Social media helps catch suspect in PO lake shooting

Kitsap County court cases

Statements on social media got a young man beat up and shot at, but it also helped Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies come up with a suspect.

A Kitsap County sheriff’s report says the victim’s friend died of an overdose after telling him she got drugs from a 25-year-old man. The victim also was told that two other friends were sexually assaulted by that man, and he also had sold drugs to them.

“After seeing his friends dying and preyed upon, (the victim) posted derogatory statements about the 25-year-old on Snapchat, warning kids to stay away from him.

Then on June 27, the victim was swimming with two friends at Horseshoe Lake Park in Port Orchard. He was approached by the 25-year-old, his 23-year-old brother and some others. The group punched at him, he was tackled and they kicked and stomped on him. Someone tried to take his shoes, and his phone was taken and thrown. A woman bystander stepped in to break it up. The victim suffered injuries to his head and face.

While he waited for a ride, the 23-year-old started driving erratically around the parking lot, and someone shot a gun in the air and then at the victim, who jumped on top of a friend to protect that person. A nearby car was hit by the gunfire.

When deputies responded, there were about 100 people there, and four vehicles were damaged by gunfire, with 10 spent shell casings found in the parking lot.

That witness who now had a hole in the hood of his car followed the suspect and his friends to Gig Harbor, where they were playing basketball. The suspect apologized and said he would pay for the damages. They exchanged Instagram information but the man who had his car shot up was blocked by the suspect.

Deputies started monitoring the Instagram account to figure out who the shooter was. A Pierce County sheriff identified the suspect through booking photos.

Two witnesses identified the suspect from a group of six photos. A third witness wasn’t sure.

Police talked to the 23-year-old who was driving. He said the music was too loud so he didn’t hear gunfire, but thought he heard fireworks. He later said it wasn’t him shooting because Pierce County had taken his gun away earlier. He also said it was just some dumb kids shooting in the air.

Deputies got a search warrant and found $14,0635 in cash in a backpack in the car.

The suspect, who turned 18 two days after the shooting, ended up being a passenger in the car. The 18-year-old Tacoma man was charged with first-degree assault in Kitsap County Superior Court Aug. 18. Bail was set at $100,000. He faces life in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Attempt to elude

A 28-year-old Tacoma man was in Superior Court Aug, 16 on charges of attempting to elude and felon in possession of a firearm.

Bail was set at $250,000. He faces 15 years in prison and $30,000 in fines.

A Kitsap sheriff’s incident report says on Aug. 15 at 7:12 p.m. there was a possible DUI driver in the 5600 block of Highway 303. When they arrived the driver was passed out in the driver’s seat with the engine running. He had a previous history of attempting to elude. So officers placed stop sticks under the front and back tires.

An officer woke him up, and he attempted to hide the drugs in his lap. He started driving away, and officers could hear the tires hissing from the deflation device damage. He took off and broke numerous traffic and speeding laws, hitting 70 mph in a 45 mph zone.

One tire was down to the rim, but the suspect went into oncoming traffic. The pursuit continued to Fairgrounds Road and Highway 303 when an officer performed a pursuit intervention technique.

The man got out and ran. He tripped and hit his head on pavement then the officer caught up with him and used a palm strike to the side of his face to disorient him.

2nd degree assault

A 20-year-old man was in Superior Court Aug. 14 charged with second-degree assault.

Bail was set at $100,000. He faces 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Bremerton police probable cause papers say they were dispatched around 9:53 p.m. to the 1100 block of Walnut Street Aug. 11 due to yelling and glass bottles being thrown. When police arrived they saw blood all over, including on a nearby van. A young girl told the officer her father had taken his friend to the hospital.

Police soon found a man walking around with blood on his socks and hands. He also had blood on his hands and knuckles. Nearby were about a dozen broken Heineken beer bottles.

The girl’s father returned after being called. He had a wound to his head, a deep puncture wound on his left shoulder, and both eyes were badly bruised and nearly swollen shut. His face was bleeding, as were his hands. His pants were saturated with blood. He and a witness identified the suspect as the attacker.

Bail $350K

A 37-year-old Bremerton man is being held on $300,000 bail after being charged in Superior Court Aug. 17 with unlawful possession of a firearm due to a previous felony.

He faces five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

An officer on Aug. 16 saw two men parked in a vehicle on Martin Luther King Way in an area known for drug sales to homeless people. After watching them for a while, he saw they were going from camp to camp selling drugs. When the former narcotics officer caught up with them in a parking lot, he smelled “the distinct and pungent odor of Fentynal.”

They said there were no drugs in the car, but after getting permission to search the vehicle a pistol was found. Meth was also found, along with Fentynal pills and $330 in cash, which a suspect said he made “under the table doing landscaping.”

Teen arrested

A 19-year-old Port Orchard man was in Superior Court Aug. 17 charged with possession of a stolen firearm and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm due to a previous felony.

He faces 15 years in prison and $30,000 in fines. Bail was set at $155,000.

Bremerton police probable cause papers say officers responded Aug. 16 to a shoplifting call in the 4900 block of Kitsap Way. The suspects left the store with two masks without paying for them. When police caught them neither had a gun. But store video showed one suspect had two pistols.

Officers found two loaded guns in the vicinity, one being stolen. The teen was convicted in May for a residential burglary.

Child molestation

A 67-year-old Port Orchard man was in Superior Court Aug. 14 charged with second-degree child molestation. Bail was set at $50,000. He faces life in prison without possibility of parole.

A Kitsap sheriff’s report says it was reported at 4:45 p.m. Aug. 13, but happened the day before. A family friend had told the 13-year-old’s parents that the man touched her while they were camping. While on a hike July 24 he said he thought she was attractive, and he wanted to touch them. She was scared and didn’t know what to do. More recently at a barbecue, he had kissed her and put his hand on her swimsuit.

The man apparently had been a sex offender who was not required to register.

ID theft

A 21-year-old Silverdale woman was in Superior Court Aug. 14 on charges of second-degree identity theft.

Bail was set at $50,000. The woman faces five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Bremerton police probably cause papers show at 7:52 a.m. Feb. 25 an officer was dispatched to the 2100 block of Snyder Avenue. A woman had had her vehicle stolen. Inside were credit cards that were already being used. Police went to one of the stores and saw video. Officers were able to identify two of them from previous interactions. The suspect who used the cards was ID’d from booking photos.

A warrant was issued for her arrest.

Another ID theft

Bail was set at $150,000 for a 37-year-old Tukwila man charged with second-degree identity theft.

He faces five years in prison and fines of at least $10,000.

Bremerton police probable cause papers say a car was stolen Aug. 13, 2022, along with a credit card that was inside it that was used. The suspect was identified from surveillance footage from a gas station.