Cpl. Ronald Van Tassel
Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 4:59 p.m.
On Wednesday night, Spokane Police Officers responded to a very violent Domestic Violence incident on the south hill. Officers made entry into a residence and arrested a male, who was still on top of the female victim and assaulting her. The male was later booked into jail on numerous felony charges.
In the early morning hours of September 17, 2020, Spokane Police received a couple calls about a possible Domestic Violence incident at a residence in the 2600 block of Keystone Ct. While Officers were responding, they learned that a male at the location (54 year old James House) has had history with Police. House was already wanted for Felony Harassment DV, Assault DV and cyber stalking.
When Officers arrived at the location, they could not get anybody to answer the door and made an exigent entry into the residence. Once inside they located the victim the suspect (House) in a bedroom. The victim was pleading for help and House was on top of her. Officers quickly took House into custody.
After an investigation, Officers learned that the victim and House had a previous relationship. House does not live at the residence. The victim woke up to find House inside the residence. The victim stated House had assaulted her for about an hour before Officers arrived. House had choked her unconscious several times during the encounter. He had a knife in his hands and was threatening her with death. The physical and mental assault went on for some time.
House had also told the victim that if Police come to the residence that he was going to kill her before they could get in. The victim said that when House heard Officers entering the residence, he picked the knife up and was trying to stab her in the face and head with it. As the Officers entered the bedroom, House immediately dropped the knife and surrendered. The victim did have laceration and puncture marks to her face and head from House attempting to stab her. The injuries are not life threatening.
House was booked into jail for the charges that he was currently wanted for. He was also charged with 1st degree burglary, 1st degree kidnapping, 1st degree Rape, 2nd degree assault and 1st degree attempted murder.
House’s criminal history includes 5 felony convictions for:
2nd robbery, 2nd assault, 3rd assault, harassment and residential burglary.
He has 7 misdemeanor convictions for:
4 counts of assault, 2 counts of violation of a no contact order and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He also has 7 other convictions for failure to comply with court orders.
Domestic violence continues to be a serious issue not only in this city, but across the nation. We understand the difficulties of a victim trying to get away from an abuser. There is help out there. The Spokane Police Department has an entire unit dedicated to only domestic violence crimes. This unit also has civilians who can help with the aftermath and emotional support through a difficult time. These resources are at the YWCA and their phone number is 509-326-2255.
Officer John O'Brien