Suspect threatens to ‘sacrifice’ wife, attacks SWAT, K9


Deputies said the man tried to gouge out an officer's eye during the struggle to take him into custody

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man is facing a long list of charges after allegedly threatening his wife with a knife, then attacking responding deputies, SWAT Team officials and a K9 in Longview.

Deputies responded to a 911 call just after 10 a.m. on Wednesday from a woman who said her husband was chasing her with a knife in their home and threatening to “sacrifice her to God,” the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies rushed to the home in the 2000 block of 46th Avenue and got the woman to safety. The suspect — identified only as a 55-year-old man — briefly came out of the home but refused to surrender, the sheriff’s office said. He reportedly retreated back inside, threw glass items near where deputies were parked and challenged them to come inside the home.

Despite trying to negotiate with the man over the phone and through a speaker, he refused to come out and surrender, deputies said. The suspect reportedly announced that he was getting a shotgun — family members confirmed that there was a shotgun inside the home.

The Lower Columbia SWAT Team responded to the scene. The man attacked SWAT members as they tried to take him into custody and a K9 was cut on the ear when the man hit it with a pool cue, deputies said. During the scuffle, the suspect reportedly tried to gouge out one officer’s eyes by wedging one of his fingers inside the officer’s eye socket and also spit in the officer’s eyes and bit his hand.

Amid the fight, authorities were only able to handcuff the suspect in front and decided to get him out of the house before repositioning the handcuffs behind the man’s back. The man continued to fight and tried to slash the officers with a shard of glass, deputies said.

He was finally taken into custody more than three hours after his wife called 911, the sheriff’s office said. He’s facing a slew of charges, including 2nd-degree assault domestic violence, two counts of 2nd-degree assault, two counts of 3rd-degree assault, harming a police dog, felony harassment, obstructing a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.

Chief Criminal Deputy Troy Brightbill shared the following statement in the press release:

“This incident is one of many instances that highlight the negative outcomes of legislation that went into effect on July 25th, 2021. There were several opportunities during this incident to utilize less-lethal options, but those options are no longer available due to House Bill 1054. Those less-lethal options include:

“Bean bag shotguns – HB 1054 prohibits law enforcement from using firearms and ammunition of .50 caliber or greater. This language prohibits the use of 12 gauge shotguns which have been converted to fire less-lethal bean bag munitions. During the initial contact, the suspect exited the home and refused to comply with commands. Bean-bag munitions could have been deployed at this point to take the suspect into custody. Prior to this legislation, bean bag rounds were also used to breach windows in a safe manner. During this incident, SWAT members had to fill buckets with rocks, which were thrown by hand to breach windows.

“40mm munitions – this less-lethal tool is also prohibited by HB 1054, as it is over .50 caliber. The SWAT team was unable to launch 40mm gas munitions into the residence from a safe position due to this legislation. Gas munitions are a less-lethal irritant used to make a barricaded subject uncomfortable and convince them to exit the residence and surrender. During this incident, SWAT members had no safe way to deploy gas munitions into this two-story residence. The 40mm launcher can also be used to deploy less-lethal foam rounds, which could have been used when the suspect threatened SWAT members with a pool cue.

“Vascular Neck Restraint – law enforcement is now prohibited from using the vascular neck restraint technique. This tactic could have been used to quickly and safely stop the suspect from attempting to slash SWAT members.

“This incident highlights the need for the legislature to immediately correct deficiencies in recently passed legislation so that law enforcement officers can have the tools they need to serve their communities safely and effectively.”

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