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Letter to Readers: A finger on the pulse of police stories everywhere

Law enforcement stories interest me because they fall on my beat. Stories from beyond the Yamhill Valley often pique my interest as much as stories detailing what’s happening locally.

I don’t fish, but that doesn’t matter, because this definitely is a story that heightened my interest.

The Associated Press recently reported that Idahoan Nolan Calvan found a finger while cleaning a trout caught at Priest Lake, in the northernmost corner of the Idaho panhandle, 80 miles north of Spokane. He put the finger on ice and called Idaho’s Bonner County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives went to work. They got a fingerprint off the digit and matched it to Colbert, Wash. resident Haans Galassi.

When they contacted him, they learned he lost four fingers from his left hand in a June accident at the lake.

He said he knew what the Bonner County Sheriff wanted to talk to him about as soon as he took the call.

“I was like, ‘Let me guess. They found my fingers in a fish.’”

Galassi went wakeboarding while he camped at the lake. He caught his hand in a loop in the towline, and it severed four of his fingers when the line closed.

“I pulled my hand out of the water and it had pretty much lopped off all four fingers,” Galassi said. “It was a lot of flesh and bone, not a lot of blood.”

He was treated at a Spokane hospital. He’s been going to therapy sessions twice a week ever since, trying to learn new ways to perform old tasks.

Calvan caught the fish about eight miles away.

Galassi declined an offer from detectives to return the finger. But they said they would keep it around for a while, in case Galassi changes his mind.

“There’s still three more, too,” a detective said. “It’s hard to say where those are going to end up.”

Paul Daquilante

General assignment reporter



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