In today’s Afternoon Fuzz: Police looking for man who hit 9-year-old girl with stolen car; tainted heroin; and a Tacoma PD spokesman reprimanded
1) King County prosecutors have filed hit and run, possession of stolen vehicle, and vehicular assault charges against a man accused of hitting a 9-year-old girl while fleeing from police in a stolen car near the Seattle Center on Memorial Day.
Court records say a patrol officer spotted Daniel Aechariah Newell speeding through an alley downtown on May 30th, and tried to stop him.
Newell—who already had a $50,000 warrant for his arrest—sped off, running several red lights, and drove up onto the sidewalk into Denny Park, striking a tree before he ran over the 9-year-old’s foot, crushing it.
Newell abandoned the car several blocks from the scene.
Police are asking for the public’s help locating Newell—who has prior convictions for methamphetamine possession, auto theft, possession of stolen property, DUI, driving on a suspended license, and speeding— and say he should be considered “armed and dangerous.”
According to court records, Newell is a “known flight risk whose family has aided him in traveling to Oregon, Idaho, and California” and has told family members “he does not desire to return to prison but would rather ‘commit suicide by cop.'”
2) King County health officials are investigating two cases of suspected botulism poisoning tied to black tar heroin.
Health officials say a in two separate cases in August, a man and a woman—with histories of heroin use—came into King County hospitals with slurred speech double vision, and drooping eyelids. Both were treated in the intensive care unit. The health department believes the pair were suffering from botulism poisoning.
The King County Department of Health says botulism is potentially fatal, and that “cooking” heroin does not kill the bacteria.
3) A Tacoma Police Department spokesman has been reprimanded after he fell asleep instead of sending out an Amber Alert about a missing child in 2007. From the Tacoma News Tribune:
An internal investigation has found that Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum violated department policy because he didn’t respond when called to issue an Amber Alert for Zina Linnik in the early hours of July 5, 2007.
A sergeant called Fulghum to get an alert for the abducted 12-year-old girl, but the spokesman, who had taken an over-the-counter sleep aid, fell back to sleep before doing so.
The alert – which informs the public about abducted children and provides details that might help law enforcement find them – was issued later that morning.
A written reprimand was placed in Fulghum’s personnel file after the internal affairs investigation this summer.
Fulghum, who remains the department spokesman, declined to comment about the investigation Tuesday.
Linnik, 12, was kidnapped near her Hilltop home the night of July 4, 2007 and later killed. Convicted sex offender Terapon Adhahn confessed to and was convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing the girl. He is serving a life sentence.