Bad things can happen when you combine guns and stupidity | Bremerton Police Department Weekly Update

Kids these days

On Super Bowl Sunday, Officer Joe Corey responded to the area behind Papa Murphy’s on Kitsap Way in response to hearing a “female screaming.”

He was out of his car looking and listening when, sure enough, the sounds of someone clearly screaming and in distress could indeed be heard.

The dispatch center was asking if the officer needed us to call in additional assistance when Officer Corey came on the radio to say, “Wait, I think it’s a goat.”

Sure enough — the baaaaad offender was located. He was fine. He just seemed a little disturbed by the snow.

Would you know the difference?

On a much more serious note, you might recall that in a recent update we showed you a “replica” CO2 pistol that was taken from a couple of young people shooting near the freeway.

This week, officers were called to a report of someone with a gun on the Warren Avenue Bridge. The caller said he and his friend were on the bridge when a car raced up next to them, and two of the occupants shouted some threats out of the window and pointed pistols at them.

The caller provided a vehicle description and plate number.

Officer Trevor Donnelly was in the area, and quickly located the suspect car parked nearby. As he was calling for backup, the car and occupants left down a city street. The officer followed, to keep the car in sight, but the driver suddenly pulled over and got out.

Officer Donnelly performed what we call a “high risk” stop, where we keep our distance and tell the occupants to keep their hands visible, but the driver refused to follow orders to get on the ground. The officer challenged him verbally at least 15 times, but the driver refused and was defiantly leaning into the car trying to grab different items.

Backup officers arrived and all four of the people in the car were detained, including the driver who only began to comply when a Taser was directed at him.

A search of the car produced two guns. Both turned out to be CO2 pellet guns. So a report of people pointing guns, four people in a car who quickly pull over in front of the officer and the driver is being defiant, will not show his hands and keeps diving into the car. This is what the lone officer was confronting until assisting officers arrived.

If one of those guns were pointed at you in this situation, would you know if they were real, or CO2 or BB guns? And remember, your life depends on the decision you make. And, if the decision is made to shoot, the headlines will read: “Officer opens fire on man with BB gun.”

The driver and one of the passengers were arrested for unlawful display of weapons.

This is the officer’s third replica firearm taken from someone in less than a week.

As we continue to talk about “police accountability,” we also need to expect community accountability, which is pretty simple.

When you combine guns (including replica guns) and stupidity/defiance, bad things happen. We all need to take responsibility for safe outcomes, not just the cops. Great job of handling this volatile and extremely dangerous situation by our officers.

Sending two messages

Finally, here is a great outcome that combines really good, diligent police work with a good use of social media.

Officer John Bogen took a call of a person whose car was “prowled” in East Bremerton last week. The window was broken and some credit cards and other property were taken.

In following up, John had the victim check his account and they learned that within hours of the theft the suspects had already used the cards at four different businesses along Warren Avenue and Highway 303. John went to each business to obtain and review store video and get descriptions of the two men who used the cards. He found the best video and photos, and provided them to our patrol officers as well as the victim.

The two suspects were identified by an officer who recognized them, and meanwhile the victim of the theft sent the images out on social media. People on social media also worked to find some of the missing property from the car already being offered for sale on web sites.

All of this information came together and officers were given the name of the suspects, along with a possible vehicle description.

Just hours later, one of our undercover Special Operations Group detectives found that car, pulled it over, and both suspects were arrested.

One was a Port Orchard resident and the other was a transient from Silverdale. They refused to answer questions and, shockingly, were found with drugs (yes, that is sarcasm).

Identifying one of the suspects was made a little easier by the very distinctive “glitter star” pajama bottoms he was wearing in the video, and which he seems to wear pretty much all the time. Apparently it is his signature look.

The two were jailed and the car was seized to get a search warrant. There are some cities in this state that would not do any investigation on this type of theft, deeming it a “minor property crime.” I am really proud that our officers take every call seriously, and go above and beyond, because we all know how impactful a crime like a car break-in can be to the owner.

Jailing these two “frequent flyers” also sends a strong message to two communities. To the frequent flyer community, it says don’t come to our city because we will go the extra mile to find you. To the vast majority of our community that are working hard, raising their kids and being good neighbors, it sends the message that we support you.

Great job by Officer Bogen and our team!

Steve Strachan is the Bremerton Chief of Police. he can be reached at steven.stra