King County deputy arrested in Newcastle
January 2, 2014
UPDATED — 12:40 p.m. Jan. 2, 2014
Police arrested an on-duty King County Sheriff’s deputy in Newcastle Dec. 31, after a citizen called to report the officer was passed out in his parked patrol car.
The incident occurred at about 9:30 p.m. in the Starbucks parking lot at the corner of Newcastle Way and Coal Creek Parkway. The officer was not a member of the Newcastle Police Department, according to an email from Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine, and wasn’t working overtime in the city.
Three King County deputies, including a sergeant and captain, arrived on the scene and were able to wake the deputy. The officer showed “signs of impairment but alcohol was not suspected,” according to a release from King County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cindi West.
After an investigation, a drug recognition expert from the Bellevue Police Department believed the deputy was “under the influence of some sort of drug, possibly a narcotic,” West added.
The deputy was placed under arrest for physical control of a motor vehicle, the legal equivalent of a DUI when no driving was observed.
A search warrant was obtained to draw his blood, after which he was processed and released by Bellevue police. The patrol car was towed and a search warrant will be obtained later this week, West said.
The officer, a 46-year-old deputy, has worked for the King County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years and is assigned to Southeast King County.
The King County Sheriff’s Office will conduct an administrative investigation, while Bellevue police will handle the criminal investigation. The deputy was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations.