Victim count climbs in ’breaking’ case

Two nights of vandalism caused $20,000 in residential damage

Hood River law enforcement agencies scrambled last week to compile reports as the victim count steadily climbed from a recent window-breaking crime spree.

District Attorney John Sewell said the final tally shows that 53 windows were broken within the city limits on Jan. 4 and 13 in outlying areas of the county. He said the damages to cars, businesses and homes is estimated at more than $20,000 and many victims will have to pay replacement costs out of their own pocket because of high insurance deductibles.

The two men suspected of committing the acts of criminal mischief with sling shots and ball bearings were arrested within 24 hours of the incidents.

Scott Edward Giles, 21, a former Hood River resident who was on leave from his tour in the U.S. Air Force, and Jonathan Oliver Lane, 20, of Parkdale are both awaiting their official indictment by the grand jury.

That process has become slightly more complex since Sewell became a victim when his car window was shattered.

Because of that direct involvement in the case, the lead law enforcement official in the county believes he is “ethically prohibited” from prosecuting the cases. He has turned that task over to Michael Slauson, counsel with the Criminal Justice Division of the Attorney General’s Office.

“Because of the sheer volume of paperwork it has taken a little more time to obtain the finished report that will now be turned over to Mr. Slauson so a grand jury date can be set to keep the case proceeding forward,” Sewell said.

Meanwhile, Lane has been conditionally released from jail and Giles was ordered to report back to duty at McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Wash., where he could face further sanctions.

Lieutenant Suzanne Ovel, McChord spokesperson, said the “highest code of conduct” is expected for all Armed Forces personnel.

She said Giles could face disciplinary action that ranges up to a general discharge. However, if he is facing already trial in a civilian court, Ovel said he will not also be subjected to a court marshal or other military legal action.

“We never want anyone to get into trouble but if anyone does commit a crime we want to be sure justice is served,” Ovel said.

Sewell said alcohol may have been a contributing factor in the recent crimes committed by Giles and Lane.

The pair were previously arrested as juveniles for spray painting graffiti around the community of Parkdale.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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