News Article Details

Officers assaulted by mentally ill

Whidbey News-Times - 9/29/2018

Three people with mental health problems were charged in the last couple months for assaulting police officers, according to court documents.

On Sept. 15, a 29-year-old Poulsbo man assaulted two Oak Harbor police officers who were trying to get him to leave a donut shop, according to court documents.

That morning, an employee at Donut Master reported to police that the man was standing in the entrance to the shop for three hours.

Police officers arrived and asked the man his name in order to issue him a trespassing admonishment, but he would only provide his first name.

The man resisted when police tried to detain him; he and the officers ended up struggling on the ground. He tried to knee and elbow the officers. He punched one officer in the face and gave him a black eye, the report states.

It took four officers putting their weight on the man to get him into handcuffs.

The report indicates that the man suffers from schizophrenia. Prosecutors charged him in Island County Superior CourtSept. 19 with two counts of assault in the third degree.

On Sept. 11, police responded to a report of a disorderly woman at St. Augustine Catholic Church. An officer arrived to find a 32-year-old woman without pants or underwear walking from the church, the police report states.

The officer saw a pair of pants on the ground and tried to get the woman to put them on, but she refused.

The officer tried to detain the woman, but she resisted and struck the officer several times on the face.

The officer recommended that the woman receive a mental health evaluation, noting that she stripped multiple times and danced in the jail holding cell.

A judge found there was probable cause to believe she committed the crimes of assault in the third degree and resisting arrest. She hasn't been charged.

In May, a trooper with the Washington State Patrol responded to a report from a hiker that a woman without pants was in a blue car in the woods in the Kettles Trail area of Central Whidbey.

The trooper walked down the trail and found the car, which was "high centered" and up against a tree, the trooper wrote in his report. The driver rolled up the windows, locked the doors and tried to drive away, but the car was stuck, the report states.

The woman ignored the trooper and alternately curled into a fetal position and rummaged through the vehicle. She found a hammer and struck the driver's window with it, then struck herself twice on the head.

The trooper broke the window and tried to get the hammer, but she swung it and hit him on the thumb. She hit him again on the hand as it reached in to unlock the door, the report states.

The woman also wielded a knife as Island County Sheriff's deputies arrived to help. A deputy hit her with a Taser and the officers were able to place cuffs on her.

The woman was taken to WhidbeyHealth Medical Center ER for an involuntary mental health evaluation, the report indicates.

At the hospital, she grabbed the wrist of a nurse who was putting her into restraints, breaking the skin with her nails and refusing to let go until a deputy pried her fingers open, according to the report.

Prosecutors charged the woman Aug. 17 with assault in the second degree and assault in the third degree.


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