2:11 a.m. I hadn’t even been in bed for 20 minutes when my sister bounded into my bedroom, and whispering with panic in her voice, told me to hurry and look out her bedroom window. Just half-asleep, I’d heard men yelling out in the street. I figured a late-night party had spilled out into the road; that a drunken fight had ensued. Nevermind that it was a Sunday night. Nevermind. lol.

I grabbed my glasses, and went to Kelsey’s window. My parents were already there, watching as a high-intensity scene unfolded directly in front of our house. I cautiously peeped through the blinds, and began asking questions. Kelsey awoke to the sound of sirens. Just outside, more than 10 police cruisers lined the surrounding streets, their blue and red lights flashing. Stopped in the middle of the road was an old red and white van. Inside, a man was nervously moving in and around the passenger seat. He held a knife to his throat. Kelsey said another man, the passenger of the van, had already surrendered to the police. His friend wasn’t giving up so easily.

2:36 a.m. 10 patrol cars quickly turned into more than 15. Kelsey and I couldn’t keep a very accurate count, because several cars were parked out of view. Policemen were out of their cars, yelling at the culprit: “Put the knife down! Put the gun down!” Directly behind the van, two policemen were positioned and ready with shotguns. I saw another policeman holding a pistol. It felt like I was watching something straight out of a movie. One of those Clint Eastwood films. Or the television show COPS. A part of me simply couldn’t believe it. How could something like this happen in my neighborhood? Happen in front of my house? I wondered whether any of the other neighbors were silently watching from a bedroom window as we were. All of the houses were dark.

A policeman crouched down low, and inched his way to the back of the van. I don’t know what he did, but my dad said he heard popping noises. He quickly backed away. One of the policemen holding shotguns then began to fire at the back windows of the van. With each shot, a cloud of smoke encased the shooting officer. At first I thought it was tear gas, because my dad had overheard a policeman asking for tear gas. I tried to imagine what the man inside the van was experiencing; what was going through his mind. I mean, tear gas?! Eeek. But it wasn’t tear gas. Most-likely, the police officer had used rubber bullets, just to break the windows. Several policemen rushed at the van, including one with a taser gun. Ouch. The man inside the van could be heard saying, “ow, ow, ow.”

More yelling: “Put the gun down! Put the knife down! Roll out of the van! Crawl out of the van! Do what I say! Do what I say!” The driver of the van wouldn’t listen to their commands. The policemen asked him his name, and he replied: “You know my name.” Thereafter, the policemen called him Bill. One policeman approached the van and spoke to Bill in a much calmer manner. He asked Bill to open a vent on top of the van, so they could talk. Finally, Bill exited his van. Policemen surrounded him. I couldn’t see much with the van in the way, but Bill must have been contained and laid down on the asphalt. A fire emergency truck pulled up next to the van. The running engine of the truck, plus the running engines of the police cars made it very difficult to hear any conversation.

3:07 a.m. Slowly, the number of patrol cars outside the house had dwindled. Half a dozen officers stood in the middle of the road discussing the incident. A few policemen were inspecting the van with their flashlights. Others were perusing the surrounding yards for stray rubber bullets or filling out paperwork. Bill was placed on a stretcher, loaded into the fire emergency truck, and taken away. We suspected he cut himself with his knife and needed medical attention. The passenger of the van, handcuffed and forlorn, was led back across the street. He had dark brown, longish hair. He was wearing a black leather jacket, and looked to be in his late-thirties or mid-forties. Just some cigarette-smoking creep, I thought.

A policeman patted the guy down, checking around his ankles for hidden weapons. He searched the man’s jacket as well, placing any items he found on the hood of the car. When the policeman was finished, the passenger of the van was ushered to the backseat of a patrol car. I watched for it, but they didn’t hold his head as he got in. lol.

3:26 a.m. More than an hour had passed, and yet I was still peeking through the blinds. Just six police cruisers remained. The same circle of cops stood talking. I could hear laughing. At the corner, one of my neighbors had approached. It was Heather, standing in her pajamas. She wanted to know what was going on, but one of the policemen just shooed her away. I wanted to watch them clean up the glass from the van windows, which covered the street, but I was getting tired. Technically, I hadn’t slept at all.

Kelsey came into my bedroom a few minutes later to tell me the police had put up caution tape, and that dad probably won’t be able to leave the house in the morning because of it. I fell asleep imagining a maze of caution tape in front of the house.

6:23 a.m. My mom woke me up to tell me an investigator from the Everett Police Department was downstairs interviewing my dad. A Detective Callaghan, my dad told me. Similar to Clint Eastwood’s character in “Dirty Harry.” Amazing. Apparently, a couple investigators were going around and talking to the neighbors about what they saw. Next door, Todd was questioned. Detective Callaghan told my dad he may need to talk to my mom, my sister, and I as well. He even took a picture of the street as is seen through my sister’s bedroom window to get my dad’s viewpoint of the incident.

Other interesting details: Glass from the van windows and blood stains were washed away this morning. Kelsey had to be escorted off of the driveway. Rumors floating around the neighborhood include, one, that the chase ended in front of my house because the van ran out of gas; two, that the passenger of the van was a hitch-hiker; and three, that both men were rapists. I only believe the first rumor.

This story can be found at http://heraldnet.com/article/20070910/NEWS01/70910004:


Monday, September 10, 2007

Herald Staff

BOTHELL – A man earlier this morning led police on a pursuit through south Snohomish County and cut himself with a knife several times before sheriff’s deputies were able to subdue him.

The incident happened just before 2 a.m. when a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop a van near 128th Street SW and I-5. The driver refused to stop and fled south on the freeway, leading deputies on a low speed pursuit, Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said. The pursuit lasted about 15 minutes and ended in a residential area in Bothell near the intersection of 174th Place SE and 31st Drive SE.

Deputies ordered the driver and passenger out of the van. The passenger complied but the driver refused, Goetz said. He held a knife to his own throat and threatened to cut himself, according to police.

Deputies fired less-than-lethal rounds to break out the van’s window and used electric stun guns to disarm the man, Goetz said.

The 45-year-old man had cut his neck several times and was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, Goetz said.

The man had a felony warrant for his arrest.

The incident is being investigated by the Snohomish County Multi-Agency Response Team.

This story can be found at http://heraldnet.com/article/20070911/NEWS01/109110055/-1/NEWS:


He cut his own neck after a 15-minute chase through Mill Creek and Bothell.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

By Diana Hefley, Herald Writer

BOTHELL — A wanted man intentionally cut his own neck with a knife as Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies tried to negotiate with him to surrender.

Deputies were able to disarm the man, 45, after they broke out the windows of his van and used electric stun devices, Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said.

“They wanted to stop him from harming himself,” Goetz said.

The incident is being investigated by the Snohomish County Multi-Agency Response Team at the request of the sheriff’s office. The team, made up of detectives from around the county, often is called upon to investigate officer-involved shootings.

The incident began just before 2 a.m. Monday when a deputy attempted to stop a van near 128th Street SW and I-5.

The van’s driver didn’t stop but drove off southbound on the freeway, Goetz said.

The van led deputies on a low-speed pursuit for about 15 minutes through Mill Creek and Bothell. It finally stopped in a residential area near the intersection of 174th Place SE and 31st Drive SE.

Deputies ordered the driver and his passenger out of the van, Goetz said. The passenger complied but the driver refused to surrender.

Instead, he held a knife up to his throat and threatened to harm himself, Goetz said. He was cutting his neck while deputies tried talking to him.

The deputies used less-than-lethal rounds, similar to rubber pellets, to break out the van’s windows. The deputies then fired Tasers to disarm the man. Police took the man into custody.

He had several cuts to his neck and was treated at the scene. He eventually was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. His injuries were not expected to be life-threatening.

The man was expected to be released from the hospital later Monday and into the custody of the state Department of Corrections, Goetz said. He was being supervised by the department and had a felony warrant for his arrest for a probation violation.