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Vancouver police arrest man accused in thefts

A man who was forcibly arrested by Vancouver police Sunday night on Northwest Lower River Road allegedly had a stolen revolver in his pocket.

Frank J. Harden, 45, made an in-custody first appearance Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree assault, second-degree burglary, residential burglary, possession of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence, possession of a stolen firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Judge Daniel Stahnke granted Harden supervised release, and arraignment was scheduled for Friday.

Around 5 p.m. Sunday, officers were dispatched to a report of a burglary at 8211 N.W. Old Lower River Road. A resident told officers that multiple thefts had occurred on his property in the past four days and that at least one of the suspects was recently spotted on the other side of a nearby flushing channel.

Vancouver police Officer Shawn McKenzie contacted Harden and another man in a white Dodge minivan, according to an affidavit of probable cause written by McKenzie. After approaching the van, McKenzie noticed a substance on the dashboard that appeared to be methamphetamine, the affidavit said.

McKenzie told Harden he was under arrest and not to touch the substance. Harden said, “That is salt,” and wiped the substance off the dashboard, the affidavit said.

Harden then refused orders to keep his right hand on the steering wheel and unbuckle his seat belt. He made “furtive” movements to his right side before McKenzie and a Clark County sheriff’s deputy opened the door and grabbed his left arm, the affidavit said.

As McKenzie pulled Harden out of the vehicle, the officer saw him immediately reach for his right waistband, according to the affidavit.

“I jerked Frank out of the vehicle hard and moved to his right side,” the affidavit reads. “I grabbed onto his right arm and pressed it against his body. I could feel his muscles tense up as though he intended to fight us.”

After Harden attempted to pull away, McKenzie saw a revolver hit the ground, according to the affidavit. McKenzie pushed Harden from behind, causing him to land on his knees.

When McKenzie continued to push Harden, he tensed up. McKenzie yelled “gun” to other officers and deputies at the scene, according to the affidavit.

The officer then hit Harden on the back of the head with an open hand and pinned his head to the pavement before a deputy placed him in handcuffs, the affidavit said.

Following the arrest, officers located drug paraphernalia in Harden’s coat pocket. Harden, who also has a felony warrant out of California, admitted to entering the residence and outbuildings on the property three times in the past four days, the affidavit said.

Harden said he removed the unidentified property from the barn and shuttled it across the channel in a row boat, where it was stored on a beach. He said he planned to sell the property, the affidavit said.


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