Police Beat

A wrong-way motorist drove eastbound in the westbound lanes of Highway 20, managing to dodge oncoming traffic from R Ave. until she pulled in to the scenic viewpoint, and in the process caused a traffic tie-up.

Several 911 calls were received Wednesday afternoon (April 22) from drivers on Highway 20 Spur coming in to Anacortes when they saw a tan Chevy sedan going east in the westbound lanes of the highway.  The elderly driver had driven in the wrong direction from the area of R Ave all the way to the Scenic Viewpoint before pulling off of the roadway at the viewpoint parking lot.  She turned around in the viewpoint parking area and headed back toward town, at which point an officer spotted her and stopped her vehicle. 

The 92-year-old driver told the officer that she was trying to get to Oak Harbor and had become confused.  She said that she would have turned around sooner, but there were too many cars and she was looking for a place to pull off the roadway.  A thorough examination revealed that she was not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.  She was issued a citation for the improper lane travel and, after calming down, was allowed to drive off.  An officer followed her to the city limits to make sure that she was driving safely.  A request has also been made for driver re-examination through the Dept. of Licensing.

Meanwhile, that wrong way driver caused a backup in the westbound lanes of Highway 20 Spur.  At one point traffic came to a complete stop. One driver realized that traffic was stopped just a little too late, and her car slid into a stopped vehicle in front of her. The passenger of the car that was hit was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Highway 20 Spur remained open, but traffic was delayed coming in to the city for about a half-hour while emergency crews cleaned up the mess and removed the vehicles from the roadway.

Here are some other cases Anacortes Police worked on this week.

Monday, April 20

12:30 am.  Shortly after midnight Anacortes Officers were advised that there was a man in the 400 block of Commercial Ave who was trying to start a fight.  They were directed to a 29-year-old Oak Harbor man who was intoxicated, loud and agitated.  His clothing was torn and he was yelling at profanities at another man who was further up the street.  It took officers several attempts to get the subject to begin to calm down. Throughout their contact with him he continued to yell and swear loudly and claim that he was ready and willing to fight.  Investigation revealed that he had been involved in some sort of fight earlier in the evening in Mount Vernon and that was where his clothing had been torn.  No assault had taken place in Anacortes, so the man was told to quiet down and be on his way.  Several friends of his agreed to make sure that he got home safely.  Despite this option, the subject continued to yell and scream and to make a scene.  He directed several profane, loud and disrespectful comments to the officers present as well as to other citizens that were within earshot.  He also mentioned that he was in the Navy and stationed at NAS Whidbey.  After several minutes of verbal intervention by officers and the man’s friends he finally got in to a car and was given a ride from the area with friends. Officers later contacted NAS Whidbey and spoke to authorities there, making it clear that the man’s behavior was not appreciated.

11:30 am.  A resident from the area of Whistle Lake Road called to report a speeding motorcycle that has been traveling up and down Whistle Lake Road at high speed several times a day.  The caller was concerned for children in the area.  Officers checked the area but did not immediately locate the motorcycle, which is described as a dark colored sport-bike.  If you have also witnessed the motorcycle regularly speeding in the area please contact APD so that officers can contact the rider and encourage them to slow down.  Call 911, or the anonymous TipLine at 299-1985.

Tuesday, April 21

4:45 am.  Officers were sent to the camping area in Washington Park after a man called to report that he felt that there were people making loud owl and duck sounds outside his tent.  When the officers arrived the man came out of his tent and told them he was sure that it was people making these sounds, since they were very loud and there were no ducks around the campground.  The area was thoroughly checked and no people, owls or ducks were immediately located.  The camper returned to his tent and there were no further problems throughout the rest of the night.

10:07 am.  A woman on 18th Street called to reported that sometime the night before her car had been entered through an unlocked door and some items stolen. A wallet containing credit cards, her passport, and some loose change was taken from the glove compartment.

10:30 am.  A Commercial Ave business located in the downtown area called to report that there was evidence of a possible arson attempt on a post behind their store.  Officers inspected the post and found some burned electrical cords at its base, which has obviously been purposely burned. In checking with neighboring businesses they learned that there have been past problems with transients staying in the area behind the business at night, sometimes breaking things or doing other damage.  A close examination of the area around the scene revealed some physical evidence, which will be followed up on by the investigating officers.

4:00 pm.  Anacortes Police Sergeant stopped a 30-year-old Anacortes resident driving down Commercial Ave while talking on her cell phone.  Investigation revealed that her license was suspended and that she was also not allowed to drive without an Alcohol Interlock Device, which was not present in the vehicle.  Further, it was discovered that the wrong license plates were on the vehicle, and that the actual plates had expired more than two months prior.  The woman received a citation for two misdemeanors; Driving While License Suspended and Driving without a Required Ignition Interlock Device, as well as two infractions for Driving with a Telecommunications Device Held to the Ear and Driving with an Expired Vehicle Registration.  Her vehicle was left legally parked and she left the area on foot. 

Wednesday, April 22

2:11 am.  Just after two in the morning officers were checking on a couple of abandoned homes on 26th Street.  As they approached one home someone inside ran through the house and out one of the doors.  Officers checked the area but did not locate the suspect, who had broken in to the unoccupied residence through a back door.  The property owner was notified and the building was re-secured.

12:11 pm.  A local realtor contacted the police to report a trespassing complaint.  She related to the officer that a home on 24th Street had recently been sold, but the sale had not officially closed yet and was not due to be closed until sometime next month.  She stated that purchaser of the home had already moved in, which he was not technically allowed to do until the real estate transaction was closed.  An officer contacted the 60-year-old Anacortes man that had purchased the home and found that he was, in fact, already occupying the residence. He stated that he’d wanted to make some modifications to the property and thought that it was OK to be there and to have contractors working on the building before the actual closing date of the sale.  Once the situation was explained to him, he agreed that he needed to wait for the closing date and he voluntarily left the residence.

12:36 pm.  A local motel operator called 911 and asked that officers respond to remove an unhappy potential customer. When the first officer arrived the motel operator told him that the irate man had just left in a white pickup truck.  She told the officer that the man in his 30’s had come in to the motel and asked for room for him and his pets.  She advised that the hotel policy was no pets, at which point the man became belligerent and yelled that he was ex-military and that his pets were assistance animals.  Based upon his behavior, the manager told him that he needed to leave and she called the police.  She said that he stormed out of the office and slammed the door before driving off.  Officers checked the area but did not locate the suspect.

8:35 pm.  Officers learned that a 31-year-old woman who resides on 23rd Street had a felony warrant out for her arrest.  They went to check on her residence and located her standing outside.  She was arrested without incident and transported to the county jail for booking.  The $50,000 Bail warrant was for failing to appear on charges of Burglary and Theft.

Thursday, April 23

5:35 am.  An officer observed a vehicle driving on Q Ave that had registration tabs that expired in November of 2014.  He made a traffic stop and found that the driver of the vehicle had a license that was suspended because his insurance had been cancelled. The driver was issued a citation for driving on a suspended license, for which he will have to appear in court.  He was given a verbal warning for the expired registration tabs.  His wife was called to the scene to take over driving the vehicle.

9:27 am.  A report was taken for a motor vehicle accident on Hickory Drive between a city garbage truck and a Saturn sedan.  The driver of the city vehicle drove past his intended spot, came to a stop and then put the trash truck in reverse.  A car following behind the truck stopped and was backed in to by the city vehicle. There were no injuries. The garbage truck was not significantly damaged, but the front end of the Saturn was not so lucky.  The city driver was issued an infraction for improper backing.