By Jess Macinko
News Editor 

Son arrested for choking mother


In police activity in both the city and county, there was some bad news and some good news.

On Monday, Jan. 16 at about 4:30 p.m., officers responded to Simcoe Drive for a reported assault-in-a-vehicle in progress. They arrested Zachary Niemela, age 27, on a charge of misdemeanor assault. Niemela’s mother told officers she had been driving him to McDonald’s when he began acting paranoid and delusional. As she drove southbound on Columbus, he began to punch her in the head, kick her and attempt to push her foot down on the gas pedal. Niemela then jumped into the back seat and began attempting to choke his mother, saying he would kill her. She saw a person in the parking lot of Grace Brethren Church and pulled in. A witness in the parking lot then called 911. When Niemela saw the witness, he fled from the vehicle on foot. According to the arresting officers, Niemela continued to behave in a delusional manner after his arrest.

On Thursday, Jan. 12 at about 1:45 p.m., Goldendale officers responded to the 700 block of South Columbus Avenue for a reported domestic dispute. They arrested Clifford George, age 40, on felony charges of residential burglary and malicious mischief. George allegedly entered his ex-wife’s residence and proceeded to damage her property, “breaking mirrors, kicking interior doors and throwing miscellaneous items around the residence.” George’s wife arrived on the scene and reportedly told him to “get out of my house,” but George declined to comply.Goldendale Police Chief Reggie Bartkowski reports some hopeful trends in local crime. 2016 saw a total of 290 reported crimes, down 10 percent from 322 for 2015. Total calls—2786—were also down 10 percent from 3096 in 2015. There were 12 total violent crimes, down from 15 in 2015. The largest decrease was in property crime: 105 in 2016, down from 183 in 2015—an over 40 percent decline. Bartkowski credits the drop to a range of factors, from an increase in security cameras to faster witness reporting.

In the county: on Jan. 13, 2017 the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 201 Loop Drive in Klickitat. The search warrant was based off an investigation that alleged methamphetamine being sold from the residence. Arrested at the residence was Peggy Colleen Knott, 37, of Klickitat. A search of the residence produced Methamphetamine, Oxycodone and Morphine. The Sheriff’s Office will be requesting charges of Possession with intent to deliver Oxycodone and Possession with intent to Deliver Morphine.


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