Spokane Valley MMA fighter beaten and robbed


Spokane Valley deputies arrested a robbery suspect and several other people Monday night for warrants while investigating a robbery in the 17200 block of E. Coach Avenue in Spokane Valley.

It started around 11:15 p.m. Monday when Spokane Valley Corporal Jeff Thurman was cut off by a recklessly driven Mustang in the area of 3rd and Coach. Corporal Thurman stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, who had a large amount of blood coming from the side of his head. The driver told the police he had just been robbed at a house on on Coach and was hit in the head with a rifle similar to an AR-15. Corporal Thurman was familiar with the house the man mentioned and called for backup.

While waiting for more units to arrive, Corporal Thurman saw a black SUV, previously parked at the suspected residence, leave southbound on Coach. Thurman advised the responding units about the black SUV via his radio, and Deputy Justin Palmer saw a similar vehicle leaving the area northbound on Conklin from Sprague.

The deputy, along with Deputy Nathan Booth, pulled over that driver, later identified as 24-year-old Jesse R. Woodward, and three other passengers in the vehicle. Woodward lives at the residence on Coach and both are well-known to law enforcement. Deputy Palmer observed the butt end of a rifle laying in the cargo area of the vehicle, partially covered by clothing. The vehicle was seized pending a search warrant and deputies arrested Woodward. The deputies also determined that the three other people in the vehicle witnessed at least part of the incident.

The two other men in the vehicle were released without being charged after being interviewed and their identities confirmed. The female in the vehicle provided a false name to deputies. After several attempts to confirm her identity were unsuccessful, she was arrested for obstructing a peace officer. After she was booked into Spokane County Jail, she identified herself as 27-year-old Ashley E. Blank and had an active felony warrant for her arrest. The warrant was for possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and Blank was additionally booked for that warrant.

Back at the house on Coach, Deputy Skye Ortiz talked with 56-year-old Robert G. Palomino and arrested him for an active department of corrections warrant. Deputy Ortiz also talked with 21-year-old Brittney E. Duross who was found to have an active misdemeanor warrant for first degree criminal trespass. Both were booked into jail.

Meanwhile, the man who was hit in the head was taken to the hospital for treatment. While at the hospital, he stated he received a Facebook message from woman named "Brittany". The victim said he picked up Brittany and some of her friends and drove them to a fast food restaurant. He told the deputy he pulled out a large amount of cash, estimated between $1,300 and $1,500 to pay for the food. The victim said most people in the group observed the bundle of cash. After getting the food, he drove them to the house on Coach. Later, he was sitting alone in the back of the house when he was approached by a large group of people. One of the men, later identified as Woodward, pointed the rifle at the victim while telling him to give him the money or he would be killed.

When the victim stood up, Woodward hit him in the head with the butt end of the rifle. The victim reached into his pocket and pulled out the money, and held it out. Someone grabbed the money and the victim pushed his way out of the room and left the house.

Woodward was charged with first degree robbery. During a search following Woodward's arrest, $410 was located in his right front pocket. Woodward said he earned the money working and didn't rob anyone.

Deputies obtained a search warrant for the house and the car. At this time a total of over $800 in cash, drug paraphernalia and a BB gun have been recovered. The investigation is ongoing and no additional information is available. 

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