ML man sentenced for threatening FedEx driver with hammer

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MOSES LAKE — A Moses Lake man who threatened a FedEx driver with a claw hammer in 2015 was sentenced to a total of five days in jail.

Vilyam Veresko, 30, of Moses Lake, entered an In Re Barr plea in Grant County Superior Court to failure to obey a police officer and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with 85 days suspended for one year. The In Re Barr plea indicates Veresko is not pleading guilty to the crime he is pleading to and there is no factual basis for the charge, but he believes there is a substantial risk of being convicted if the case were to proceed to trial. Veresko was initially charged with second-degree assault and harassment, but the charges were amended in a plea agreement.

The sentence relates to an August 2015 incident involving a passenger car and a FedEx truck at Fairchild Cinemas in Moses Lake. The driver of the FedEx truck told police he was exiting the Fairchild Cinemas parking lot onto Block Street when a black passenger car blocked the exit, according to court documents.

“He initially believed the car was slow to turn so he attempted to go around. The vehicle moved in front of him and blocked him from going around,” wrote a officer. “He again attempted to go around the vehicle and each time the black car reversed and pulled forward to block his path.”

The driver of the black car, Veresko, and the FedEx driver both exited their vehicles. Veresko was holding a claw hammer in his hand when he got out of his car and started yelling at the man and told him he was going to “break” his knees.

The victim said Veresko swung the hammer at him a couple times but he avoided getting hit by the weapon. Veresko was located at his work nearby and he denied involvement in the incident. The hammer believed to have been used in the incident was located in one of Veresko’s co-worker’s vehicles. Police searched Veresko’s shop but did not locate another hammer that matched the one described by the victim. One of Veresko’s coworkers told police he gets angry when people speed down Block Street in front of his work.

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

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