Pullman Police Department respond to arson threat

Suspect, of Lapwai, Idaho, is currently in custody and facing charge of attempted assault

JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen news co-editor

Pullman Police Department is holding Apollo B. Lawyer in custody for attempted assault in the first degree after an incident at the 400 block of Morton St. Sunday. 

According to a press release from Chief of Police Jake Opgenorth, Lawyer is a 31-year-old resident of Lapwai, Idaho. Police were dispatched to the scene at 4:13 p.m. and WSU sent an alert at 4:47 p.m.

“[Lawyer] unsuccessfully tried to start an acquaintance’s apartment on fire and also threatened the residents,” Opgenorth said. “Lawyer reportedly had what appeared to be an explosive device.”

Operations Commander Aaron Breshears said Lawyer’s attempt to light the explosive was unsuccessful. The situation is still under investigation and there are still unknown devices inside the building.

“It appears the resident of the apartment stopped [Lawyer] when he was threatening to kill them,” Breshears said. “We evacuated the building and the building next door.”

Breshears said there is no active danger, but the buildings will remain evacuated until the Spokane bomb squad arrives to dispose of the remaining devices. It is not confirmed exactly what these devices are.

“[The devices] appear to be homemade devices with a fuse. We’ll see what they are once we have more time to investigate and look at them,” Breshears said. “When we see something like this we don’t spend time at the scene right then and there examining them because it’s just not safe for anyone to be near them.”

Breshears said the Pullman PD detectives will continue the investigation and are currently working on search warrants. Additional charges are likely and there will most likely be updated information to come once more is known from Pullman PD.