Report: Spokane police consultant assaulted 2 men

SPOKANE — A consultant hired by the Spokane Police Department to advice on at-risk youth was arrested following a hotel lobby fight where the 51-year-old man reportedly accused a woman of being a prostitute and began fighting her brother and boyfriend, who he called her pimps.

New details of Sunday’s arrest of Paul Lewis of the Boston-based North American Family Institute were made public this week, the Spokesman-Review reported.

Lewis was in the bar at the Davenport Tower when he spotted a woman he believed to be a prostitute. She was accompanied by her boyfriend and brother, and Lewis accused the two of being her pimps. Witnesses said Lewis grabbed the woman’s boyfriend by the throat and her brother tried to intervene. Lewis then reportedly grabbed the woman’s brother by the throat and pushed him out of the bar and into the lobby. A bartender broke up the fight, the police report said.

Lewis repeatedly called a woman a “ho” during the confrontation. The woman’s brother told police that in addition to claiming he was with the Spokane Police Department, Lewis used racial slurs during the confrontation. Lewis, the woman and the woman’s brother are all African American.

According to newly released details contained in police reports, Lewis told witnesses and responding police officers that he was a personal friend of police Chief Frank Straub. At one point Lewis told an officer that once he talked to “Frank . it’s not going to look good for you.”

Lewis was in Spokane to oversee the police department’s Youth and Police Initiative program.

An email inquiry to North American Family Institute on Saturday was not immediately returned.

Lewis, who reportedly smelled of alcohol, told police he didn’t believe he had done anything wrong. He was agitated and believed he’d been treated badly and told an officer, “This would never happen in Boston,” the report says. He also accused an officer of singling him out because he was black.

Lewis became upset when he was given a citation for fourth-degree assault, crumpled up the citation and tossed it away, according to police reports.

On Tuesday, police spokeswoman Monique Cotton said Straub told the officer not to give Lewis any special treatment.

“He made it clear Lewis was to leave the hotel,” she said. “We treated this individual the same as any other individual.”

Lewis is no longer participating in the city’s Youth and Police Initiative program, Cotton said.

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