10/25/2014

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WSU student is first arrest made in the Warner assault investigation

WSU student is first arrest made in the Warner assault investigation
PULLMAN, WA - Wednesday afternoon Pullman police made their first arrest in the case of a Washington State University professor who was assaulted more than a week ago.

It turns out a group of concerned Washington State University students were among the first to hear the news.

"I'm really upset," said a WSU student.

Wednesday afternoon, Washington State University students, faculty, and alumni crowded into the Native American Student Center on the WSU campus, a place where Doctor David Warner was regularly seen before he was brutally assaulted on March 30th.

"I feel less empowered as a member of the community and as a student," said a WSU student.

Both Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins and WSU Police Chief Bill Gardner were there to give an update and stress the importance of community involvement in solving the crime.

"We can't investigate these things without help from the community," said Jenkins.

"But in communities where people turn around and say, 'Hey, not in our community," pretty soon it gets pretty uncomfortable to do things," said Gardner.

The attendees expressed concern about the slow progression of the investigation.

"The longer amount of time passes, the colder a case gets," said a male.

"We do have some promising leads at this point that our detectives are following up on, and I'm very confident that we'll have a successful investigation," said Jenkins.

Minutes later, Jenkins received a call from investigators, and he informed the room that police made an arrest.

"Our detectives arrested the female suspect in this case," said Jenkins.

In a press conference later in the afternoon, Jenkins explained that investigators received a tip from someone in Western Washington that led them to 21-year-old WSU student Madeline Fouts.

"She agreed to accompany the police detective to the police department for an interview, and she was subsequently arrested after that interview," said Jenkins.

Fouts was arrested on a felony charge of rendering criminal assistance and for providing false statements to investigators.

"It appears that she was with the other suspects and she did render some assistance to the suspects that were involved in the assault," said Jenkins.

Jenkins released limited information on the three men, who are also suspects in the assault, that are shown with Fouts in the surveillance camera footage.

"We do have very solid leads on the remaining suspects, and I'm very confident that arrests of those suspects are imminent," said Jenkins.

Many people asked if the poor image quality of the footage was the reason it took more than a week to make an arrest.

"I'm very happy with the result of the cameras because without the cameras, we probably wouldn't be standing here now and this case likely would have gone unsolved for quite a long time," said Jenkins.

David Warner remains in critical condition at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. Pullman Police are still asking any witnesses to come forward, especially anyone who may have documented the assault with a cell phone. You can call them at (509) 334-0802.
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