Court Roundup: Kennewick man gets 6 months for hitting boy with SUV at bus stop

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 2, 2013 

A 20-year-old man who was high when he drove his SUV onto a sidewalk and hit a boy at a Kennewick bus stop will spend six months in jail.

Calvin William Fox of Kennewick was sentenced in Benton County Superior Court for his guilty pleas to vehicular assault, a felony, and third-degree driving with a suspended or revoked license, a misdemeanor.

After he's released from custody and is on supervision, Fox must not consume any alcohol and must be evaluated for substance abuse treatment, the judge said.

Fox was behind the wheel of a 1993 Toyota 4 Runner at 4:15 p.m. Feb. 29 when he apparently fell asleep on West Fourth Street. The 4Runner drove over the curb on the north side of the street and struck a 9-year-old boy who was waiting at the bus stop with his father, court documents said.

The boy suffered several broken teeth and deep cuts and bruises on his face, and was hospitalized at Richland's Kadlec Regional Medical Center for several days, documents said.

Fox was interviewed at the scene by a drug recognition expert, who determined the driver was under the influence of a narcotic analgesic and stimulant and "was unable to drive safely," court documents said.

Fox initially said he had not taken any drugs, then later admitted smoking heroin within the past week. The expert noted burns on Fox's lips, documents said.

Fox also told police he had fallen asleep while driving.

He must pay $1,888 to Health Care Authority in Olympia to cover the victim's medical costs.

Kennewick man pleads guilty to reckless burning, must get mental health treatment

A Kennewick man who was off his medication when he set fire to a mattress in his home has been ordered to get mental health treatment.

Charles Vincent Pullicino, 42, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree reckless burning, a gross misdemeanor.

He was sentenced to 364 days in jail with 344 days suspended. The judge gave Pullicino credit for the 20 days he already spent behind bars, and told him to follow through on recommended treatment and medication by Benton Franklin Crisis Response.

Every three months, Pullicino must give the court and the prosecutor a report from his treatment provider. The case will be reviewed April 4 and Pullicino could face more jail time if he violates any conditions of the sentence.

According to police and court documents, Pullicino had been fighting with his girlfriend on May 17 when he started destroying the inside of his 424. S. Olympia St. home.

The girlfriend called Kennewick police, who arrived to find "many things that had been overturned and broken," documents said.

Two officers could smell smoke and found a mattress that was smoldering. Kennewick firefighters responded to reports of smoke alarms going off in the home.

Pullicino told police he accidentally started the fire by leaving a cigarette on the mattress, court documents said.

However, a detective noted there were multiple ignition sites on the mattress and could not find a cigarette anywhere in the bedroom, documents said.

Police said a lighter was found nearby, and a roommate told officers that Pullicino does not smoke.

The detective said the burn patterns on the mattress were consistent with an open flame as the ignition source, rather than a single cigarette.

Deputy Prosecutor Terry Bloor, who handled the case, said he agreed to drop the charge from the original second-degree arson because Pullicino has no prior felony conviction.

Pullicino "damaged his own residence by punching holes in the walls, breaking glass and trying to set his mattress on fire," Bloor wrote in a court document explaining the reduction.

The girlfriend told police she called them because she was worried about Pullicino's well-being, Bloor said. Pullicino was being treated for schizophrenia, but had stopped taking his medicine and had started hearing voices.

Bloor added that the lead detective agreed to the resolution.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com

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