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NEWS BITES: Jan. 31, 2024

by STAFF REPORT
Staff Report | January 31, 2024 1:35 AM

MOSES LAKE — Officers with the Moses Lake Police Department recovered stolen property from a burglary Monday, according to an MLPD statement.

Officers responded Monday morning to a burglary in the 400 block of East Broadway Avenue, according to the statement. Among the items taken were some high-priced tools. 

With the help of the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and a drone, officers located a suspect, later identified as Melo Martinez, 25, in a camp off the 900 block of Wheeler Road. The tools were found in Martinez’s possession, and he admitted to the burglary. Martinez was also tied to a previous burglary of the same business. He was booked into the Grant County Jail on two counts of burglary, two counts of first-degree theft, one count of trafficking in stolen property and two counts of second-degree malicious mischief. 

While officers and deputies were investigating at the camp, they also located and recovered a stolen dirt bike, and returned it to the owner, MLPD reports.

MOSES LAKE — Two Moses Lake Police officers stopped multiple dog attacks on South Division Street over the weekend, according to an MLPD statement.

On Saturday afternoon, an off-duty MLPD sergeant was driving near the 1800 block of Division Street, when he saw three dogs come after a man walking on the sidewalk, according to the statement. One of the dogs, a white pit bull, began to attack the man and bite his leg, while the others circled barking at him. The sergeant drove toward them honking and was able to drive the dogs off. The sergeant let the man into his car to get away from the dogs and gave him a ride a safe distance down the street.

A few moments later, the off-duty officer observed the same three dogs surrounding another male in the same block, MLPD reports. The sergeant drove up onto the sidewalk honking and was again able to chase the dogs off the man. Within a moment or two, the dogs ran aggressively at a female in the area. The off-duty sergeant notified dispatch and attempted to contact the owner of the dogs, but was unsuccessful.

Within a few minutes, an on-duty sergeant arrived on-scene, according to the statement. At this point, he was aware of the information that the dogs had threatened at least three people and bitten at least one. The sergeant exited the vehicle with his department-issued rifle. Rifles are more accurate than pistols, and this rifle is equipped with a sound suppressor, both of which make it more appropriate for use in a populated area. Within seconds of arriving, the sergeant was attacked by the three dogs. Despite the officer yelling at the dogs to stop, the white pit bull charged at the officer with his mouth open and attempted to bite him. The officer was against the traffic lane with no place to back up. When the dog closed to a distance of approximately one foot from the sergeant, he discharged his firearm, killing the dog.

Officers were able to contact the owner of the dogs, and assisted with patching the hole in the fence at the owner’s residence, according to the statement. Officers were also able to identify some witnesses to the incident.

The incident is under investigation, the MLPD wrote. Anybody who witnessed this incident and has not spoken to police is asked to call Capt. Mike Williams at 509-764-3900. 

OTHELLO — Othello police arrested a 27-year-old man Monday following an assault two days earlier, according to a statement from the Othello Police Department.

At about 10:40 a.m. on Saturday, officers responded to a 911 call from a home in the 900 block of South Seventh Avenue, according to the statement. The caller was not able to give much information and said only, “Just get over here.” When officers arrived, they reported finding two people, a 22-year-old and an 11-year-old, had been assaulted by a man identified as Levi Gonzalez, formerly of Othello, who had left before officers arrived. The witnesses advised police that Gonzalez had displayed two firearms, one in each hand.

One firearm was located, but not the other, according to the statement. With the help of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, police searched for Gonzalez, without success.

On Monday, Kennewick Police located Gonzalez at a park in Kennewick and he was taken into custody without incident, according to the statement. The missing firearm was not located. Gonzales was booked into jail on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of fourth-degree assault.

WATERVILLE — A SWAT team ended an armed standoff on U.S. Highway 97 on Monday, according to a statement from the East Cascade Regional SWAT Team. 

At a little after 8 p.m., the Washington State Patrol requested the East Cascade SWAT team respond to a location in western Douglas County to assist with the arrest of 38-year-old Kamil Jelonek of East Wenatchee, according to the statement.

Jelonek, who had an outstanding felony warrant for escape from community custody, was wanted by the Okanogan County Sheriff’s for a domestic violence court order violation, had been involved in a lengthy pursuit involving multiple agencies which had ended near milepost 218 on Highway 97.

When the pursuit ended Jelonek armed himself with a knife and barricaded himself in his vehicle, the EWRST wrote. Initial de-escalation techniques proved unsuccessful and the East Cascade Crisis Negotiation team responded with the East Cascade SWAT team. During the standoff, an approximately four-mile section of the highway was shut down to all traffic. 

At around 10:46 p.m., members of the East Cascade SWAT team used a 40mm launcher to knock the knife from Jelonek’s hand, according to the statement. Additional less-lethal tools were utilized and at 10:53 p.m. Jelonek was taken into custody. Jelonek was medically evaluated and turned over to the Washington State Patrol.