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Behind the scenes of a ride-along

by Scott Burton

Posted on March 21, 2007 at 8:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:39 PM

So on television you only get so much time to tell a story. On Wednesday night (3/21) we followed the Washington Career Criminal Apprehension Team on the streets of Vancouver, WA. You're about to read all the details behind the arrests you may have seen on Wednesday's broadcast.

Suspect Number One:Aaron Christopher
This suspect came to the attention of the Washington Career Criminal Apprehension Team unexpectedly. Following the morning briefing, a confidential informant called police to report Christopher's hiding place. Officers set up surveillance on the Rolling Creek Apartment complex off of NE Highway 99. At first they didn't see him. They called the confidential informant who then led the C-CAT team to a location where officers could find Christopher. We drove by him one time and noticed he was talking on a cell phone. We then turned around and the officers quickly moved in. They placed him under arrest quickly on charges that he is a level two sex offender who failed to register his residence location.

Suspect Numbers Two & Three: Jared Alapai, Christian Blackwell
These teenagers were wanted by the Portland Police Bureau for allegedly committing two robberies in Portland. C-CAT officers planned to arrest Alapai first. Initially we set up at his school in Vancouver. He wasn't there. Officers were able to determine he was at his parent's home. We met briefly at the Vancouver Police Department's Central Precinct. The team put together a strategy for the arrest and moved out. Officers decided to do a "soft knock" on the Alapai home. This means they will knock on the front door and ask if Alapai is home. When they knocked, someone inside told them he was there and they made entry to arrest him. Once inside they found Alapai's alleged conspirator Christian Blackwell. The two were taken into custody and walked outside the home. Neither was excited to see our camera. As officers awaited a patrol car to take them to jail, the two joked about being caught. However, when Blackwell's parents arrived, the gravity of the situation hit them. Blackwell started to cry. Gone was the "tough guy" attitude. Suddenly in front of us was a teenager in tears.

Suspect Number Four:Doug Ruble
On March 5, 2007 the C-CAT team served a search warrant on the home of Doug Ruble. At the time, they found two firearms and several empty holsters. As a convicted felon, Ruble is not allowed to own any weapons. Officers believed Ruble had more guns and they were hoping to catch him with at least one. They called Ruble's locksmith business and pretended to be locked out of a car. Our undercover car sat down the street from Ruble's home and waited for him to respond to the call. When he left his home, our unit radioed to the rest of the team to follow. The team hoped Ruble would take a certain route. He did not. After following for a couple miles, officers boxed him at an intersection and took him into custody. They searched his van, but found no additional weapons. He was booked for possession of the weapons found on March 5th.

Suspect Number Five: Juan Verde Chindo
Chindo was wanted for three counts of child molestation of a child under the age of eleven. The C-CAT team learned Chindo was a dishwasher at a Vancouver restaurant and was schedule to work at 6:30pm. We waited in the parking lot outside his business. This arrest was difficult because Chindo had no driver's license or state identification card. No one on the team knew exactly what he looked like. As we waited, I spotted a dark blue Chevy Tahoe enter the lot. Unsure if the driver was Chindo, we waited. Suddenly Chindo looked right at us in the undercover car. He "froze" us in police terms. If officers jumped out to arrest him, he could run. So we sat for what seemed like forever. It was mere seconds. When he exited his Tahoe to enter work, a second C-CAT undercover car swooped in. At that exact moment with Chindo's back to us, Officer Fili Matua jumped out of our vehicle and drew his weapon on Chindo. When Chindo turned to move away from the swoop vehicle, he was facing Matua's drawn handgun. Chindo was arrested seconds later.

Suspect Number 6: Amelia Law
Officers said, Law was wanted for two offenses. First, police wanted to speak with her on a forgery case. They also wanted her in custody for violating the terms of a prior burglary conviction. The C-CAT team had information that Law was staying at a downtown Vancouver motel. They entered the motel and determined Law was there. How they made the arrest is unknown to me. Due to privacy issues, our camera was not allowed inside the motel's private property. However, when Law emerged in handcuffs she was very talkative. She asked us why we didn't go after child molesters. (officers had just arrested Chindo) Laughing, she commented about how dangerous she was. She was insinuating there were more violent suspects out there to be arrested. Police took her to jail and she faced a judge Wednesday morning.