Tag Archives: Bainbridge Island

Bremerton city attorney drops pot cases

The Bremerton city attorney has dismissed about 20 simple possession marijuana cases in the wake of Initiative 502′s passage. 

City Attorney Roger Lubovich said his office was waiting until Dec. 6, an ounce of pot for adults 21 and older became legal in the state. He said the dismissals were limited to those charged with just misdemeanor possession, and not in cases where multiple crimes were charged.

Bremerton’s municipal court handles misdemeanor cases that occur within the city. The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s office handles all felony cases in the county and misdemeanor cases outside Bremerton. The office has a contract for prosecutorial services with Port Orchard, Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island.

Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge had already announced his office was dropping misdemeanor pot cases in mid-November, resulting an estimated few dozen dismissals.

Interestingly, under the new state law, up to an ounce, or about 28 grams, is legal to possess for adults 21 and over. That means it’s still a misdemeanor to have between 28 and 40 grams of pot (that is, unless it’s in food or liquid form). Above 40 grams is still a felony.

 

UPDATE: Cops search car of suspected liquor thieves

Fifty bottles of high end liquor were removed from a car police believe belongs to one of three women who stole it from area Safeway stores, Port Orchard Police Cmdr. Geoffrey Marti told me this morning. 

The bottles were mostly in the $50 price range, Marti said. A detective obtained a search warrant and served it on the car, found by police at the Port Orchard Safeway, Thursday afternoon.

Long story short, the three women, who have yet to be charged with a crime, are accused of stealing the liquor from Safeway stores all across the county, from Bainbridge Island to Port Orchard. They were arrested in Port Orchard but released Tuesday as the investigation developed.

Here’s the recap, if you haven’t read it yet:

 Police say the trio, two Seattle women age 23 and 21 and a 21-year-old Kent woman, have been caught on camera and by store security loading shoulder bags and shopping carts full of liquor and then attempting to leave the stores. Up until early Monday, they’d avoided apprehension.

But early Monday — after the women were alleged to have made off with more than $600 worth of mostly Crown Royal from the Bainbridge Island Safeway on High School Road — the suspects showed up at the Bethel Road Safeway in Port Orchard, 36 miles away.

There, an officer, notified by Bethel Road store’s employees and Bainbridge officers, confronted the three. In interviews with Port Orchard officers, two denied the thefts and a third declined to talk to police. Police located a vehicle in the parking lot that had numerous bottles of liquor, including Crown Royal with security devices attached to them.

In total, the three are alleged to have attempted to take or make off with liquor in the past week at Safeways in Bainbridge, Port Orchard, East Bremerton and West Bremerton. Police say they might have stolen from some stores more than once.

The case is now being coordinated by a Kitsap County Sheriff’s detective, Marti added. We’ll keep you posted.

Blogger’s note: the photo on this post comes from the Bremerton Safeway’s attempted liquor theft by the same suspects Sept. 3. 

Live blog: Ostling vs. Bainbridge, Day 9

CASE BACKGROUND: The plaintiff Ostling family is expected to wrap up its case this week. They’re suing the city of Bainbridge Island for alleged civil rights violations against Douglas Ostling, the night the 43-year-old was shot and killed by police.

Reporter Tristan Baurick is at court live blogging the proceedings today.

Live blog: Ostling vs. Bainbridge, Day 7

CASE BACKGROUND: The plaintiff Ostling family is expected to wrap up its case early this week. They’re suing the city of Bainbridge Island for alleged civil rights violations against Douglas Ostling, the night the 43-year-old was shot and killed by police.

Reporter Tristan Baurick will be in court live blogging the proceedings today. Court is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.

Live blog: Ostling vs. Bainbridge Island, May 18

CASE BACKGROUND: Did police violate the civil rights of 43-year-old Douglas Ostling when they responded to his home for his 911 call, shot him as he held an axe and then refused to let anyone go into his room as he bled to death?

That’s what eight jurors in Tacoma’s federal U.S. District Court will have to decide.

Ostling’s estate, as well as his parents, William and Joyce, are suing the city of Bainbridge Island and its police chief, Jon Fehlman, along with Officer Jeff Benkert, the man who fired the shot that caused the fatal injury.

On Monday, we heard opening statements.

On Tuesday, we heard from Officer Benkert.

And today, we’re hearing from Officer David Portrey, who was with Benkert at the time. There may be other witnesses, too.

Live Blog: Ostling vs. Bainbridge Island, May 14

CASE BACKGROUND: Opening statements are expected today in the civil case accusing Bainbridge police officers of violating a 43-year-old mentally ill man’s civil rights when an officer shot and killed him in October 2010.

Lawyers for the estate and parents of Douglas Ostling, shot by police at his Springridge Drive home, are prepared to argue police violated his civil rights by going to his room without a search warrant, shooting him, and then refusing to allow his family to check on him.

The case is before U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton and is expected to last around two weeks.

Ostling suffered from mental illness and called 911 Oct. 26, 2010, making incoherent statements. Details of the encounter are disputed: police said Ostling was armed with an ax. He was shot in the leg and bled to death in his room.

Jury selection has been completed in Judge Leighton’s court. Opening statements will follow at 1:30 p.m.

Bainbridge parents take to Facebook to stop teen drunken driving

Some Bainbridge Islanders have formed a Facebook page in response to a likely DUI crash on Bainbridge a few weeks back, and the outpouring of community support for it is quite impressive.

Dubbed, “Won’t Ask, Won’t Tell,” the page aims to provide teens a place they can look for phone numbers of adults who will give them a ride home, regardless of whether intoxicants were involved.

Here’s how the founders describe the site:

“We want everyone in our island community to be safe. We want teens in our community to know that whenever they find themselves in a potentially dangerous situation involving alcohol, drugs and driving – or potential date abuse – they can call any one of us – or text – anytime, and we pledge to come and get you and take you home. We won’t ask you why, and we won’t tell your parents. We just want you to be safe.”

More than 700 people had already hit the like button on the page and the list of phone numbers is quite lengthy. Stories about it have also appeared in the island’s Review and on KOMO.

I’m curious to know how people are feeling about such an effort. Do you think it could spread elsewhere?

LIVE BLOG: Kitsap County Traffic Court

THE BACKGROUND: A deputy prosecutor will stand in on behalf of the state in Kitsap County’s traffic court for the first time this afternoon.

The move was a part of Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge’s plan to boost revenues during the county’s budget discussions last fall. He told the county commissioners having a prosecutor to help present the case of the police who wrote the ticket could lead to about $148,000 in additional revenue.

Up until now, Hauge told the commissioners that “if you know the magic words to say,” tickets would be dismissed without an argument from prosecutors — because no prosecutor was ever in court.

Another program aimed at relicensing motorists charged with suspended driving — before almost always reduced to a $124 ticket — also begins today. Drivers will now face a $250 fine under a so-called “diversion” program. The good news for defendants, however, is it is a pathway to becoming licensed again, prosecutors argued. That program could bring in more than $356,000, Hauge argued to commissioners.

The programs only affect Ktsap County District Court — not in courts in Poulsbo, Port Orchard, Bremerton or Bainbridge Island.

A story about the first day of the two programs will be posted later today.

2010′s Officer-Involved Shootings on the Kitsap Peninsula

On Tuesday night, Bainbridge Island police shot and killed an ax-wielding man, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

It’s the fifth time this year that police — on duty or off — on the Kitsap Peninsula have resorted to lethal force. Here are the previous incidents:

In February, Suquamish officers opened fire on a man who drove a car at them on Nelson Street. The shooting was justified, according to the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office.

In July, a Poulsbo officer on a traffic stop in Silverdale shot and killed a Bremerton man who police said was reaching for a gun. That shooting was also ruled justified by the prosecutor.

In September, an off-duty Washington State trooper at his home in Olalla shot and killed a man who’d hit him in the head with a steel rod. That shooting remains under investigation.

In early October, a Mason County deputy was hit in the leg with gunfire following a chase in Allyn. Though the investigation is not complete, early reports indicate a deputy had fired a shot at the suspect’s car after he’d begun using it as a “deadly weapon,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The Crime Stats Are Out (How Did Your Community Fare?)

This week, the Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs (WASPC) released their annual report on crime in this state. I’m working today to analyze the numbers and get the thoughts about them from our local law enforcement leaders.

For the county, here’s the overall trends:

  • Violent crime (murder, rape, robbery, assault) in the county fell about four percent, from 1,103 reported incidents to 1,060.
  • Property crime (theft, burglary, ect.) in the county, too, fell almost five percent, from 6,465 incidents to 6,170.

I’ve posted the report below, so you can see for yourself. I’ll be updating this entry throughout the rest of the day with tidbits and stats on each of our communities.

Crime stats overall
Violent crime (rape, robbery, murder, assault)
Property crime (theft, burglary, ect.)

Kitsap County Sheriff

2008            2009     %change
Violent crime       674            682      up, 1.2 percent
Property crime     3,789       3,267    down, 13.8 percent

Bainbridge Island
Violent crime       29             31          up, 6.9 percent
Property crime     324         304         down, 6.2 percent

Bremerton
Violent crime       308            250      down, 18.8 percent
Property crime     1,584       1,718    up, 8.5 percent

Port Orchard
Violent crime       50              52          up, 4 percent
Property crime      465         564         up, 21.3 percent

Poulsbo
Violent crime       42            45              up, 7.1 percent
Property crime      303         317             up, 4.6 percent

Mason County Sheriff
Violent crime       140         133             down, 5 percent
Property crime     1,648       1,578        down, 4.2 percent

CIW2009