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Sequim PD nabs meth user

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by MICHAEL DASHIELL
Sequim Gazette

Sequim Police officers arrested a suspected drug user who had at least five outstanding warrants for his arrest last week.

Jason William Tuff was arrested at Elk Creek Apartments just east of downtown Sequim on Jan. 15 after the officers responded to an early morning report of an argument in the apartment complex’s parking lot.

Police discovered that Tuff, who had warrants for his arrest ranging from violation of court orders to assault four (domestic violence), was inside one of the apartments, Sequim Police Sgt. Sean Madison said.

Tuff had been up all night smoking methamphetamine, Madison said.

Given Tuff’s record, potential for violence after doing drugs and a history of noncooperation with law enforcement officials, the officers obtained a search warrant, then formed a
perimeter, evacuated nearby residents and ordered Tuff to come out of the apartment.

Three options
“It’s classically what we call a ‘barricaded suspect,’” Madison said.

With such situations, Madison said the police generally have three options: talk, force or take the suspect out.

Madison said officers tried to contact Tuff by phone but there was no land line at the apartment and Tuff had no available cell phone. Forcing him out, such as using a gas bomb or grenade, generally isn’t an option when a suspect is holed up in an apartment, Madison said.

When Tuff didn’t respond to requests to come out of the apartment, police officers entered and searched the apartment. They found Tuff hiding in a kitchen sink cabinet, Madison said.

Tuff was booked on several counts — charges likely to include resisting arrest, Madison said.

‘He’s a jerk’
Police originally responded to a disturbance at about 7 a.m. last Friday. Then, an individual tried to destroy and cover up drug paraphernalia. In the course of taking that person into custody, police learned that Tuff was in a nearby apartment.

“We’ve known him from years past,” Madison said. “He’s a jerk.”

For the first time, Sequim police used a fiber optic camera mounted on a pole, a device on loan from Fire District No. 3. It allows the user to see around corners and in small spaces. For law enforcement, that means being able to see into potentially dangerous areas without putting a body in the room.

Ben Andrews, assistant chief at Fire District 3, said the device was paid for by a grant and generally is used for technical rescues.

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.


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