Crime

Firefighter accused of assaulting girl attempts suicide

PASCO — A Kennewick firefighter accused of sexually assaulting a young girl tried to hang himself Tuesday night in the Franklin County jail.

Ryan Gladstone, 34, was found in his cell and taken by ambulance to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland. He was listed in critical condition Wednesday evening, hospital officials said.

Jail Capt. Rick Long said an inmate attempted suicide in the jail, but referred questions to Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller, who confirmed that the inmate was Gladstone.

Long said the inmate was being held in a single-occupancy cell in protective custody and was discovered by corrections officers at 9 p.m. Tuesday as they made their normal rounds check.

Gladstone was being held in the Franklin County jail because he previously worked as a corrections officer in the Benton County jail.

He stopped working in the jail when he joined the Kennewick Fire Department in 2007.

Gladstone had been on a no-bail hold in the Franklin County jail since Jan. 13. On Wednesday, he was charged in Benton County Superior Court with first-degree child molestation.

Miller said he received a letter from a doctor that given Gladstone's condition, there would be no concern releasing him on his own recognizance.

Gladstone is accused of being under the influence of spice, a synthetic cannabis that is legal in the state, when he allegedly molested the girl earlier this month.

The girl reported the incident to her mother and then was taken to the hospital, where she told a nurse that Gladstone had inappropriately touched her, court documents said. She later reportedly told investigators he also had her watch pornography.

Gladstone was put on unpaid administrative leave from his job after he was arrested last week by Kennewick police. He and his wife, Lindsy, are going through a divorce, and she obtained a temporary restraining order against him Jan. 7.

-- Paula Horton: 509-582-1556; phorton@tricityherald.com

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