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Looking back on North Bend’s long arm of the law | Photo gallery
Kym Smith has a passion for the history of North Bend law enforcement. The office manager for the soon-to-close North Bend substation, she’s spent several years diving into the early minutes of the city, and the Valley Record’s archives, building a picture of the history of independent policing in this community, a legacy that ends, or changes, with the new contract putting police duties in the hands of a new Snoqualmie-North Bend department on March 7.
Policing in North Bend dates back to the days of George H. Mead, the town’s first, cigar-smoking justice, and Frank E. Harte, the first chief of police, who took office in January 1912. Two years later, on Feb. 10, 1914, the police department was armed, with one Colt pistol. Cost: $17.25.
In those early days, police chiefs were not just cops. They were dogcatchers. They certified citizens’ sewer systems. And they collected their own salaries from tickets and fees. Most of their work came from minor offenses like setting off fireworks illegally, or drinking in public.
The city’s own police department ended in 1974. In that year, King County sheriff’s deputies took over, in the first contractual arrangement between a city and the county. Since then, a dozen King County sergeants have acted as the city’s police chiefs. They applied for the job, and the final choice was made by the city council and mayor. Sgt. Richard Phillips was the first deputy to serve as chief. One man, Dave Jolly, served on three different occasions. The substation, where Smith has assembled her archive for Thursday’s open house, has housed the local force since 2000. Prior to that, the police substation was the current conference room at North Bend’s City Hall.
Since taking over North Bend’s policing duties in 1974, the sheriff’s office has investigated some interesting, high-profile and occasionally quirky cases:
Above, deputies investigate an odd crime, in which a man raided local camping sites for food. Deputies dubbed him the "Food Phantom."
Cops on bikes
Roger Connelly, above, demonstrates how police were able to sneak around more using 10-speed bikes instead of patrol cars in 1974. The idea is that the bikes are quieter than the noisy Dodge police cruisers, so that deputies can surprise gas-siphoning thieves who work nights.
Above, deputies confiscated two kegs of beer from a drinking party crackdown in April of 1976, the first haul from the party patrols that local police do every spring, through today.
In June of 1974, deputies destroyed a 1,500-plant marijuana growing operation on Weyerhaeuser land near Snoqualmie, one of the biggest pot-grows ever found in the Valley. An “unidentified reliable source” told deputies about the illegal farm.
Serial killer’s dumping ground
North Bend was known to be used as a body dump site by serial killer Gary Ridgway and, just outside of the North Bend Sheriff’s station coverage area, by Ted Bundy. In 1976, the Record published a police sketch and warning by deputies seeking a killer named “Ted”—a long-haired Bundy—believed to be responsible for the vanished women.
Cop car rammed
The squad car above got rammed during a 1976 chase that began in North Bend and ended on Interstate 90, east of town. The 19-year-old Snoqualmie man at the wheel had a suspended license, hit a cop car, then spun out of control and slammed into an embankment. He was arrested for reckless, drunk driving.
The big crimes
The sheriff's office has handled its share of high-profile cases in North Bend. Among the most sensational were the Oct. 28, 2004 murder-suicide of Annie and David Chung at their North Bend restaurant, Happy Sushi and Teriyaki. David Chung had no criminal past. But that fall, his marriage was troubled.
His wife had a restraining order against him and he spent two nights in jail. Chung took a taxi from the Issaquah jail to the restaurant, stabbed his wife four times in the kitchen and then stabbed himself fatally.
In 2002, Teresa Cahill’s body was found by hunters in the area on Nov. 18, 2002. Her husband, Craig Cahill, reported her missing from their Tacoma home Nov. 16, and made a tearful television appearance about the case, before being arrested on suspicion of murder. Cahill was convicted of her murder in 2003, and sentenced to 45 years in prison.
On April 22, 2012, North Bend resident Peter Keller shot his daughter, Kaylene and wife, Lynnettee, in their sleep, then torched the home and escaped to a log-built bunker in steep country above North Bend’s Forster Woods neighborhood. Police had him surrounded him days later, when he took his own life. He spent nine years secretively building the hideout on Rattlesnake Ridge. In chilling video diaries, Keller left few clues as to why he did what he felt he had to do, other than saying that he couldn’t live a normal life anymore. To ensure that the memory of Lynnettee and Kaylene Keller lives on, the Rocha family established a scholarship fund in Kaylene’s name, geared toward young people like her. Part of the Seattle Foundation, the fund will help teens with interests similar to Kaylene, who had planned to attend the DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond.
North Bend Police Department ceased at midnight on December 31, 1973. King County Police Department assumed police services on January 1, 1974
Sgt. Richard Phillips January 1, 1974 – October 17, 1974
Sgt. David Jolly October 17, 1974 – October 14, 1976
Sgt. Bruce Miller October 14, 1976 – May 1, 1977
Sgt. David Jolly April 27, 1977 – April 5, 1978
Sgt. Jerry Lane April 6, 1978 – April 30, 1979
Sgt. Howard Reynolds May 1, 1979 - Sept 30, 1979
Sgt. David Jolly Oct 1 1979 -?
Sgt. Robert Cline 1982 -?
Sgt. John Goldsmith May 1987 – January 31, 1990
Sgt. Lorie Goldsmith February 1, 1990 – ?
Sgt. Robert Iness June 25, 1991 (not a chief – Patrol Officer in charge)
Sgt. Dave Germani January 1, 1993 – April 15, 1998
Sgt. Grant Stewart April 16, 1998 – July 15, 2003
Sgt. Joseph Hodgson July 16, 2003 – August 15, 2009
Sgt. Mark Toner August 16, 2009 – 2014