The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

Crime wrap-up in a busy week

 

Lou Marzeles

METH HOUSE: Goldendale Chief of Police Reggie Bartkowski stands at the door of a house on West Broadway raided Friday

Meth busts

"Time to do some spring cleaning," Goldendale Police Chief Reggie Bartkowski told one of the three people emerging from a house Friday at 417 W. Broadway. City police were serving a search warrant in a quest to bust meth users and sellers.

In a twist of irony, the house had two police crime watch signs on it. An onlooker wondered if that meant they were watching for police rather than crime.

Interviewed separately, the persons came out in varied states of dishevelment, all looking groggy and unpleasantly surprised. One was released on site after initial questioning. The other two were men whose relationships with city police clearly was well established.

"Reggie," the first, an older man missing his shoes, said to Bartkowski on a first-name basis. "You know me, man. I've always been straight with you." He was awkwardly pondering how in the world a meth pipe came to be in his possession.

The second, a younger shirtless man, said almost the same thing when his turn for questioning came. "Come on, Reggie," he urged. "I'm telling you the truth. I've always been honest with you guys." Soon thereafter he was close to tears. "I don't want to go to jail," he stated shakily.

Apparently such comments are fairly customary for suspects under scrutiny and in handcuffs, according to a police source. The source added neighbors of the house were glad to see this day finally come.

The day before, a two-month investigation led to two drug-related arrests. Officers conducting a search of a residence in the 200 block of West Putnam Street discovered 17.5 grams of methamphetamine. Windy Schatz, 33, was charged with one count possession and two counts delivery of a controlled substance. Ashley Barrett, 24, was charged with possession.

Accused child rapist confesses

Dr. Larry Chapman, a White Salmon pharmacist charged with four counts of Rape of a Child in the First Degree, pled guilty Tuesday, Feb. 21, to one count of Rape of a Child in the First Degree and two counts of Child Molestation in the First Degree. A sentencing hearing by the Superior Court of Washington, Klickitat County is set for March 20.

Chapman, age 69, was arrested on Sept. 28, 2016, following an investigation by the Klickitat County Sherriff's Office. According to a probable cause statement by the investigating officer, Sgt. Erik Anderson, Chapman's accuser claimed he had raped and molested her during a period from Jan. 1, 2000 to Dec. 31, 2006, when she was six to twelve years old. She also reported knowledge of additional victims.

When interviewed by Anderson, Chapman reportedly denied the rape allegations but confessed to molesting his accuser, as well as his daughter and niece. When asked whether the investigation would turn up more victims, Chapman said, "I hope not."

According to court documents, Chapman was initially charged with four counts of rape. Per an offer from the prosecution, the charges were amended on the condition of his pleading guilty.

In his written confession, Chapman stated, "In Klickitat County between Jan.1, 2000 and Dec. 31, 2006, [I] did engage in sexual intercourse with a person who was less than 12 years of age and I was at least 24 months older." Chapman also wrote that he had sexual contact with another minor during the same time.

Klickitat County Prosecuting Attorney David Quesnel said the prosecution will seek a sentence of 162 months to life in prison. The Goldendale office of the Department of Corrections will present a presentence investigation report and recommendations on or before March 17. Chapman has been remanded to the custody of the Klickitat County Sherriff's Office pending sentencing.

Child abuse

On the morning of Feb. 10, a four-month-old female infant was taken by ambulance from Wahkiacus to Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles. Medical evaluation revealed the girl had serious injuries that were not consistent with her father's account of what had occurred. Medical staff notified the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office and the child was transferred to OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland for further treatment. Detective Sgt. Erik Anderson responded and initiated an investigation.

A joint investigation ensued between the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office and Child Protective Services. The girl's father, 28-year-old Justin D. Hartung of Wahkiacus, was later arrested and booked at the Klickitat County Jail. Hartung made his first appearance in Klickitat County Superior Court on Feb. 22 on the charge of Assault of a Child in the Second Degree.

Domestic violence

At approximately 11 a.m. on Feb. 26, officers responding to the 100 block of West Sentinel Street arrested Kirk Hellman on a charge of fourth degree assault, domestic violence. Hellman allegedly began arguing with his girlfriend's son, whom he believed had slashed his tires, then grabbed him and threw him to the ground.

Knife attack

On Feb. 25, a verbal altercation over firewood led to an alleged knife attack. Ronald Bane, staying with friends at a residence in the 300 block of West Darland Street, reportedly got mad when his host-family's teenage son suggested Bane help carry firewood into the house. According to the investigating officer's probable cause statement, Bane allegedly swore at the teenager, pushed him out of the house and continued arguing in the street. When the teen's father told Bane not to touch his son, Bane pushed the teen again. The father then wrestled Bane to the ground. Bane fled the residence, only to return shortly thereafter and charge the teen with a knife. Bane, age 58, was arrested at approximately 8:30 p.m. on charges of assault-one in the second degree, two in the fourth.

Shoplifting

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 23, Officer Wardrip arrested Echo Nelson on a charge of third degree theft, following a shoplifting complaint from Bargain Boutique. When owner Rachel Olp noticed a wallet missing from her store, she examined security footage that allegedly shows Nelson holding the wallet moments before it mysteriously vanished. Wardrip reportedly recovered a wallet from Nelson's residence that matched Olp's description: the item bears the words "Enjoy the little things in life."

 

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