Category Archives: Code 911

Fake shooting 911 call leads to scary situation for Kingston family

A Kingston family was the apparent victim of false reporting Saturday, according to Kitsap County Sheriff’s reports. 

Here’s what happened: Deputies got a hair-raising 911 call that came from out of the area. The caller, posing as a Kingston resident, claimed his father was “going crazy” and had shot his sister. The caller claimed he was hiding in a bathroom.

That kind of call is going to get police officers to respond in droves. And they did.

Police surrounded the home. A Suquamish police sergeant could see a man standing in the backyard; the man was told to show his hands and get on the ground. He complied. The man’s two sons were also located there and instructed to come around to the front of the house.

Police read the father his Miranda rights. He, of course, had no idea what had happened, and noted he didn’t even have a daughter.

Deputies checked the home and then un-cuffed the man.

It turns out that one of his sons had been playing games on the Internet. He’d played with someone online who’d been kicked off a gaming web site. The person decided to have the Kingston home “swatted” — that is, to try to get the SWAT team to converge on someone’s home.

Deputies’ investigation continues.

Scott Wilson, spokesman for the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, said there were many risks and costs associated with making such a high priority response. There’s the responders driving to the scene as quickly as possible; there’s multiple agencies converging on a home — when their resources might be needed elsewhere.

The situation is also frightening to those involved. But Wilson said sheriff’s deputies are left with no choice but to respond “tactically” until they determine it’s a hoax.

“We were acting in good faith,” he said.

And should deputies confirm this was a case of false reporting, the person responsible could be punished by up to a year in jail, according to Washington law.

Code 911 in focus: A purse left behind solves a slew of crimes

If you need any more reasons to get a locking mailbox, this lady’s purse should provide a plethora of them.

Here’s the scoop: The purse was left behind Feb. 5 by a woman fleeing Walmart in Port Orchard. She’d been spotted stealing computer software and when a store loss prevention employee intercepted her, she made a bee-line for a car, according to Kitsap County Sheriff’s reports.

She dropped the purse in her flight. In doing so, she helped deputies solve a slew of crimes.

Here’s what was inside:

  • Twleve US Savings bonds worth almost $4,000 that had been reported in a burglary earlier this year;
  • Some meth;
  • Jewelry from the aforementioned burglary, as well as receipts, bills and documents from it;
  • Three residents’ Washington ID cards (none of which were hers);
  • A Washington state Fraternal Order of Police card belonging to an NCIS agent;
  • A Fed Ex package containing a man’s military service record;
  • Someone else’s IRS W-2 form;
  • Check stock used to make checks, along with five checks from five different accounts;
  • And finally, the likely tipoff to just how she got hold of all this stuff in the first place: A notebook that had many addresses of estate sales and, most notably, addresses of where to “check mailboxes,” deputies said.

Mail theft’s not a new phenomenon. You may recall a few years ago my story on a man who supported a meth habit by actually creating files for each person’s mail that he stole.

Mail theft, from what I can tell by reading police reports from around the county, appears to be on the rise again. And they’re not just taking mail, but packages left on front porches (For instance, the package found in this purse likely falls in that category).

A sheriff’s deputy worked to return all of the personal items found in her purse. And while she got away at Walmart, police eventually found the suspect (through a tip). She was booked into the Kitsap County jail early Wednesday, where she remains on $40,000 bail.

Have I sold you on getting a locking mail box yet?

The Crime Stats Are Out (How Did Your Community Fare?)

This week, the Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs (WASPC) released their annual report on crime in this state. I’m working today to analyze the numbers and get the thoughts about them from our local law enforcement leaders.

For the county, here’s the overall trends:

  • Violent crime (murder, rape, robbery, assault) in the county fell about four percent, from 1,103 reported incidents to 1,060.
  • Property crime (theft, burglary, ect.) in the county, too, fell almost five percent, from 6,465 incidents to 6,170.

I’ve posted the report below, so you can see for yourself. I’ll be updating this entry throughout the rest of the day with tidbits and stats on each of our communities.

Crime stats overall
Violent crime (rape, robbery, murder, assault)
Property crime (theft, burglary, ect.)

Kitsap County Sheriff

2008            2009     %change
Violent crime       674            682      up, 1.2 percent
Property crime     3,789       3,267    down, 13.8 percent

Bainbridge Island
Violent crime       29             31          up, 6.9 percent
Property crime     324         304         down, 6.2 percent

Violent crime       308            250      down, 18.8 percent
Property crime     1,584       1,718    up, 8.5 percent

Port Orchard
Violent crime       50              52          up, 4 percent
Property crime      465         564         up, 21.3 percent

Violent crime       42            45              up, 7.1 percent
Property crime      303         317             up, 4.6 percent

Mason County Sheriff
Violent crime       140         133             down, 5 percent
Property crime     1,648       1,578        down, 4.2 percent


Eating Meth is Not Advised (With Multiple Examples)

Turns out that a 19-year-old man taken to Harrison Medical Center for swallowing meth wasn’t the only one last Friday to have gobbled up amphetamines.

In remarkably coincidental fashion, at the same time a suspect ate a gram and a half of meth as Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies investigated a drug deal, Bremerton police were heading to a Sixth Street cafe for a report of a man trying to steal things from their bathroom.

The cops found him Friday night “sweating profusely,” with the bathroom in a state of disarray. Police reported that he’d told them he’d “smoked a twenty sack and swallowed a forty sack of meth.” He began going into convulsions, officers said.

Darcy Himes, spokeswoman for Harrison Medical Center, said the man was treated and released from the hospital early Saturday morning.

It goes without saying that ingesting meth in any form is risky and dangerous. But eating it? Wikipedia says — and I’d take this with a grain of salt — it’s actually the safest way to ingest it. But from Kitsap’s oddly timed examples here — requiring hospital trips — I’d say we have some anecdotal evidence to refute that.

North Mason Man, 81, Faces Bank Robbery Charges

I got a call earlier this week from a gentleman in Allyn, who was surprised we hadn’t seen that his neighbor was nabbed for bank robbery.

And it wasn’t your typical heist: his neighbor, 81 years young, was arrested for robbing a KeyBank in University Place April 22. It was his second such robbery — he’d held up one other four decades ago, the News Tribune of Tacoma reported.

“He seemed like an upstanding guy,” the Allyn man said of his neighbor.

The robber didn’t get too far, though. A Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy pulled over his getaway car a short distance from the bank. He was booked into the Pierce County jail.

The Aftermath of Bremerton Arnold’s Home Furnishings Arson


There’s a few more details in the Bremerton Arnold’s Home Furnishings fire that I think are of note.

The 17-year-old defendant had his sentencing hearing Dec. 11 in Kitsap County Superior Court. Our stories had already pointed out the time he’ll spend in juvenile prison — 25 to 32 months — but here’s how that time works. It’s up to the juvenile prison’s administrators to determine how much time within that range he’ll spend there.

Restitution in the case — which could be in the $12 million range — will be set at a future hearing.

As we previously reported, the prosecution’s case that led to the conviction of the 17-year-old involved three suspects. But those remaining two suspects will not be tried due to lack of evidence, according to deputy prosecutor Todd Dowell.

Arnold’s is currently rebuilding at the site where their gallery burned to the ground in July.

Lakewood Tragedy: Time for a Change in Criminal Justice Policy?

The front page of Tuesday’s Kitsap Sun presented readers with two stories related to criminal justice: the cutting of corrections officers and Kitsap cops’ response to the tragedy in Lakewood.

I wasn’t alone in wondering this question: How can we be cutting corrections officers — a scaling back of the criminal justice system — just as a man slaughters four police officers execution style?

Today, the Christian Science Monitor’s editorial board cautions against letting anger in this “exceptional” case drive policy decisions.

” … The risk of a high-profile case such as Clemmons’s is that it will bring a backlash leading to a wrong policy,” they wrote. “That it will continue to discourage clemency, for instance, or that it will somehow slow the momentum toward reform.”

Is it time to chance policy in criminal justice — particularly in the way pardons and commutations are doled — in the wake of this tragedy? What do you think?

Mason County Elk Hunters Held at Gunpoint

Some elk hunters from Shelton recently “found themselves staring down the barrels of guns pointed at them by uniformed officers of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe,” earlier this month, according to a story in the Port Townsend Leader.

Reporters Barney Burke and Allison Arthur wrote Oct. 7 that the hunters, using muzzleloaders (an antique style firearm) were on private property in Brinnon between Highway 101 and the Hood Canal, and had permission from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to hunt elk.

But the officers thought the men were hunting illegally — and took out their own guns in investigating. The hunters were handcuffed two hours.

The misunderstanding was eventually cleared up, but left the hunters “upset and angry,” the story says.

I spoke with Karl Gilje, chief of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s Department of Public Safety, this morning. He said that the investigating officers in the case were under the tribe’s department of natural resources, and not under his public safety department. They do sometimes assist one another at times, Gilje said, but not during the incident Oct. 3.

A full investigation is underway in the case by the state department of fish and wildlife and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Peninsula Daily News.

Jumping off Bremerton’s Bridges is a Crime


Taking the plunge off of Bremerton’s two spans across Port Washington Narrows is well established as a dangerous, life-threatening endeavor. But should you survive it, it could also result in a trip to the clink.

On Monday, an 18-year-old Bothel man was arrested by police for jumping off the Manette Bridge. A 911 caller said he jumped from the “lower part,” of the bridge closer to Manette, just before 5 p.m.

Police found him in a parked car nearby. He looked like the suspected jumper, and, the ultimate evidence: He was “soaking wet,” police said.

The man said he was not suicidal nor injured, just a “thrill seeker,” who’d done similar jumps in Maui, Hawaii recently. Police didn’t appreciate his thrill seeking, and took him to the Kitsap County jail for a relatively unused Bremerton Municipal Code known as “mischief on bridges.” They set his bail at $5,000.

Mischief on bridges, it turns out, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

“It makes sense from a public safety perspective, that we don’t want thrill seekers jumping off our bridges,” said Bremerton Assistant City Attorney Ken Bagwell, who could recall one other case of such mischief. “It’s not safe.”

Here’s how the Bremerton Municipal Code reads, if you’re curious:
Continue reading

VIDEO: Car Crashes into Hansville Home; Home Wins

Mary Heacock and her family have enjoyed the benefits of thickly-built walls in their Hood Canal Drive home for the past decade in the form of lower heating and cooling costs.

On early Friday morning, however, they learned a different benefit of such walls.

An errant vehicle took a turn down their driveway, near the road’s intersection with NE Cliffside Road, around 3:45 a.m. and struck the side of their home.

The car, as evidenced by the Heacock’s security video, didn’t penetrate its walls. In fact, it more or less bounced off the house.

“We never thought we’d have to fend off invading cars,” Heacock said.

The Heacock’s home was built with Quad-Lock walls consisting of two inches of foam on each side of a hearty foot of concrete. Heacock said that while they saw lights outside and “the whole neighborhood” heard the car, they didn’t feel it inside.

A 24-year-old man driving the home was taken to Harrison Medical Center with unknown injuries, according to North Kitsap Fire and Rescue. No one else was injured.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash, but details weren’t made available Friday afternoon.

Heacock speculates that with traditional walls, the car might have gone through the home and even hit a neighbor’s residence.

“Had this been stick construction, we absolutely would have lost our house today,” she said.