Lights and Sirens
Police and fire news from around Covington, Maple Valley, and beyond
A Pierce County jury today returned a unanimous verdict against a Pacific County man charged with shooting a Washington State Patrol trooper in the back of the head in February 2010.
Assistant Attorneys General John Hillman and Melanie Tratnik prosecuted the case at the request of the Pacific County prosecutor’s office.
“The Attorney General’s Office deeply appreciates the risks our state patrol troopers take and the sacrifices they make to keep the rest of us safe,” said Attorney General Rob McKenna. “That’s why this case means so much to our office. I’m grateful for the skill and expertise our assistant attorneys general brought in prosecuting this case.”
Jurors found 46-year-old Martin Jones guilty of attempted murder in the shooting of former trooper Scott Johnson as Johnson was impounding a van belonging to Jones’ wife. Jones’ wife had earlier been arrested and was under investigation for drunken driving.
Johnson was shot at point-blank range in the back of the head. But he survived and recovered. He was elected Pacific County Sheriff in November 2010.
The Attorney General’s Office does not have original criminal jurisdiction to prosecute cases but often handles complex criminal cases at the request of county prosecutors. Assistant Attorneys General may also prosecute criminal cases at the request of the Governor.
A semitruck driver received minor injuries when his vehicle struck a guardrail and tree before it rolled onto its side, ejecting him through the windshield at about 5 a.m. today, Feb. 14 on eastbound state Route 18 in the area of Tiger Summit
The semi drove into the right guardrail and struck a tree with its trailer causing the vehicle to roll onto its right side. The driver, a 51 year old Puyallup man, was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected out the windshield as the truck came to a stop. Miraculously, the driver was walking around when troopers arrived and only received minor injuries.
The cause of the collision is still under investigation at this time. The driver stated he swerved to avoid a deer causing him to drive off the road.
Department of Transportation workers cut the railing free from the front of the truck and tow drivers were able to begin the removal. The trailer ripped open during the collision and the right lane was blocked for nearly six hours as the semi and its contents were removed.
Although this driver was very fortunate and only received minor injuries not everyone is so lucky. If he had been thrown out of the windshield earlier in the collision it is unlikely he would have survived. The Washington State Patrol asks that every driver and passenger wear seatbelts properly rather than gamble with their lives.
The armed robber dubbed the “polite robber” by local media was arrested this afternoon by King County Sheriff’s detectives and the SWAT Team. He was taken into custody without incident about 2 p.m. His demeanor at the time of arrest is unknown.
The arrest took place at a residence in the Top Hat neighborhood where the man was living. The location is not far from the Shell Station at 2805 SW Roxbury that he allegedly robbed on Saturday, Feb. 5th about 11:20 a.m. He was carrying what appeared to be a semi-automatic pistol during the robbery.
The video of the robbery, complete with sound, was released by the store owner has since “gone viral”. The suspect was quickly identified from tips.
The man arrested is a convicted felon, including convictions for forgery and armed robbery. He is 65 years old.
The body of a missing back-country skier was found this afternoon about 1:00 p.m. The missing woman, age 40, was found by an Alpine ski rescue group which was not part of a sheriff’s office search and rescue operation.
Now however the sheriff’s office will coordinate the retrieval of the body. At his time it is not known then that will occur, as weather and remaining daylight will be the determining factors.
A hike in from Snoqualmie Pass to the location where the body was found takes about four hours.
Nicole was last seen by her husband in their Lynwood condo on Jan. 28, 2006. Her car was found in the University District of Seattle about two weeks later.
There remains a $36,000 reward in the case. In addition, Nicole’s mother has said the family will pay the legal costs of anyone who comes forward with information germane to the case, but wishes to use the services of an attorney.
The Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit is still investigating the case, and would like anyone with information to call 206-296-3311 with information.
A Washington State Patrol motorcycle officer fired shots this afternoon at a driver who allegedly tried to run her down as he fled from other officers.
The veteran trooper is uninjured, and multiple agencies are investigating both the shooting and the auto theft which preceded the incident.
Initial indications are that the trooper became involved in the pursuit, which began in south King County, shortly after 2 p.m. As the pursuit went to the Fife area, the subject abandoned the original vehicle and jumped in another which was nearby.
At that point multiple witnesses report the suspect drove at the WSP trooper two separate times. After the first attempt, the trooper abandoned her bike and was on foot. The subject came at her a second time, at which point she fired shots to end the attack. The subject veered away and was eventually stopped by other troopers using a Pursuit Immobilization Technique (PIT). The driver continued to fight and had to be tased in order to be taken into custody.
The subject was slightly injured, but it is not currently clear whether those injuries were caused by the trooper’s shots or when the car hit a tree following the PIT maneuver.
The Washington State Patrol, Fife Police Department and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office are conducting concurrent investigations of the incident.
The Sheriff’s Office searched this afternoon and early evening for a back country skier who is believed to be missing in the Red Mountain area, which is near Alpental.
The skier, a woman from Seattle, had apparently been skiing alone. Another skier found her backpack and a glove early this afternoon and notified the Sheriff’s Office. From ID in the backpack it was learned the woman had been expected to come to work today in Seattle but did not.
Her car was found in a ski area parking lot adjacent to I-90.
Guardian One was in the area this afternoon and from the air saw ski gear and what appeared to be fresh snow slide activity off the backside of Red Mountain.
The area to be searched is extremely treacherous and difficult to reach. Therefore the Sheriff’s Office will suspend search efforts very shortly because of darkness.
The search will resume in the morning and the command post will be at the Snoqualmie Pass Fire Department off Exit 52.
An 81 year-old Burien woman was pronounced dead at Harborview Medical Center Friday Jan 28, after she was involved in an automobile accident.
The accident happened about 1 p.m. at South 160th and the Ambaum Cutoff South in Burien.
A 61-year-old Des Moines woman was driving a 1992 Dodge Dakota pick-up eastbound on South 160th. Investigating detectives believe she went through a red light and her vehicle hit a 1994 Pontiac Bonneville that was northbound on the Ambaum Cutoff.
After the initial impact, the Bonneville continued northbound across South 160th and struck another vehicle facing southbound. That driver was taken to Highline Hospital with minor injuries.
The driver of the Bonneville was taken to Harborview where she subsequently died. The driver of the Dodge was admitted to HMC in serious condition.
A body of a man was found by a landscaper in the bushes next to a SeaTac office building yesterday afternoon. The cause and manner of death are unknown. He was in his mid-40’s.
SeaTac Police and Sheriff’s detectives were called about 3:30 PM to the Park Place Suites, 19550 International Blvd South. The man appeared to be a transient and may have been living in the crawl space of the building.
There was no sign of trauma to the body. Detectives are waiting for the results of an autopsy.
Detectives from the Washington State Patrol Criminal Investigative Division (CID) have arrested a Graham-area man for allegedly making threats to Gov. Chris Gregoire.
The threat arrived at the governor’s office about 6:15 a.m. Tuesday. It took detectives only about six hours to trace the Internet threat and arrest a suspect.
The 51-year-old man was taken into custody at 2:30 p.m. while walking along 200th Street East in Pierce County. Detectives had first responded to the man’s home, and began a search of the area when he was not present. The arrest took place without incident.
He was booked into the Pierce County jail for one count of Threats Against the Governor or Family (RCW 9A.36.090) which is a Class ‘C’ Felony.