Seven police cars converge, leave, come back, force entry, restrain man, take man away in ambulance, search his home

Author:BillB

Seven police cars lined up along Conniston Way in the Even’Down subdivision of unincorporated Island County on Whidbey Island, WA

On Saturday, June 22, three Island County Sheriff’s Department deputies, two Washington State Patrol officers, and two City of Oak Harbor Police Department officers converged in the Even’Down subdivision of unincorporated Island County. They took a single individual into custody from 2230 Conniston Way. Police had been to the house twice before on the same day. A sheriff’s department lieutenant indicated that their seven-car presence for visit #2 was in response to the lone individual there having threatened to harm himself while at City Beach in Oak Harbor.

Police officers shortly before approaching home

When all seven police cars returned for visit #3, about 30 minutes after visit #2 ended, the same sheriff’s lieutenant indicated their return was due to someone having reported gunfire. Sitting near an open window directly across the street between visit #2 and visit #3, I had heard no gunfire. The sheriff’s lieutenant told me they found no evidence of gunfire after entering the home, either.

State patrol officers head around to the back of the home, via an adjacent yard

After police entered the house and engaged with the man, they opened the garage door. They then summoned three ambulances which had been waiting around the corner to the front of the house. One of the ambulances transported away the now restrained adult male.

Sheriff’s deputies and state patrol head into position

After the ambulances and five of the police vehicles had departed, two of the sheriffs remained on site. One of the sheriff’s men opened and looked inside various storage containers and boxes in the man’s garage.

Sheriff’s deputies approach home, sledge hammer in-hand

According to the sheriff’s lieutenant, police had believed the man recently to have started re-using methamphetamine and that he had weapons in the home.

Sheriff’s deputies coordinate with state patrol before making entry

Island County sheriffs had been to the home a few weeks earlier, too. I am unsure why, but no arrests appeared to have been made at that time.

Oak Harbor police officer at front of home while sheriff’s make entry

My thoughts and questions….

Do police have an automatic right to search the home of an individual after taking him into custody? It was rather apparent to me that “searching” is exactly what the sheriff’s deputy was doing in that garage after they had taken the man away.

Three ambulances arrive after police summon them from around the corner

Can someone being taken into “custody” against their will give the police permission to search as they may desire after they take him away in restraints?

After entry, garage door opens, police chat with man

Does Island County really need MORE property taxes NOW to hire MORE sheriff’s deputies NOW? It certainly seems there are plenty of police around – from various jurisdictions – if/when police are needed / desired on Whidbey Island.

Police then lead the man to one of the three ambulances on the scene

On visit #2, the Sheriff’s lieutenant indicated to me that he did not want to  break down the door of this man, since they believed he had weapons in the home. Apparently, when all police completely left at the end of visit #2, they believed that all was well.

The garage door remained open for quite some time after the man was taken away.

From the photos provided here from visit #3, one can clearly see a sheriff’s deputy carrying a sledge hammer towards the front of the property. I subsequently heard three VERY loud “BANGS” – the sounds of a sledgehammer being employed – shortly before police opened the garage door and called for the ambulances from around the corner.

Police closed the door to the garage shortly after I observed them searching the garage after the man was taken away.

From whom and where, exactly, was this report of gunfire to have occurred? Was it really just that single report of gunfire that caused the police to re-convene, to use their sledge hammer, to take this man away in restraints, and then to search his home, after having left only 30 minutes earlier and having told me that the man at the home was absolutely NO threat to anyone else in the neighborhood?

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9 comments

  1. avatar

    I’ve lived here 30 years….first time we had seven police vehicles (and three ambulances) show up, and TWICE in ONE DAY!

  2. avatar

    I think that before you start making comments and assumptions, you should get all of the facts. The law enforcement officers at the scene are NOT going to give you that information, if nothing else but for the protection of the subject and them selves. They do not have the time nor are they required to chat with the “lookie loos” who get in the way while they are trying to do their job.
    FACT: This individual has a long list of contacts with the local police and Sheriff. He has been cited for trespass, and hostile/violent and threating behavior in business’s in Oak Harbor. Been in possession of stolen firearms at his place of employment with the City. He was also terminated from his employment with the City of Oak Harbor as a result of many serious violations he committed against his employment agreement. A person that has history of violent behavior, suspected drug user, threats of the use of deadly force, is someone that has to be approached cautiously, and the public protected as much as possible.
    Bill, if you live in his neighborhood, you should be thankful that there was a good response from Law Enforcement. Even thankful that they returned more than once as needed. YOU OR SOMEONE ELSE could have been a victim of this mentally unstable person were he allowed to be left to go on his stated rampage of wanting to do harm to others and himself. Think about it!! I only hope that he gets the help he needs before someone gets hurt.
    Please, do everyone and especially the Police and Sheriff who responded to this potentially deadly situation the courtesy of knowing the facts before you go spouting off about whether or not we need more dedicated Law Enforcement officers. I’m sure that if you had been a victim here, you or others would be shouting for MORE police and Sheriff, and would vote to approve additional taxes to cover the cost. What is your life or the lives of others worth.
    PRAISE and THANKS to all of the responding officers for handling this situation in the dedicated and professional manner that is a high standard for all Law Enforcement Officers. If you value your safety, THANK A COP!!

    I speak out here as a Honorably Retired Law Enforcement Officer. Thanks.

    1. avatar

      “I think that before you start making comments and assumptions, you should get all of the facts.”

      Think whatever you like. I wrote about exactly what I saw that day and exactly what I was told by the police officer-in-charge at that time.

      “They do not have the time nor are they required to chat with the “lookie loos” who get in the way while they are trying to do their job.”

      I specifically waited until they were clearing out from each of their two visits to ask the officer-in-charge a couple of primary questions.

      The primary question I asked at the end of the first seven-police-car visit: “Why are you here?”

      The question I asked on second seven-police-car visit: “Why did you come back?”

      Your inference that I, or anyone else, was interfering with what they were doing at any time they were here is 100% unreal.

      Remember, I was THERE. You were NOT.

      “YOU OR SOMEONE ELSE could have been a victim of this mentally unstable person…”

      That’s true, but the officer-in-charge assured me I had absolutely NOTHING to be concerned about in that regard..right before he LEFT!

      Apparently, then, they changed their minds…and then came back!

      “…you should be thankful that there was a good response..”

      Was completely leaving the first time a “good response”?

      Seems to me, it was not not.

      “I’m sure that if you had been a victim here, you or others would be shouting for MORE police and Sheriff”

      I can assure you, that, between the time the police LEFT and then CAME BACK, if that guy had started some kind of trouble, I’d be calling for their HEADS ON A PLATTER.

      My actual thought to myself when the police left the fist time was: “Are you friggin’ kidding me? You believe he is suicidal? You believe he is using meth? You believe he has weapons in there with him and so THAT’s why you are LEAVING? Great, now the dude is gonna’ be able to blow his head off….”

      But, I bit my tongue at the time and simply let the police do as THEY deemed was appropriate at the time.

      “Please…(get)…the facts before you go spouting off about whether or not we need more dedicated Law Enforcement officers.”

      Seems to me we had MORE THAN enough law enforcement that day.

      Do you have any facts that support otherwise?

  3. avatar

    Hi Bill,

    I live 3 doors away from the house and heard one shot (large caliber) right after the police left. I came out to of my house to see if anyone else in the neighborhood heard the shot and two of the neighbors I spoke to heard it clearly as well. One of them called 911 to report the noise that came from his house. I know what small arms fire sounds like, and it sounded remarkably like a large caliber hand-gun (.45).

    I know that law enforcement officers can enter a home if there is probable cause. If an individual is suicidal and then you have an “ear-witness” say they heard a gunshot from the individual’s house, do they have probable cause? There was a female involved, as well. I don’t know if she has ever been threatened, but what if she had been injured? The officers waited quite some time before they attempted to gain entry into the home. I don’t know if they were following protocol.

    I think 7 units is a tad bit overkill, but “better safe than sorry” wouldn’t you say?

    1. avatar

      “I live 3 doors away from the house and heard one shot (large caliber) right after the police left…I know what small arms fire sounds like, and it sounded remarkably like a large caliber hand-gun (.45).”

      I live zero doors away (i.e. directly across the street) had all my windows open that afternoon, and I heard ZERO gun shots.

      There was, however, around that time, way off in the distance, like down near West Beach, the sound of a large firecracker going off way off in the distance. My wife also heard this, and so did the Navy officer living directly across from me – and both confirmed it was from far away and in that down-hill direction and that it was a firecracker-like noise. We heard THAT noise and we WERE NOT concerned, because it was NOT a gunshot whatsoever! Let me repeat : it was definitely NOT a gunshot, and it certainly was not a gunshot that came from within that residence.

      I’ve been shooting rifle, pistols and shotguns since I was a kid. I presently shoot at a pistol range (and so does my wife, and that Navy officer qualifies with a pistol, too), so maybe we can also tell you what firearms actually do and do not sound like?

      Did you catch the part above where the police told me they found NO evidence of any weapons having been fired at the home after they came back and entered the home?

      “There was a female involved, as well. I don’t know if she has ever been threatened, but what if she had been injured?”

      There was nobody else home in the home at the time, and police KNEW that. The female had not been there since the morning that day. The police TOLD me this when they were here the first time, so they KNEW this to be the case.

      “law enforcement officers can enter a home if there is probable cause.”

      Probable cause of what? Probable cause based on what you folks reported? 100% erroneous information about a gunshot from within that home?

      If I were to call today and tell police I heard a .45 caliber handgun being fired from your house, does that give them “probable cause” to break down your door and search your home?

      Remember, they had all entirely LEFT and TOLD ME personally there was NOTHING to be concerned about when they did so!

      “I think 7 units is a tad bit overkill”

      We apparently had MORE THAN PLENTY of law enforcement available that day. That definitely was my assessment, which is why I believe that the $2.6 million X 5 years that the Island County Sheriff’s Department wants SPECIFICALLY for MORE law enforcement is UNJUSTIFIED, for numerous reasons.

      You can read about that resolution and my thoughts on it at:

      Island County Law and Justice Council Resolution from Sheriff Mark Brown

      ““better safe than sorry” wouldn’t you say?”

      Either we were safe when all seven police units LEFT the neighborhood the first time, or were were NOT SAFE when they did so. Both cannot be true. However, the police apparently thought we were safe before they LEFT the first time, as that is what they told me directly.

  4. avatar

    Just to clarify a few things:
    1) What was the purpose of this post originally?
    2) Do we really need to argue over the fact that many people heard a loud “noise” and someone called 911?
    3) Why didn’t you ask the police if they had a search warrant, if you thought it was an unlawful search?

    1. avatar

      1) What was the purpose of this post originally?

      The Sheriff’s Department is asking for $13 million ($2.6 million X 5 years) because, they claim they need that ADDITIONAL revenue. The site is called “Island Politics”. This particularly relevant event simply came to my front door.

      2) Do we really need to argue over the fact that many people heard a loud “noise” and someone called 911?

      I stated what I believed to be valid in my original post (that there was no gun shot). You then refuted (argued against) what I claimed to be the case. You claimed it sounded like a “large caliber hand-gun (.45)”. You didn’t need to say anything about it if you did not want to quibble with my claims and what the police also told me (no evidence of a gunshot).

      3) Why didn’t you ask the police if they had a search warrant, if you thought it was an unlawful search?

      I questioned its legality, and I still do. When I went back outside and spied the officer searching through the garage, he saw me abruptly return to my house. He had seen me taking photos. I surmise he figured I was about to get my camera again. He then closed the garage. So, you would have then had me do what: go into someone else’s house and challenge the armed police presence there? Are you suggesting they would have welcomed that intrusion?

      Do you have evidence that this search was completely proper and legal? It seems to me the entire 3rd visit, the breaking down of the door, the search, etc…was based on a false premise – the bogus report of “a large caliber hand-gun (.45)” being fired from within that residence!

  5. avatar

    What I’ve learned about Bill during this conversation:
    1) You lack objectivity – this greatly diminishes your credibility in the discussion.
    2) You assume too much – this greatly affects the direction of the discussion.
    3) You can’t hold a conversation with someone without “posturing up” on them – this greatly restricts the progress of the discussion.
    The sad part is; you won’t even let someone agree with you, you don’t even know you are doing it AND you can’t even let this comment go unchallenged!

    1. avatar

      You are free to stop posting here any time you like, or you can continue to conduct an ad hominem attack upon me for telling folks what I saw the police do first hand and what the police told me directly.

      What you have actually learned is that you were wrong about there being a .45 caliber-like gunshot that came from that house, and you just don’t like it being shown that you were wrong.

      My bet: the police would prefer to act on CREDIBLE information, and not BOGUS information.

      Like the headline says, the facts are: “Seven police cars converge, leave, come back, force entry, restrain man, take man away in ambulance, search his home.”

      Without that BOGUS 911 call about a .45 caliber-like gunshot coming from within that residence, the headline would most likely be: “Seven police cars converge, leave”. End of story.

      But, in any case, I still fail to see where island County somehow needs another $2.6 million X five years for additional “law and justice” operations.

      On the north end of Whidbey Island, we have FOUR police forces:

      - City of Oak Harbor Police
      - Island County Sheriff
      - Washington State Patrol
      - NAS Whidbey Island Base Security

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