Category Archives: Seen on the Street

Kitsap deputy saves cat with tuna can stuck to her head (with photo)

The black and gray tabby gets help at the vet. COURTESY PHOTO

As someone who often patrols the sylvan environs of North Kitsap, Deputy Shane Hanson’s had his share of run-ins with wild animals.

But what his patrol cruiser’s headlights illuminated in the wee hours last Monday, no one could prepare for.

A black and gray tabby cat was wandering helplessly in the middle of Port Gamble Road, with something on her head. Hanson got out to take a closer look. He found the feline’s head was completely lodged in a can of tuna, blinding her and keeping her mouth forced open.

He informed dispatchers he was going to check on the cat. Kept his words simple at first, so as to not raise eyebrows with his fellow deputies to start with. The cat could escape and his story might then be seen as far-fetched.

“No one’s gonna believe this,” he said he thought.

The first attempt to help the cat did not go well for the six-year sheriff’s deputy, who spent the first 11 years of his career as an officer on Bainbridge. When he got close, the cat lashed out, tearing her claws into Hanson’s ring finger and palm.

Undeterred, Hanson regrouped and, a member of the county’s SWAT team, he grabbed his department-issued SWAT jacket as defense from kitty’s claws.

The cat ran off several times. Hanson said he worried if anyone should see him, images of keystone cops would fill their heads.

The cat went into a yard and surrendered. Hanson bundled the cat up. He asked some residents if they’d lost an animal; they said no.

Off he went to Animal Emergency and Trauma Center in Poulsbo, whose veterinarians went to work to help the cat. (Hanson’s own hand injury, meanwhile, was further remedied with a Tetanus shot to be on the safe side.)

The vets’ surgery was successful in removing the can. I’m told that even a can opener was used to help in the extraction.

Kitsap County Animal Control Officer Tyrus Edwards picked the cat — believed to be female — up from the center and took her to the Kitsap Humane Society.

Aside from the trauma, the cat has recovered.

Hanson, for his part, said he’s always liked animals — he’s more of a dog person, he admits — and hates the thought of them suffering. He said he was happy to help the animal and was pleased to hear she’s doing better.

Rob Drought, the humane society’s feline coordinator, said she’s semi-feral, though and hopes she’ll go soon to a foster home to recuperate. Because she’s only around a year old, there’s a reasonable chance she could one day go home with a family.

“I have a funny feeling we may be able to rehabilitate this girl,” Drought said.

Trooper: Motorcyclist goes ‘miles’ on highway with dog riding ‘rodeo’

A Washington state trooper publicly admonished the risky recent actions of a motorcyclist who’d plopped his dog on the back of his bike and rode “miles down” Highway 3.

Trooper Russ Winger took to Twitter to post the worrying photo. “Trooper stopped this duo in Kitsap Co Monday. Dog just standing on seat after miles on freeway,” he wrote.

You can see the photo here. The dog is standing up on the seat behind his driver, riding perpendicularly — and precariously — above the road.

Evidently, someone inquired whether having the dog ride shotgun was such a good idea. Long story short: no. Winger also injected a little humor into the situation.

“And since you asked, this is not safe or legal,” Winger wrote in a followup tweet. “Obviously not the dogs first rodeo-cuz he’s got style. Ticket ? Yes. Dog-verbal warning.”

Followup: Homeless Man’s Home Becomes Subject of Poulsbo Student’s English Paper

Sarah Van Cleve, a Poulsbo student attending an east coast boarding school, recently wrote a great story for class based on the home of Chris T. Christensen.

You might remember Christensen, whose death in September 2008 revealed his meticulous home inside the woods just off highways 3 and 305 in Poulsbo.

“At my boarding school my English teacher just asked me to write a narrative with a prompt of ‘an event that revealed a divergence between a person’s ideas about who he/she was and other people’s ideas about who he/she was,'” Sarah wrote me. “As bizarre as it sounds, I immediately thought back to a conversation my mom and I had about this article a while back, and thought it would make for a good narrative.”

I was really impressed with they way she captured detail in what she called “Woodland Man.” But I’ll let you read it for yourself:

The red light switched to green and we sped along again. My cousin Josh sat next to me, with Mom in the driver’s seat. Beyond the window, ratty plastic garbage bags rolled across the highway. Drivers ahead of us were laying on their car horns.

“I think he lived right up in there,” Mom said, letting go of the wheel for a moment to point to the woods above a hill covered with dead grass and old cinder blocks.

“Who did?” I asked.

“The, the man in that article. The homeless man. You know, in the paper? He just died,” she stated with her pitying, maternal tone, her lips turned into a thin frown.

“What man?” Josh piped in. His British accent was thick with the undeniable charm and cheer.

“His name was…well, I don’t remember his name. But he, uh, lived up in there. They found his body and apparently he had, like a whole hut in there,” She took an awkward pause and a deep breath, “I mean, it was made out of garbage and stuff, and he obviously didn’t have many materials to come by. But you could tell he took some pride in the place, you know?” Mom shook her head gently.

The trees’ reflection and my own melted together on the car window. Mom turned on her left clicker. We were surrounded by cars crunched together at this particular stoplight, which always made us five minutes late.

“Maybe then…he wasn’t really a hobo, more like a…woodland man,” Josh grinned. He just bought flashy sneakers yesterday and his clothes all fit him perfectly. His face was clean-shaven, and despite all his piercings, his eyes remained soft, searching the trees with genuine interest.

“That’s just…really sad,” I lowered my voice.

Staring straight ahead, but rubbing her eyes far too often, Mom replied, “I just wish…I wish people knew about him, you know?”
Nobody answered her. Sitting beneath the apathetic grey sky, skinny trees surrounded the highway, but no lopsided tent or deteriorating shack peeked out from behind them.

The only sound came from Mom’s metronomic left clicker.

“Where are we going again Mom?” I broke the impassive rhythm.

“The supermarket,” she replied softly, “We’ve got to buy food for dinners this week.”

Sitting on the sidewalk corner, a homeless man clung to his flimsy cardboard sign. The sloppy sharpie words were difficult to read and his eyes were framed by matted mousy hair.

He tried to connect his eyes with mine, but I immediately avoided his pleading gaze. Was this what the woodland man looked like?
“What do you have in mind for dinner Mom?” The red light turned green and we sped along again.

Drug Court Graduate: ‘The Real Test is To Keep Rising’

A new piece of artwork at the Kitsap County Juvenile Department particularly struck me. Its creator is a graduate of the Individualized Treatment Court, which I was at the complex to write about. I wanted to share it, along with its artist’s commentary. The teen behind it shall remain nameless, unless he ever chooses to reveal himself.

Here’s his commentary, which is a powerful portrait of recovery:

“This is Not a drawing.

This is a Representation of how I rose from the ashes. How I walked away from a destructive path I led. I caused pain not only to myself but to my loved ones. A Phoenix rises again as I did and represents my fiery passion to change; to become anew. The Rising flames represent my metamorphosis; my becoming the Phoenix. Of equal importance to becoming the Phoenix is the past I left: the past I look back to learn from is nothing more than ashes in the wake. In the ashes you’ll see a car door and a muffler representing my near-death experience from being negligent while in control of a vehicle. I survived but my truck did not follow the same fate. The razor blade represents my experiences with cocaine as does the pope represent my experiences with pot. The Handcuffs represent the obvious arrests and being incarcerated in and out of jail over a good portion of my life.

Individualized Treatment Court really helped me deal with some serious issues I had in my life. I did not see my problems or how unhealthy I was and had much to learn. Just because I have risen from where I once was does not mean I am done; in reality it has just begun. It took my a long time to get where I am and so easily it can all be taken away due to something of my influence or course of action. The real test is not to rise from the ashes or stay risen. The real test is to keep rising and keep growing and eventually teach others what lessons I have learned. That is the true gift of knowledge.”

Read more about problem solving courts here.

A Chat Between an Officer and a Wanted Man in the Bathroom

Blogger’s Note: Strange conversation between police officers and the suspects they arrest isn’t really uncommon, as you well know if you read our Code 911 section. But this report, saved from our dusty archives, is one of the oddest I’ve seen.

It was early June when a Bremerton sergeant was patrolling Sixth Street near downtown Bremerton in the early morning hours. The sergeant reported that he’d seen a car driven by a man he recognized — someone he’d contacted on the beat in the past — who turned into a local convenience store.

The sergeant watched as a passenger from the man’s car walked “rapidly” into the store, and felt perhaps that passenger had reason to evade him. So the sergeant decided to go in the convenience store and found that the man had gone into the bathroom.

“I stood by for several minutes and could hear the paper towel dispenser rattling, the toilet flushing and the sink running at different times,” the sergeant wrote.

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Seen on the Street: An Officer and a Skateboarder

A coworker of mine was walking in downtown Bremerton Friday when he saw a skateboarder heading down the middle of the street.

A Bremerton cop came up from behind the skateboard and told the young man riding the board to stop. The skateboarder hastily kicked up his board, my coworker said, and, well, didn’t give the officer the warmest of receptions.

The cop was straight and to the point with the young man about his unlawful ride. “Do you want to say ‘thank you very much officer,’ or do you want a citation,” the officer asked.

Changing his apparent tune, the young man gave a polite wave and went on his way, my coworker said.

Send your own “Seen on the Street” tales of law enforcement interactions with the community to or post one below.