Tag Archives: Bainbridge police

Live Blog: Ostling vs. Bainbridge Island, May 14

CASE BACKGROUND: Opening statements are expected today in the civil case accusing Bainbridge police officers of violating a 43-year-old mentally ill man’s civil rights when an officer shot and killed him in October 2010.

Lawyers for the estate and parents of Douglas Ostling, shot by police at his Springridge Drive home, are prepared to argue police violated his civil rights by going to his room without a search warrant, shooting him, and then refusing to allow his family to check on him.

The case is before U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton and is expected to last around two weeks.

Ostling suffered from mental illness and called 911 Oct. 26, 2010, making incoherent statements. Details of the encounter are disputed: police said Ostling was armed with an ax. He was shot in the leg and bled to death in his room.

Jury selection has been completed in Judge Leighton’s court. Opening statements will follow at 1:30 p.m.

Followup: Details About Bainbridge Police’s Newest Detector

The bomb scare that shut down Winslow Way near the Bainbridge ferry terminal Monday afternoon was caused by police fears that the suspicious item had tested positive for Nitroglycerin.

And how did Bainbridge police figure that out?

It wasn’t a bomb-sniffing dog, as we’re used to seeing at the area’s ferry terminals. It was a detection made by the “hardened mobile trace detector,” which the department obtained through a grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security. The detector came back positive twice for the presence of both nitroglycerin, an explosive often found in dynamite and triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which is another explosive.

Bainbridge police is one of the few agencies in the state that have one, Commander Sue Shultz points out, and they’re happy to share it with other local agencies. I found a photo of one at defensefile.com.

Shultz said that it could be used in a chemical spill, and it has already been used to detect narcotics. She believes Monday’s scare was the first time it has been used to detect explosives.