Monthly Archives: March 2007

‘National Security’ A Factor

Prosecutors weighed Edward E. Scott’s access to matters of national security in charging him with attempted child rape and communicating with a minor immorally on the internet, Russ Hauge told me on the phone Tuesday.

The Kitsap County Prosecutor — and a former military man himself — Hauge said that his post allowed him access to sensitive information.

If he was willing to use a work computer to chat with who he believed to be a mother and twins to solicit sex, prosecutors worried what else he might be capable of, Hauge told me.

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Crime on Paper

Statistics released Monday by the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs association held some good news and bad news for Kitsap County.

Per capita violent crime in Bremerton — the city that holds the dubious distinction as highest in the state — fell from 11.7 incidents per thousand in 2005 to 9.6 incidents in 2006, according to the Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs.

On the flip side, Bainbridge Island — whose population growth and more affluent neighborhoods have seen more criminal activity of late — saw its total incidents of property crimes grow by about 20 percent from 2005 to 2006.

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A Marquee Arrest … and a Coincidence

With the help of some federal agencies, detectives in Kitsap County are becoming more savvy to the ways of the web.

And on Friday, Bremerton’s detectives landed perhaps the most notable arrest thus far in the new world of luring sex predators online.

Edward E. Scott remains in Kitsap County jail on $500,000 bail. The command master chief of Navy Base Kitsap, he is said by police to have attempted to carry out a far more elaborate tale than most people law enforcement lure online.

He thought he was chatting over the internet with a mother who had a 12-year old twin boy and girl — whom he suggested he wanted to commit some kind of sex acts with, according to police — but turned out to be an undercover agent with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

So when Scott showed up at a Bremerton area motel, he was “absolutely shocked” to find detectives there to arrest him, and made a confession, said Detective Sgt. Kevin Crane.

Coincidentally, we had just wrapped a Sunday story about luring sex predators online before they could lure potential victims. (You can read that story here.)

It was a coincidence and nothing more. But our story, and Bremerton’s arrest, shows that those who try and lure minors for sex over the internet — no matter how prominent in the community — are taking a huge risk.

Texting on the Road Closer to Illegal

Everyone’s got a story of the passing motorist who scares the daylights out of other drivers while punching away on a Blackberry.

Soon, a $101 fine could await those who do it, though.

House Bill 1214, banning the use of texting, be it on a cell phone, Blackberry or otherwise, passed 73-23 March 13. It now awaits a hearing in the Senate.

One of the floor arguments, according to David Ammons (one of my favorite AP reporters, by the way), was from Rep. Joyce McDonald, R-Puyallup:

“Text-messaging and driving are a lethal combination,” McDonald said. “Text-messaging takes a higher level of consciousness to compose, edit, and send a message than to just have a conversation on the phone. It takes the eye off the road every time you punch in a word.”

Meanwhile, a bill to ban overall cell phones while driving has also been given play by legislators. Senate Bill 5037 passed the that chamber 29-18.

How do you feel about motorists who drive while texting? How about general cell phone users who drive and talk?

Lawsuit: ‘Old, Defective, Poorly Maintained’

Blogger’s Note: This is a new feature here at the forum that will provide synopses to recently filed Kitsap County lawsuits.

A Silverdale attorney filed a lawsuit March 12 against a Port Orchard grocery store on behalf of his client, the apparent victim of a bad fall at the store.

The attorney says the plaintiff was at the store in April 2004 when “she tripped over a mat, with curled up edges, placed outside the door of the store,” according to Kitsap County court documents.

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Parallels in Alleged Homicides

“There is no other way to describe it but torture.”

Sound familiar? Perhaps something said by Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer last August?

Indeed, it was (Boyer’s words, to be exact, were, “It was beyond abuse; it was torture.”), but it was in reference to the criminal case of Kimberly Forder, 44, charged last August with the homicide by abuse of her adopted son, Christopher Forder in 2002.

This initial quote comes from a Spokane Police Sergeant, as told by the Spokesman Review Tuesday, concerning a brand new homicide by abuse case in their city.

“Shock treatments, sleep deprivation, use of water as torture, beatings…there is no other way to describe it but torture,” said Spokane police Sgt. Joe Peterson. “This is the worst case of just systematic abuse.”

Four-year-old Summer Lytle died last Saturday. Her father, Jonathan D. Lytle, 28 and her stepmother, Adriana L. Lytle, 32 are charged with homicide by abuse in the girl’s death, and are being held in the Spokane County Jail on $500,000 bail, according to the newspaper.

Here’s the last parallel between the two county’s cases: Summer’s biological mother is said by the Spokesman Review to live in Poulsbo.

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UPDATE: Down to the Wire

Our legislators have taken notice that even crooks are prone to follow the laws of economics.

Over the winter, thefts of wire, be it copper or really any type of scrap metal, have increased.

Why? Simple supply-and-demand economics.

When the price of an commodity reaches a certain point, people are more likely to find ways to cash in on it. Even felled power lines were even a target after this year’s big December storms.

Problems with the thefts — which law enforcement officials who testified before legislators said was often meth addicts looking for their next fix — prompted the state house to pass House Bill 1251 unanimously Saturday morning.

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