A suspect was arrested Saturday night in Kingston after he allegedly pointed a firearm at a Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy in the parking lot of the Point Casino.
According to court documents, following earlier reports of suspicious activity, Deputy Mike Mezen approached a vehicle in the parking lot and made contact with the suspect, Stephen E. Maher. During questioning, the suspect allegedly provided the deputy with a false name. Having recognized the individual from prior encounters, the officer moved to place Maher in handcuffs in order to detain him. The suspect then began to back away saying, “Don’t do it. I’m not going,” according to reports
As Mezen motioned for another officer to block Maher’s exit, the suspect drew a firearm and pointed it at him, according to the deputy.
“As I looked back at the male I noticed him raising his right arm from his waist area and extend his right arm pointing a black gun at me,” Mezen said in his report. “Knowing that he already had me beat, and that I was out in the wide open, I turned and drew my weapon and retreated to the truck that was behind me at that point for cover. I thought for sure I was going to be shot since he had the advantage on me.”
After drawing the firearm, the suspect allegedly fled on foot to the north end of the parking lot in the direction of a nearby woods. Another officer with Port Gamble S’Klallam Police told Mezen that the suspect had also pointed a gun at him.
Only about three minutes after initiating a K9 track to find Maher, deputies were led to the suspect’s location. He was found in the bushes at the north end of the parking lot.
Richard Heller had been staying in his RV in the parking lot as officers apprehended Maher and recorded video of the arrest.
“A cop starts rolling through the Point Casino parking lot with siren and lights on,” Heller said. “ He pulls up behind our RV and gets out. Grabs his M4 or whatever they use and starts scanning the ditch in front of his patrol car.
“I got out to see what was a happening and he said, ‘Get back in your RV and stay there.’ I hear more cars coming for backup, so I grabbed my phone and started recording just after the K9 officer started his sweep,” Heller said. “Pretty wild night up here in this woods.”
After his arrest, the suspect told officers he did not have a gun but instead that he had brandished a laser pointer. When asked where the laser pointer was, the suspect said he threw it while fleeing. Maher is being held on $510,000 bail for Assault 1 – deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.