Police blotter: Tasered at WaMu

It’s an epic blotter this week.

There’s the boy who beats his mom with his broken arm for not supporting his video game habit. There’s the lead-footed, liquor-lovin’ California transplant who bemoans all the time local police waste pulling drunk drivers (like himself) off the road. And then there’s the motorist who finds Winslow’s streets are as dangerous as jungle combat in ‘Nam. Oh, and of course there’s the bank customer who got a shock at Winslow’s WaMu. No, it wasn’t the value of WaMu stocks that gave him a jolt, but the taser jabbed into his hip by Bainbridge police.

Read on…

Oct. 20
Drunk driving: A 52-year-old Poulsbo woman was arrested for drunk driving and possession of marijuana on State Route 305 shortly after 1 a.m. Police initially noticed the suspect driving her Toyota station wagon erratically on 305. The suspect admitted to having consumed some wine after work. Police found 2.5 grams of marijuana in the suspect’s work apron.

Burglary: A local business reported that a trailer was broken into at a Yeomalt Point Drive construction site. An air compressor and a saw were stolen.

Burglary: Unknown suspects entered an unlocked Phelps Road house and tampered with a laptop computer. The computer’s cables had been disconnected but no damage was reported.

Vandalized: The front door window of the municipal court building in Rolling Bay was broken overnight. Police believe a rock was used. Damages were estimated at $255.

Oct. 19
Meth: A Bremerton man was arrested for possessing methamphetamine on Hidden Cove Road shortly after 1 a.m. The man was a passenger in a car that police checked after noticing it parked partially on the roadway. An identity check revealed that the man had a misdemeanor warrant out of Puyallup. Police found a small bag of meth in the man’s shirt pocket. Upon seeing police remove the meth, the man uttered “ohh man” and put his “head down as if he was upset.”

Oct. 17
Tased: Police tackled, tasered and arrested a 54-year-old man for trespassing in a Winslow Way bank shortly after 4 p.m. The man, who had been the subject of several complaints by island businesses in the last week, was spotted by police sitting on a bench along Winslow Way. When contacted by police, the man said he had to do some banking and quickly went into the Washington Mutual Bank. Police followed the man to a table with banking slips, grabbed his arm and told him he was under arrest for trespassing. “He pulled away, reared up…and raised his voice and exclaimed he was doing his banking,” an officer noted. The bank’s vice president suggested the suspect do his banking another time. When told by an officer that he would tase him, the suspect urged him to do so and grabbed hold of the table. The officer applied the taser to the suspect’s hip and forced him to the ground, along with the table. The officer tased him a second time to encourage his cooperation in allowing handcuffs to be applied to his wrists. Bank staff confirmed that the suspect has an account with Washington Mutual and that he has been acting “erratic, more aggressive and mumbling to himself.”

Burglary: A business on Sportsman Club Road reported that a side door to a club house had been broken and that a utility closet door’s lock had been cut off, possibly with a bolt cutter. No items were reported stolen.

Oct. 16
Road Rage: A woman reported that a man in a Chrysler Crossfire threatened and insulted her after they crossed paths at the intersection of Winslow Way and Madison Avenue on Monday. She believed she might have driven her car into the four-way stop intersection out-of-turn, eliciting the man’s rage. The suspect reportedly changed direction and followed the woman to the passenger entrance of the Winslow ferry terminal, where the woman dropped off her husband. The suspect then blocked her car with his car and began “screeching at the top of his lungs” about traffic laws and noting his intention to have sex with her. The woman told police that she’s seen angry people before, but that the man was “crazy angry,” and that his face “actually turned purple.” The woman laughed at the man. Her husband approached his car and asked if he was “having a bad day.” The man drove away after he was told his license plate number had been recorded. The man told police during a visit to his house that the woman nearly struck his car at the Madison Avenue intersection. “I felt that was the closest I’ve come to being killed since I was in Vietnam!” the man told police. He said he followed the woman to record her license plate number. He said his yelling was directed at the woman’s husband, who he said approached his window and acted in a “threatening way.” Police took written statements from both parties.

Skateboarding: Officers were called to Lovell Avenue after a vehicle was seen towing a youth on a skateboard. Once on the scene, an officer saw two males skateboarding down the middle of the road without helmets or reflective gear. One of the youths was cited for riding his skateboard in a negligent manner.

Oct. 15
Peace prevails: Officers were called to a Cherry Avenue home where a man and his intoxicated wife had been arguing about her attempts to drive the family car. The man had physically prevented her from operating the vehicle. She called 911 to report that he had assaulted her. Police determined that no assault had occured. “Both parties were sent to separate bedrooms and peace prevailed,” an officer reported.

Oct. 13
Vandalism: A Bainbridge male reported that his Ford pickup truck had been painted while it was parked at the high school. The words “I’m a Poop, and Poop” was written on all parts of the truck, including windows and headlights.

Meth: A Bremerton female was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia on State Route 305 near Morgan Road shortly after 3 a.m. Police initially noticed the suspect’s Ford Bronco backed up among weeds near a berry stand. Police found the suspect slumped in her seat and wrapped in a blanket. A meth pipe was visible inside the truck. She stressed that she does not use drugs and that the pipe was not hers. About 0.1 grams of meth and a small amount of marijuana was found in the truck.

Oct. 12
Vehicle theft: A two-door BMW car was reported stolen from a Wing Point Way residence shortly after 8 a.m. The car was unlocked, and the keys and the owner’s wallet had been left inside. The owner found his car about four hours later parked near the Winslow ferry terminal. The keys were left inside but a debit card, BMW owner’s manual and $180 in cash were stolen.

Drunk driving: A Bainbridge man was arrested for drunk driving on Eagle Harbor Drive just before 1 a.m. Police initially noticed the suspect’s Lexus car traveling double the posted 25 mph speed limit on Wyatt Way and repeatedly veer over lane markers. The man smelled strongly of alcohol and showed dexterity challenges when producing a credit card as his only form of identification. He admitted he’d been drinking at a Winslow bar. The man spent most of his trip to the county jail telling an officer how much he hates Washington state and that “cops in California have better things to do than arrest people for drinking.” Police later learned the suspect is a convicted felon and does not have a valid drivers license.

Oct. 11
Collision: A Seattle woman suffered neck, head and back injuries after the car she was traveling in struck a deer on State Route 305. The car, which was driven by a Seattle man, struck the deer near 305’s intersection with Madison Avenue. The deer was killed upon impact. The woman was transported to a Seattle hospital.

Theft: A 17-year-old Normandy Park boy was arrested for possessing alcohol and stealing beer from Town & Country Market just before 7:30 p.m. Store staff noticed the suspect conceal two cans of malt liquor under his clothes. He was placed in the custody of his parents, who drove from Normandy Park to pick him up.

Theft: Gas was reportedly siphoned from a vehicle on Shannon Drive shortly after 7:30 a.m. The suspects were described as young males. They left the scene in a red Honda car. One of the suspects told a witness to “mind his own business.”

Assault: A Poulsbo man was arrested for assaulting a former girlfriend on a boat in Eagle Harbor. The victim called 911 shortly after 4 a.m. reporting that the suspect had grabbed and squeezed her neck. She broke free and left his boat via a motor boat. The woman’s neck was red, but she declined medical attention. The suspect was arrested on board his boat. His current girlfriend was arrested for making false statements to police.

Drunk driving: A 20-year-old Bainbridge man was arrested for drunk driving on Miller Road shortly after 3:30 a.m. Police followed the suspect’s vehicle after noticing it traveling about 15 mph over the posted speed limit. Police also observed the vehicle swerving on the roadway and cross lane markers several times. Once pulled over, the suspect said he was driving poorly because it was dark and he was tired. When asked to recite the alphabet, the suspect replaced the letters L for X, N for F and O for U. Police asked the suspect what he thought of the quality of his recitation. “Not very good,” he responded. After failing other sobriety tests, the suspect was transported to the county jail.

7 thoughts on “Police blotter: Tasered at WaMu

  1. I’ve been reading the Bainbridge Island Police Blotter for more than two decades. I read it for entertainment and for information about what’s going on in our town. I can sort my responses into three categories; 1) I’m saddened by all the crimes that are committed and thankful when our police are able to catch some of the criminals, 2) I laugh at the Keystone Cops capers that our police seem to get involved in all too often, 3) I am disturbed by reports of police responses and actions that sound unjustified.

    I was disturbed when I read the Police Blotter post about the WaMu customer the police confronted and tasered. This is either a badly written news report or an unjustified use of power by the police.

    The news report states a man was seen sitting on a bench on Winslow Way – not a crime. Several businesses had complained about the man in the last week – no indication of a current problem or crime. When the police show up to “contact” him, he tells them he is going to do some banking and he walks away and goes into WaMu – well within his civil rights and definitely not a crime. The police pursue him into the bank and “grabbed his arm and told him he was under arrest for trespassing” – grabbed his arm? – trespassing? – under arrest? – where’s the justification? He also appears to believe the police are unjustified in their actions and “he pulled away and reared up” – sounds like an exaggerated “wild horse” description to attempt to justify the cops’ actions. He explains to the police that he is doing his banking and the bank vice-president suggests he do his banking another time – doesn’t sound like trespassing to me. The police then threaten him with a high-voltage stun-gun and the man simply grabbed ahold of a table and “urged” the police to electrocute him – sounds like a discussion the police should be able to handle without violence – good thing the man didn’t urge the police to shoot him with a gun. But instead of negotiating with him, they “tased” him, tackled him, then “tased” him a second time, handcuffed him and presumably took him to the county jail. After it was over, the police learned the man had been acting erratic, more aggressive, and mumbling to himself – none of which is a crime.

    This is not funny! I have an account at WaMu. I sit on the benches on Winslow Way. Some days I mumble to myself and might appear erratic to some. And, if I felt the police were harassing me, you can bet I’d aggressively stand up for my civil rights. So do I have to worry that the police are going to harass me, assault me, arrest me and take me to jail?

    If the news report is accurate, then it sounds as if the police used excessive force in a situation that required brains not braun to try to resolve in a civil and peaceful manner. Instead we have a situation where a citizen was injured and arrested, bank customers and employees witnessed a violent traumatic, WaMu’s reputation as a safe place to bank is further eroded, and the City of Bainbridge Island may face yet another lawsuit for being overly aggressive.

    When are we going to demand that this stop! I applaud the success the police have in arresting drunk drivers and drug dealers, but I hear complaints that the police often trample the civil rights of innocent citizens while hunting for these violators – not to mention the civil rights of the suspected. I don’t want drugs or drunk drivers around, but I do want to feel my civil rights are not being ignored by a needlessly aggressive police force.

    What do you all think? Please post any stories you have heard.

  2. I read a great one in the other Island paper. It was about someone who got pulled over and found to have a suspended license. Now, if you have been reading these reports over the years, tell me how it ends? You won’t believe it.

    The police let her call a friend to come get her car, instead of impounding it as they always do. Then, they gave her a ride to the ferry. No arrest, as they always do. All I can think is, this woman must have been extremely attractive!

    As for the tasered customer at WaMu, yes, I was disturbed by that story as well. Why didn’t they give him a ride to the ferry?

  3. Not a laughing matter but, they did give him a ride, a 50,000 volt ride, not once, but twice, and a ride to jail. J. Peterson may call it Keystone Cops, but sounds more like the police used unnecessary force and made a situation worse, much worse, than it was before they got involved. Our local police have a reputation for over-reacting to minor situations. Aren’t the police sworn to preserve the peace and provide public safety?

    It was the police that disturbed the peace and jeopardized the safety of all involved. Such action is not how I want my tax dollars utilized.

    I see the City of Sultan has decided to save money by disbanding their city police department and contracting with their county sheriff for police services. The Sultan police officers will transfer to the sheriff’s office, the sheriff’s office will provide the same level of service to the citizens of Sultan, and the city will save significant tax dollars. Sounds like a win for all concerned.

    If the City of Sultan’s savings are extrapolated to the Bainbridge budget, our savings would be over $400,000.00. Maybe our county sheriff can provide us more professional police services at a lower cost to the tax payers. Time to think out of the box and consider all the alternatives. I’d love to hear opinions on the upside and downside of such a plan.

  4. I too was disturbed by the tasered WAMU customer. I don’t believe the police had valid cause for what they did. I don’t see where this man did anything wrong. If anything, why didn’t they just watch the guy do his banking to ensure all would be well?? Follow him out the door once all was complete and everyone move about their merry way? There was no call on the police to behave this way…all they did was to heighten the situation to a level it didn’t need to go. Bainbridge Police….care to respond?

  5. It concerns me that neither the press, the city, or the police are commenting on this event. If the police did nothing wrong, then I would welcome a clarification of their actions. If the police were just needlessly aggressive and a little too much force was used, then we need to be assured this sort of action will not continue. If the police harmed this man without cause, then a crime was committed and something needs to be done about it.

    Where is our mayor and city council on this issue? Where is the oversight? Who is responsible for overseeing the conduct of the police? Why is it that very few citizens seem to know or care about this? Am I missing something?

  6. I agree with you 100% J. Peterson. I was sincerely hoping the police department would have responded to my previous posting on this matter. I was quite startled when I read the account of what happened to this gentleman. I feel like I too am missing something, because I don’t feel that what happened should have escalated the way it did.

  7. I have to believe that there is more to the story than what the reporter put in his 10 sentence brief. That being said, I think that if someone were truly concerned or outraged, one would actually pick up the phone and call the police or go down in person. Shaking your fist in cyberspace with a keyboard is an exercise in futility. It is unlikely that anyone will get an “official” government response in a blog. The phone number for the police in Winslow is 206-842-5211. They are located at 625 Winslow Way, just up from the ferry tollbooths. Let us know what you find out.

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