Category Archives: SK Crime

Precautions Taken at School Near Law Enforcement Stand-off

Update 7:30 p.m. Monday: After seeing the comment from tictaks, below this post, I called SKSD Superintendent Dave LaRose for a correction/ clarification. I have altered this post to reflect his comments, noting information that was erroneous.

Ten people were detained and five (updated from four as of 3:20 p.m.) are going to jail after a standoff at a house in the 4400 block of Sidney Road SW this morning, according to Kitsap County Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson.

According to Wilson, sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home around 9:27 a.m. to serve an arrest warrant on one of the occupants. At 10:04 a.m., a deputy positioned at the back door of the home saw a gun tossed out of the house and into the bushes. As a precaution, the deputies on site called for back-ups, Wilson said, and because some of the the residents did not leave the building immediately on being ordered to do so, a SWAT team was called in.

At that time, Wilson said, a deputy went to nearby Sidney Glen Elementary School to fill school officials in on the situation. Sheriff’s Office staff advised school administrators that the situation was “under control and contained,” Wilson said. The Sheriff’s Office recommendation was that a lock-down was their option, Wilson said.

Administrators at the school took precautions as school let out, in light of the law enforcement activity, according the South Kitsap School District spokeswoman Aimee Warthen. The school had a “staggered release” (half-day since it is the last day of school). Buses were allowed to leave, but students who are normally picked up by their parents were kept inside the building until after the buses had left. Students who normally walk home from school were escorted by staff members to locations where their parents could meet them, Warthen said.

According to SKSD Superintendent Dave LaRose, students were escorted to buses and to their parents waiting in the parking lot in small groups to allow for greater supervision and control. Students walking to the daycare across the street were escorted. The extra precautions did not significantly delay dismissal, LaRose said.

Cedar Heights Junior High School, also on Sidney Road but within City of Port Orchard limits, was not affected by the stand-off said Port Orchard Police Chief Al Townsend.

The district asked its school resource officer, a member of the Port Orchard Police Department, to maintain a presence near the site of the stand-off to supervise any students walking from Cedar Heights or Sidney Glen, LaRose said.

This map of the area shows the approximate location of the house where the stand-off occurred. Sidney Glen Elementary School is located on Sidney Road SW, between Birch Ave. and Glenwood Road SW. As a result of Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office activity, the road was closed between 11:50 a.m. and 1:42 p.m. (except to local traffic) between Berry Lake Road and close to Glenwood Road SW.

Colchester, Manchester What’s the Difference?

Our story Sunday on the murder of Ruby Andrews threw some Kitsap Sun readers for a loop about the location listed for the crime. The dateline, taken from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s report, was “Colchester.” The location of Andrews’ home, where the homicide occurred, is Puget Drive, a loop off Colchester Drive.

View Colchester WA in a larger map
We heard from people commenting on the story and from a couple who live on Puget Drive that “there is no such thing as Colchester.”

Members of the Manchester Crime Prevention & Public Safety Group who met Tuesday with Kitsap County Sheriff’s officials also questioned the Colchester label, saying people in the area consider themselves Manchester residents, period … end of story.

There is, however, historic precedent for the dateline given in a press release by Deputy Scott Wilson, the Sheriff’s Office public information. According to Undersheriff Dennis Bonneville, speaking to the safety group, Wilson referred to county maps to determine the location of the crime. The Kitsap Sun referred to Wilson’s dateline.

The existence of Colchester was further substantiated by Kitsap Sun Web editor Angela Dice, who had to enter information on all of Kitsap’s micro-neighborhoods for the Kitsap Sun’s Real Estate Web page. Her reference was the Tacoma Public Library’s database of Washington place names, according to which, “Colchester is located between Colby and Manchester in Kitsap County. The name is a coined composite of ‘Col’ from Colby and ‘chester’ from Manchester. (Phillips, p. 29).”

Just think, folks, you could’ve been living in Manby.

Comments about the Colchester dateline precipitated a spirited discussion here in the newsroom. Should we strive for literal accuracy, or a dateline that accurately depicts the Manchester mindset – Colchester is a just road not an actual burg. In the end, we decided to take it on a story by story basis … in other words, punt.

In my story about the victim, I used (and the editors left) Manchester as the dateline. It seemed the right thing to do. Although the crime occurred in Colchester, Ruby was a member of the wider Manchester community. In the story on the suspect’s arraignment, reporter Josh Farley used Port Orchard as the dateline, because it took place at the Kitsap County Courthouse, within Port Orchard’s city limits.

In late 2006 and early 2007, the Kitsap Sun hosted a blog, “How Kitsap Got Its Names”. The blog, which also confirms the Colby-Manchester meld theory, is a source of wonderful little nuggets of Kitsap nomenclature trivia.

Colby, in South Kitsap, for example, is “actually a butchered pronunciation of ‘Coal Bay’ (try speaking like a grizzled prospector),” according to then-Kitsap Sun Reporter Chad Lewis, who is now working for the Washington State Department of Corrections (go figger).

According to reporter Chris Dunagan, writing in the blog, Port Orchard was such a popular name it was used in several places before becoming the official name of that present day fair city.

The Web site, lists 155 locations within Kitsap County by latitude and longitude. Many of them — like Waterman, Enetai and Fletcher Bay — are remnants of a time when Kitsap residents got around by water on small vessels so numerous they were dubbed the Mosquito Fleet. Kitsap County would like to build a county-wide trail hitting all the little ports from the north end of the county to the south. Other Kitsap names have Native American roots. Yet others are a nod to Kitsap’s timber heritage. Most I’ve heard of but can somebody tell me where in the name of all that is Kitsap are Hintzville, Pearson and Trikkala?

If you consider yourself an expert on Kitsap place names, you can take the quiz on the How Kitsap Got its Names blog. The item is dated Jan. 1, 2007.

From * Agate Point * Annapolis * Bainbridge *Bainbridge Grange * Bangor * Banner * Battle Point * Belfair * Bethel * Breidablick * Bremerton * Bremerton Junction * Brownsville * Burley * Central Valley * Charleston * Chico * Colby * Colchester * Creosote * Crosby * Crystal Springs * Eagledale * East Bremerton * East Port Orchard * Eastwood * Eglon * Eldorado Hills * Enetai * Erlands Point * Fairview * Ferncliff * Fernwood * Fletcher Bay * Fort Ward * Four Corners * Fragaria * Gilberton * Glenwood * Gorst * Hansville * Harper * Hawley * Hintzville * Hite Center * Holly * Illahee * Indianola * Johansons Corner * Keyport * Kingston * Kitsap Lake * Lawters Beach * Lemolo * Lincoln * Little Boston * Lofall * Lynwood Center * Madrona Heights * Manchester * Manitou Beach * Manzanita * Marine Drive * Meadowdale * Naval Depot Junction * Navy Yard City * Olalla * Olympic View * Orchard Heights * Parkwood * Pearson * Point White * Port Blakely * Port Gamble * Port Madison * Port Orchard * Poulsbo * Retsil * Rocky Point * Rollingbay * Rose Point * Scandia * Seabeck * Seabold * Sheridan * Sheridan Park * Sherman Heights * Silverdale * South Beach * South Colby * Southworth * Striebels Corner * Sunnyslope * Sunset Farm * Suquamish * Tolo * Tracyton * Treemont * Trikkala * Twin Spits * Venice

Investment Scam: Were You a Victim?

“A former Port Orchard man accused by the federal government of taking millions of dollars in a fraudulent investment scheme has been extradited from Poland and is now in jail, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Western Washington.

Charles N. Bush, 68, is alleged to have accepted more than $30 million from investors who were told he’d taken a ‘vow of poverty’ and had placed the money in high-yield funds between 1998 and 2002.”

So writes Crime and Justice reporter Josh Farley in today’s story about an alleged investment scam that may have affected South Kitsap residents. Josh would like to hear from anyone who has had any dealings with Bush. E-mail him at

Here’s some more information from the story.

“Bush began his alleged scheme in Des Moines before moving to Port Orchard, where he operated investment entities called Hulaman Management Services (HMS), Global Dominion Financial Services (GDFS) and Cornerstone Institute.

His alleged scam kept going by using methods akin to a Ponzi scheme, in which to satisfy investors, he paid out large rates on return with investors’ original investments, not profits.

Federal prosecutors also allege that he ‘falsely represented his background, knowledge and experience,’ to tempt investors, and told them his offers were ‘exclusive’ to draw them in further.”

Information Sought on South Colby Church

The Kitsap Sun is seeking information on the South Colby Church whose pastor has been accused of sexual abuse.
On Tuesday, Josh Farley reported that Robbin Leeroy Harper, 60, has now been accused by a total of seven people — all females — who say he molested or raped them sometime between 1995 and 2006, when they were as young as 7, according to Kitsap County court documents in the case.

In following up this story, we’d like to hear from anybody who may have been a member of The Church in South Colby or who knows anything about it. A story by Brynn Grimley, also on Tuesday, reported that the small congregation was unfamiliar to many in South Kitsap’s religious community.

Your contact will be Josh Farley,, or David Nelson,, (360) 415-2679. Feel free to contact me as well,, (360) 792-9219.

Chris Henry, South Kitsap reporter

Deputies Seeking SK Pastor Suspected of Sexual Abuse

Deputies Searching for SK Pastor Suspected of Sexual Abuse

Robbin Leeroy Harper

Kitsap Sun staff
The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office released the name Friday of a South Colby pastor suspected of illicit contact with girls who are or were members of his church.

Deputies on Friday served a search warrant at the home of Robbin Leeroy Harper, pastor of The Church in South Colby. Harper has not been charged with any crime.

But the sheriff’s office said it has probable cause to arrest the 60-year-old for two counts of second-degree child rape, according to a press released issued Friday evening. Investigators believe there’s a possibility that there are other victims, some of whom may now be adults.

Detectives served the warrant around noon at Harper’s home at 3525 Arvick Road SE, the same address as the church. Harper wasn’t found.

He is believed to be traveling with his spouse in a red 2003 Hummer with Washington license 432-RLT. Detectives believe he is aware that he’s being investigated.

The investigation began last weekend when one of his alleged victims, now an adult, called 911 to report a sex offense. Investigators determined that she probably wasn’t the only victim, that victims might have been assaulted more than once, and that the sexual abuse has been going on since some of the girls were 12 or 13, according to the press release.

Harper is 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds, has brown eyes and wears glasses.

Anybody with information about his location is asked to call 911. Those who believe they were victims of sexual abuse by Harper or who have information about the investigation are urged to contact Detective Lori Blankenship at (360) 337-5615.

Help Sought to Catch Cemetery Vandals

Vandals Hit Knights of Pythias Cemetery
Caretakers of the Knights of Pythias Cemetery in Port Orchard have reported vandalism to headstones in the 5-acre graveyard.
On Wednesday morning caretakers found a dozen large headstones had been knocked over, said caretaker Bill Ralph. The stones are too large to lift by hand, and the volunteer Knights of Pythias is getting help from Rill Chapel of Port Orchard, which oversees the adjacent Sunset Lane Cemetery, in setting them upright.
Anyone with information on the vandalism should call the Port Orchard Police Department at (360) 876-1700.

Recognizing Crime Victims’ Rights

In any given year, between 15,000 and 18,000 Kitsap County citizens are victimized by crime.
Kitsap County’s law enforcement officials, county commissioners and prosecuting attorney on Monday gave official recognition to victims rights and needs, as the county observes Kitsap County Crime Victims’ Rights Week, part of a national observation, April 22-28.
Prosectuing attorney Russ Hauge said, since he took over the office in 1995, he’s seen an increase in “the number of people who have come in contact with crime. … In those instances lives are changed.”
Among the most prevalent crimes are DUIs, with 1,726 cases, including 5 vehicular homicides, referred for prosection last year.
Marcia Masters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who brought a display board with pictures of drunk driving victims, commeded the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and local police offices for their “compassionate” handling of DUI vicitims.
“It’s really important to remember we’re in the people business,” said Sheriff Steve Boyer. “Every one of these victims, as you can see from the board, has a face.”
Domestic violence and sexual assault are also prevalent crimes. Last year, 2,870 cases of domestic violence and 698 sexual assault cases were referred for prosecution. Of the 2,198 clients served by Kitsap’s Sexual Assault Center, 294 were children 12 and younger.
Each year, only a fraction of crime victims take part in the prosection process. The elderly, the young, vicitms of sexual assault and domestic violence all need support to overcome feelings of shame and fear of reprisal, Hauge said.
Commissioner Chris Endresen, who chairs the board, noted that serving crime victims is “not inexepnsive,” but it’s a worthy expenditure. She encouraged citizens to think of the people behind the numbers as they write their property tax checks, which are due at the end of the month.
“We must remain united in our commitment to ensure that every crime victim is treated with compassion and respect, recognized as key participants within our system of justice, and afforded services that provide help and hope to them,” she said, reading from the proclaimation.

Baby Dawn to be Buried Thursday

She has a name and soon she’ll have a proper burial.

“Dawn” is the name chosen by staff at the county coroner’s office for the newborn infant, formerly known as “Baby Doe,” who was found April 5, 2006, in a plastic bag on Bielmeier Road. Since then, the coroner’s office with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office have tried to determine the circumstances of her death.

“She saw the dawn of her life and little more,” said Coroner Greg Sandstrom. “Although the investigation continues, it is time to put this precious baby to rest.”

Rill Chapel has donated a burial plot and marker. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Sunset Lane Cemetery. All are invited to attend.

Code 911

Today I am filling in for crime reporter Josh Farley in reporting items listed under Code 911. A couple of items related to South Kitsap caught my eye. The first pertains to a female Army soldier arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. The second refers to a drug bust at the aptly named “Pot Hole Place.”

Malicious Mischief Caused by Soldier after Bad Dream
South Kitsap
Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of domestic abuse at 1:42 a.m. Friday at the home on the 10000 block of Horizon Lane SE in South Kitsap and arrested a woman of suspicion of malicious mischief and domestic violence.
The caller said she had been arguing with her daughter, an Army soldier who had recently returned from Iraq. The mother said her daughter had damaged property in the house.

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