Deputy Hirzel Facing New Investigation
Jeff Humphrey | KXLY4 Reporter
Posted: 5:17 pm PDT September 13, 2010
Updated: 6:41 pm PDT September 13, 2010
Text SizeAAASPOKANE -- Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Hirzel is under investigation, not because of the deadly shooting at the Plant Farm last month, but because of a sideline business where he and his wife may have been selling sex toys online from their home.
It appears that Deputy Hirzel may have been involved in an online business that sells adult novelty items. While peddling sex toys is legal it may be a violation of Spokane County Sheriff’s Office departmental policy and something the department had no idea the Hirzels were doing.
As Spokane Police Major Crimes detectives wait for the forensic lab work that will help them better understand the confrontation between Deputy Hirzel and Scott Creach at the Plant Farm on August 25 the investigation is now delving deeper into Hirzel's character.
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September 13, 2010
Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Hirzel is under investigation, not because of the deadly shooting at the Plant Farm last month, but because of a sideline business where he and his wife may have been selling sex toys online from their home. KXLY4's Jeff Humphrey reports.
» More KXLY.com VideoThe deputy has been widely panned for taking a pre-scheduled vacation the day after the fatal shooting. Now it appears Hirzel and or his wife ran an online company out of their Hayden, Idaho home that sells sex toys. Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is disturbed about this latest revelation.
“We have certain policies and procedures that need to be followed and there are certain businesses that we do not allow people to be in,” Sheriff Knezovich said Monday afternoon.
The company is called “Vanessa Allure”; Vanessa is Deputy Hirzel’s wife’s middle name and according to an ad in the Yellow Pages that firm sells lotions, vibrators and other devices associated with the sex toy industry. Documents filed with the Idaho Secretary of State's office in 2008 lists the people operating "Vanessa Alure" as Brian and Silvana Hirzel.
The company is registered to the couple’s Hayden home which is now vacant and went up for sale in July.
That's also the same address where the couple asked any correspondence from the state be sent although they requested just their first and middle initials appear on the envelope. It appears the paper work was signed by Mrs. Hirzel and she lists herself as a partner in the business.
While “Vanessa Allure” may not be relevant to Deputy Hirzel’s use of force in the Plant Farm incident it may be a violation of departmental policy and he has been asked to explain his involvement in the business.
“We are actively investigating this,” Sheriff Knezovich said. “I have two command staff that are working on that investigation and part of that investigation will be interviewing Deputy Hirzel concerning this.”
Sheriff Knezovich says his investigators now want to talk with anyone who might be familiar with the couple’s online store.
Deputy Hirzel will remain on paid leave at least until this case is forwarded to the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecutor Steve Tucker has said reviewing the case and deciding if any laws have been broken is one of his top priorities.
Preacher's son accuses deputy of murder
New information about the fatal shooting of a Spokane Valley pastor and nursery owner is leading his son to accuse a sheriff's deputy of murder.
By The Associated Press
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Southern Baptist pastor Wayne Scott Creach
SPOKANE — New information about the fatal shooting of a Spokane Valley pastor and nursery owner is leading his son to accuse a sheriff's deputy of murder.
Alan Creach said his father, Southern Baptist pastor Wayne Scott Creach, 74, had complied with a Spokane County deputy's command to back away from a patrol car when he was shot once in the chest.
"I'm not a lawyer, but it really bothered me incredibly to hear how my father was murdered," Alan Creach said after police held a news conference Tuesday to reveal details of the Aug. 25 shooting.
According to statements that Deputy Brian Hirzel gave to investigators for the Spokane Police Department, Creach approached the deputy in the darkness and refused demands to drop the gun he had taken with him to check on a suspected prowler.
Creach did put the gun in the waistband of his pants but then refused an order to get on the ground.
Investigators said Hirzel struck Creach in the knee with his baton to knock him down, then fired when he saw Creach reaching for the gun.
At no time did Creach aim his weapon at Hirzel, according to Spokane police Lt. Dave McGovern.
Also Tuesday, Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick said she hoped the case will be handed over to the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office for possible charges by early next week.
Alan Creach said Tuesday that his father was killed defending his freedom.
"My dad didn't understand what that deputy was doing out there," he said. "I don't believe it's written in the Constitution that when a deputy approaches you have to put your gun down."
McGovern said Hirzel, 41, parked just after 11 p.m. at Creach's Spokane Valley nursery business at the request of a neighbor who called for officers to check on prowling activity in the area.
Hirzel, a deputy assigned to work for the Spokane Valley Police Department, was parked in the business' parking lot in his unmarked Ford Crown Victoria with the driver's side window down. He was typing up tickets on his dashboard-mounted computer when he noticed a light to his left and saw Creach approaching with the gun.
Kirkpatrick said Hirzel's statement "raises new questions," she said. "Now we have to go back and do more investigation. You just can't close this because he gave a statement."
100 Swiss police can't catch retiree with gun
Police fatally shoot dog at Adams Morgan festival.
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Officer Fike Holding Down Parrot the dog. (Photo by Dylan Singleton )
Aaron Block's dog Parrot. (Courtesy Of Aaron Block - )
Aaron Block, owner of the dog named Parrot, in Aaron's office. (Courtesy Of Aaron Block - )
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According to the report, the officer "discharged one round from his departmental issued 9MM Glock striking the pitbull..."
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By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 13, 2010
A D.C. police officer shot and killed a festival-goer's dog amid hundreds of onlookers in Adams Morgan on Sunday afternoon in an incident that was either completely justified or totally unnecessary, depending on whom you ask.
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Police fatally shoot dog at Adams Morgan Day
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This much, witnesses say, is clear: Sometime after noon on Sunday, two dogs started snapping at each other in the middle of a crowd enjoying cheese fries and funnel cake at the annual Adams Morgan Day festival on 18th Street NW. D.C. police officers soon got involved, and at some point, one of them shot and killed the larger dog, described as either a pit bull or Shar-Pei mix.
The disagreement is in the details.
Aaron Block, 25, of Dupont Circle said he was walking his 2-year-old Shar-Pei mix, Parrot, up 18th Street when the dog suddenly turned around and bit a poodle that was passing by. He said he separated the two dogs -- cutting his hand inside Parrot's mouth in the process -- and was subduing his dog when police arrived.
That's when a D.C. police officer took over, putting his knee in the middle of Parrot's back while he pulled the dog's forelegs behind him, Block said. He said that the officer then grabbed Parrot by his neck and threw him over a banister at the Brass Knob antique store and that just as the dog righted itself, the officer pulled out his gun and fired. Parrot was "a full 12 to 15 steps away," Block said, and was "making no aggressive overtures." The dog, he noted, "doesn't handle stairs well."
"The officer drew his gun in an unnecessary act of cowboy gunslinging law enforcement and shot my dog amidst a crowd of thousands," said Block, who was fostering Parrot while he was waiting to be adopted through the Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. "The problems here are almost too numerous to count."
Block's account is supported by at least one witness, Jennifer Naideth, 29, who was in town from Los Angeles selling cosmetics at the festival. She called the shooting "so unnecessary and so violent," adding that "there was no human life in danger."
Police and others had a different perspective.
Jacob Kishter, commander of the 3rd Police District, said that once the officer pushed the dog down the stairwell, "the dog immediately turns and runs at the officer aggressively." The officer, 25-year-veteran Scott Fike, fired one shot, fatally wounding the dog, which police described as a pit bull.
"It's definitely going to be justified based on everything that we know," Kishter said, adding that police interviewed the officer, the owners of both dogs and other officers on scene.
The police account also has witness support.
Tony De Pass, 67, a former D.C. police officer who lives in Northwest, said that the dog was charging directly at him when Fike drew his gun and fired and that "if the officer hadn't shot the dog, the dog would have got one of us, either me or the officer."
"What he did, I would have done the same damn thing," De Pass said.
Block, though, said he sees the police's response as an attempt to cover up what he considers the "executing" of his pet. He said that he would walk with Parrot to and from work every day and that he was a "very people-friendly dog, with absolutely no bite history."
The incident unfolded before hundreds of revelers at the heart of the Adams Morgan celebration, disrupting an otherwise peaceful afternoon. Eric Jost, 26, of Cleveland Park said he watched a young girl with a butterfly painted on her face become "hysterical" as she "witnessed it all."
Soleiman Askarinam, the owner of Spaghetti Garden on 18th Street, said the day's revelry was suddenly punctuated with screams and angry dogs barking, then a gunshot.
"For a second," he said, "it was very scary."
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