from the residence. These complaints were forwarded to the Drug Task Force, which initiated an undercover investigation.
Given the conditions of the residence, including the fact there was no electrical service, the premises will be condemned by the Hoquiam Building Department. Anyone who returns will be arrested for trespassing once the premises is posted “unsafe to occupy”.
A derelict vehicle, also belonging to the female resident, was impounded from the street in front of the house.
“One of our three Department Focus Points is targeting drug dealers and drug locations. The Drug Task Force took on this location based on citizen concerns and developed a case which will hopefully resolve the problem.”

Prolific vehicle prowler linked to at least 17 incidents from Aberdeen to Olympia to Centralia

The Hoquiam Police Department nabbed what they describe as a prolific vehicle prowler. Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us they’ve linked 26 year old Troy N. Hodge, of McCleary, to 16 additional vehicle prowls from Aberdeen to Olympia to Centralia.

Myers said he was booked in the Grays Harbor County Jail for possession of stolen property in the second degree. Detective David Blundred continues to work to identify the owners of property recovered during the course of this investigation and associated vehicle prowls in Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, Elma, Shelton, Olympia, Tumwater and Centralia.
On May 25, 2014, Hoquiam officers investigated a reported vehicle prowl in the parking lot of Olympic Stadium. One of the items stolen in the prowl included a MacBook Pro.
Officers used an Apple tracking feature to locate the MacBook in the 400 block of Second Street in McCleary, but were unable to pinpoint the exact location.
Lacey PD officers stopped a stolen vehicle on June 3, 2014 whereby they recovered a MacBook Pro. Lacey’s evidence custodian checked the MacBook in an effort to identify the owner, but instead found data related to Troy Hodge; Hodge was known to reside in the 400 block of Second Street in McCleary.
When Lacey PD contacted Hodge about the MacBook, he was evasive and did not seem to know much about it, which raised the suspicions of the officers. They checked the LINX system (a computer system which links police reports from around the state and the country) and located the reported vehicle prowl in Hoquiam, including the stolen MacBook.
Detective Blundred applied for a search warrant for Hodge’s residence based on the fact the stolen MacBook had been tracked to the area of Hodge’s residence and had been used by Hodge.
During the service of the search warrant at Hodge’s residence in McCleary on June 9, 2014, detectives recovered additional items which had been stolen in the vehicle prowl in Hoquiam. The victim’s wallet was observed in Hodge’s vehicle, therefore the vehicle was impounded and another search warrant was obtained.
During the course of the two search warrants, detectives recovered identification, driver’s licenses, wallets, credit cards, checkbooks, vehicle titles, cell phones, keys, garage door openers, tools, battery chargers, clothing and personal information belonging to numerous victims.

In addition to the stolen property, detectives also recovered key rings with “shaved keys” organized by vehicle brand as well as approximately one thousand assorted keys for vehicles, homes, lock boxes, padlocks and safes. Hodge’s vehicle contained a box of various vehicle make/ model key fobs, garage door openers, slim-jim and other vehicle entry devices.
In checking the victims, Hoquiam detectives were able to link the stolen property to at least sixteen additional vehicle prowls ranging from Aberdeen to Olympia to Centralia. It is suspected there are more victims and cases which were possibly not reported or items recovered which have not been linked to a specific victim at this time.
Detectives believe Hodge traveled around the region in his vehicle, a black 1994 Honda Civic, whereby he engaged in vehicle prowls of cars parked in public parking lots. It appeared Hodge traveled to different areas at different times; therefore many of these crimes were not linked until now.
HPD has submitted a state-wide bulletin to notify other law enforcement agencies of the information.
Detectives continue to work leads and attempt to identify victims; Hodge will be facing additional felony charges to include numerous counts of possession of stolen property.

No charges for family of Hoquiam boy who fired handgun in city limits

No charges are being filed against the parents of the boy who fired their gun in Hoquiam earlier this month. City Attorney Steve Johnson said in a press release this morning that “after careful review of the evidence and discussions with investigating officers and the Chief of the Hoquiam Police Department, I have decided not to file charges against the parents of the five-year old boy who discharged a firearm towards an adult male in Hoquiam, on June 1, 2014. The basis of my decision is my belief that the City of Hoquiam could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the parents committed a crime under existing Washington laws.

The 5 year old boy was watching his neighbors play with unloaded BB guns when he went into his house and found his parent’s loaded handgun to play along. Hoquiam Officer Cody Blodgett tells us the boy discharged the firearm in the 600 block of L street just after 3 June 1st in the direction of a 21 year old Aberdeen man who was walking by. No one was hit by the bullet, Blodgett said the gun was confiscated.

Johnson’s press release went on to cite Rule 3.8 of the Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers provides that:

“The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

“(a) Refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.”

In reviewing the evidence in this case, I am not convinced that a charge of reckless endangerment would be supported by probable cause. Even if it were,, Rule 3.8 merely sets forth minimum standards of conduct for prosecutors. In my view, a prosecutor would be remiss in bringing a criminal charge against a suspect which is supported by probable cause, but which is not supported by sufficient evidence to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Had the legislature amended the reckless endangerment statute to include leaving a gun in a location where a person knows or should reasonably know that a child could gain access to it, as was proposed in the 1999 legislative session, there is no doubt that the outcome would be very different here.

Having said that, I would like to make it perfectly clear that my review of the evidence leads me to conclude that the parents were negligent in their handling of the firearm in question, and everyone involved is very fortunate that no one was killed or seriously injured, including their own children. Hopefully, this will serve as a learning experience.

Steve Johnson
Hoquiam City Attorney

Hoquiam officers spot man with felony warrants fleeing investigation scene

Hoquiam Police responding to separate incidents in the same area last night made one arrest on felony warrants. Officer Daniel McCartney tells us they received separate reports of an assault, and an attempted kidnapping in the 300 block of 28th street around 8 last night.
The attempted kidnapping turned out to be unfounded, and is under further investigation. McCartney said a county K9 unit was called in to assist when the first officer on scene of the assault investigation spotted a man known to officers to have felony warrants fleeing the scene. After a brief K9 track the man was taken into custody, and booked into the Hoquiam jail.

No major damage after ghost boat drifts into Riverside Bridge

The Washington State Department of Transportation said they saw no damage besides a broken light to the Riverside bridge in Hoquiam yesterday, after a 75 foot boat broke loose from its mooring and drifted into the bridge yesterday morning.

Sgt Mitchell with the Hoquiam Police Department said no one was on board when the high tide pulled it from its moorage and into the North side of the bridge.

Washingston State Patrol Trooper Russ Winger tweeted yesterday

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”>This lady broke free from her moorings today and got stuck against the Riverside bridge in Hoquiam. <a href=”http://t.co/a8b7kWf32R”>pic.twitter.com/a8b7kWf32R</a>

— Trooper Russ Winger (@wspd8pio) <a href=”https://twitter.com/wspd8pio/statuses/477108197388320769″>June 12, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” async=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>


Traffic delays expected as WSDOT inspects damaged Riverside Bridge in Hoquiam

The Washington State Department of Transportation is inspecting damage to the Riverside Bridge in Hoquiam, after a 75 foot boat drifted into the structure earlier this morning. Sgt Mitchell with the Hoquiam Police Department tells us the Coast Guard was also contacted, and it appears no one was on board at the time. The owner was contacted and has removed the boat. Mitchell said it was dry docked nearby when the high tide pulled it from its moorage and into the North side of the bridge some time this morning.

Boat strikes Riverside Bridge in Hoquiam
WSDOT crews will likely need to raise the bridge this morning to inspect for damage. Mitchell said there is visible damage to the bridge and the boat, however the extent is not yet known.