SPD Commanders first became aware of the incident in October 2014 after receiving an inquiry from former Washington State Representative Dawn Mason in which she raised questions as to the necessity of the arrest and charges. The 69-year-old man had already accepted a plea offer in this case.
Dawn Mason worked with Chief Kathleen O’Toole and Deputy Chief Carmen Best to broker an organized discussion between residents and police about this case specifically as well as the relationship between the department and the community in general.
The City Attorney’s Office and SPD took a second look at this case and recommended that it be dismissed.
Deputy Chief Best personally met with the man, returned his golf club, and offered an apology for his arrest.
The officer who made the arrest received counseling from her supervisor, a course of action that the department believes to be an appropriate resolution.
Video of the man’s arrest was just released to a media outlet as a result of a public disclosure request. It is being published on the SPD Blotter in the interest of fostering better police transparency.
In the police report for this July 9, 2014 incident, an officer stated she had witnessed the man swing a golf club toward her, striking a stop sign as she drove past him near 11th Avenue and E. Pike Street. The officer then contacted the man and ordered him to surrender his golf club. The man refused and was arrested and booked into the King County Jail for obstruction and harassment.
“Information sources typically highlight the things that go wrong between the community and police,” said Dawn Mason. “I believe that it’s in everyone’s best interest to also highlight the things that go right. That’s what happened here – this one is a win.”