PURDY, Wash. - What started out as a routine arrest turned into a trip to the emergency room for a blood test and medical treatment for a Kitsap County trooper this morning. The trooper was bitten on the hand today while assisting another trooper subdue a combative suspect.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Russ Winger tells KBKW the suspect was in-custody for a hit and run collision, handcuffed in the back of the patrol vehicle when he became increasingly combative. The 23 yr old male from Tacoma, upon being placed in the patrol car, was able to kick out the rear passenger door and window before troopers were able to restrain him. As the troopers were attempting to gain control through the use of TLR (Total Limb Restraints), straps that confine movement, the suspect was able to lean over and bite the trooper on the hand. The bite and injury was severe enough to break the skin and draw blood. Complicating matters was that the suspect boasted that he had AIDS. The suspect has a previous history of combative behavior and threats to law enforcement.
Initially, at 8:11 Tuesday morning, troopers responded to the Gorst area on SR-3 south of Bremerton, to a report of a three-vehicle collision. Victims called WSP dispatchers to report that the suspect vehicle had fled the area in a gold colored van, east bound on SR-16 toward Tacoma.
While a trooper contacted the scene and victims, dispatchers received a call from another motorist traveling east bound SR-16, reporting that a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle, had been tailgating him so closely that he was nearly forced off the roadway. This suspect vehicle then exited the highway at Purdy according to the caller.
Troopers, within minutes, located the suspect vehicle near Purdy LN and 144th St and stopped the van. The male driver was arrested for the hit and run collision.
Troopers suspect the suspect was under the influence of drugs but were unable to complete any field sobriety tests due to his combative behavior. He was then booked into the Kitsap County jail on charges of Felony 3rd Degree Assault on an officer, Hit and Run, No Valid Driver License.
The injured trooper drove to Saint Anthony’s Hospital for treatment of the injured hand, where he was treated and released. Troopers obtained a blood sample from the suspect to screen for communicable diseases due to the subjects statement about having AIDS.