Men without pants, warm buses and a K-9 sidekick | Bremerton Police Weekly Update

With mental health issues, without pants

If you are a regular reader of our updates, you know we frequently cite the challenges of dealing with persons with chronic and untreated mental illness.

We are starting to see some positive outcomes of the programs and training we are implementing. But each week we also see examples of why it’s a long and difficult journey. One day last week was another example of that.

A man, who was over six feet tall, weighed 270 pounds and suffered from mental illness, started throwing items around at a store. Officers took him to the hospital for evaluation.

It was determined his problem was “behavioral” and he was released. By this time, it was dark and about 35 degrees outside. The staff asked him if he wanted a taxi, but he refused.

Within an hour, we were called again, this time to a possible burglary in progress at an apartment complex. The caller said a man had tried to forcefully enter his apartment, and then ran off after leaving his pants behind. The officer found the man’s wallet and ID in the pants.

It was the same guy who had been taken in for evaluation a few hours earlier.

Now we had a man with mental health issues and no pants running around somewhere in the area.

Later, we were dispatched to another burglary in progress at the same apartment complex. This time, the female caller said a man had entered her apartment and was in her bed. She’d just returned home with her boyfriend, who had armed himself with a large wrench.

Several officers responded, and the man was found in the bedroom, in his underwear and T-shirt.

Yup, same guy.

He cycled from “frozen,” non-violent resistance to being aggressive and yelling when he was escorted out. Officers waited to move him during the “down” portion of each cycle.

He went back to the hospital for another evaluation.We were told he either had to go to a mental health facility or to jail. The mental health folks decided he was okay to be released.

So, officers took him back into custody and booked him into the Kitsap County Jail, as it was the only safe place for him to be.

During these incidents, a resident could have used deadly force while he was going into their homes, or he could have forced a confrontation with a police officer.

Recently in the state of Minnesota, officers placed a person with mental health issues in jail. They have since been sued by his family for violating the man’s disability rights. They feel anyone with mental health issues should always be placed in a treatment facility.

As the legislature starts to look at where to prioritize their attention and funding, please keep an eye on what they do for people with mental illness.

Thank you, Kitsap Transit

Last week, our officers assisted the Fire Department with a large fire at the Firs apartments on Russell Road by helping get people out. Thankfully, no one was injured.

Sgt. Aaron Elton saw that several people were standing out in the extreme cold, and had Kitsap Transit called so a bus could provide a warm place for residents. The buses arrived within minutes.

The week before, several family members, neighbors and church friends arrived at a house where fire and police had responded to a report of an injured child. In that case, Kitsap Transit also had warm buses there within minutes. We appreciate the partnership and the great service they provided.

You mad, bro?

Corporal Jeffery Schaefer passed along this report about the arrest of a person last week:

Corporal Duke Roessel and Officer Derek Ejde were dispatched to a Manette residence this evening for a physical domestic dispute. The suspect was determined to have an outstanding Dept. of Corrections arrest warrant. Upon arrival, it was discovered that the suspect had fled the residence on foot.

Probable cause to arrest was established for assault in the fourth degree and felony harassment.

Enter Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Baker and his trusty K9 sidekick, Heiko. We were able to cover every main intersection near the residence with blue and red lights.

Heiko tracked the suspect for several minutes and soon discovered him in the bushes up against a nearby church and just a couple dozen yards from a marked police car. It appeared that the suspect “hunkered down” instead of running because of our Richard Sherman-like coverage.