Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.622.5868
Monday, May 23, 2022 at 10:59 a.m.
Dogged detective work has led to convictions and time behind bars for a man who used his body as a human battering ram to damage public and private property in downtown Spokane.
“He slams his body into a street sign, he yanks down a string of Christmas lights and then, he ends up approaching a woman on the street who is just trying to get into her vehicle,” detailed Captain Dave Singley, Spokane Police Department.
A series of surveillance cameras around Washington Trust Bank caught James confronting the woman as she raced to close the driver-side door of her car.
“He punches her vehicle window a couple of times, he then uses his full body weight to try and yank her side mirror completely off the car. She was actually in fear he was trying to get into her vehicle and attack her,” added Singley.
Using the surveillance video, officers from the Downtown Spokane Police Precinct identified James and arrested him on a pair of malicious mischief charges.
Even though James denied responsibility for the malicious mischief, including a felony, a Superior Court judge found probable cause to keep James in jail, instead of releasing him on his own recognizance.
“So by charging him with a felony, it’s a more serious crime, he ended up appearing before Judge Hazel and ended up with receiving, what I believe is, a $10 thousand bond to hold him,” explained Singley.
Police were able to arrest James on a felony because detective Elina Bishop, of the Downtown Precinct, researched the law and found James’ attack on a City of Spokane Parking Enforcement vehicle warranted the more serious charge.
James is a repeat offender. Identifying him as a suspect and then, supplying the court with James’ criminal history, including 21 failures to appear, is one way the Spokane Police Department is demanding more accountability.
Even though a different judge reduced James’ bond to two thousand dollars, James remained in custody and had time to reflect on his need for drug rehabilitation.
“By actually holding them accountable and keeping them in jail for a while, not only does it keep the community safe, for the time that they’re in jail, it does give them the opportunity to sober up and hopefully get connected to resources and other things that might be available to them, and that’s precisely what happened in this case,” recalled Singley.
In James’ case, the defendant pleaded guilty to a pair of malicious mischief counts and, at James’ request, he received Washington’s Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative.
That means the court ordered James to spend just 69 days behind bars, but only on the condition James complete a residential drug treatment program immediately after his release from the Geiger Corrections Center.
“I hope that (James) has a change in his behavior and is a little less violent with his behavior,so that he doesn’t harm himself, or others, in the future,” said Micha Prim, the officer who most recently arrested James.
If James doesn’t complete drug rehab successfully, the court will order a warrant for his arrest and James will likely, once again, find himself behind bars.