Everson Police would like to thank an anonymous good Samaritan who helped an officer as he struggled with a suspect who was trying to take his sidearm early Sunday outside a Nooksack gas station, police said.
No serious injuries were reported as Officer Mark Tiemersma stopped the man from taking his pistol and handcuffed him, said Everson Police Chief Dan MacPhee.
Jake Edward Kingston, 24, was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, disarming a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, and first-degree criminal trespass.
“He had grabbed at it, grabbed a hold of the gun and was trying to get it out of the holster,” MacPhee said. “A civilian, a passerby, ran over and gave assistance.”
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Kingston, of Sedro-Woolley, remained in Whatcom County Jail on Monday morning. The first two charges against him are felonies; the others are misdemeanors.
“If anything, we would like to identify the person,” MacPhee said. “I’d love to thank him in person.”
MacPhee said Kingston was arrested after a bizarre night of alleged crimes and contacts with Tiemersma, a veteran officer who was patrolling downtown Everson in the wee hours of Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Kingston first came to Tiemersma’s attention outside the police station on Main Street when Kingston asked to use a phone about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
He used the phone and left, but apparently went across the street to a bar, which was closing, and refused to leave, also asking to use a phone.
Meanwhile, nearby residents went to the police station to report that their car had been stolen. Their car was found parked near the police station and the owners knew Kingston, MacPhee said.
He said the owners declined to press charges against Kingston – but said they wanted their keys back.
Tiemersma found Kingston, still on Main Street, and got the car keys, MacPhee said.
About 2:15 a.m., a 911 caller reported that a man had broken into her home in the 200 block of Blair Drive, just around the corner from the police station, MacPhee said. The suspect matched Kingston’s description.
McPhee said the resident’s dogs were barking and she went outside to investigate. When she returned home, a man matching Kingston’s description was in her living room.
“She ran to a back bedroom, closed and locked the door and called 911,” McPhee said.
Police checked the area, but found no one, he said.
Finally, just before 6 a.m., a clerk at the WFC Country Store gas station at Main Street and Nooksack Avenue in Nooksack called 911 to say that a man was loitering outside the store and acting strangely.
“He wanted to use the phone and was saying that people were after him, and not to call the police,” McPhee said. “He matched the description of the person from our previous contacts.”
As Tiemersma – who has more than 10 years on the job – tried to arrest Kingston, he reached for Tiemersma’s service weapon, a 9 mm Glock 22, McPhee said.
“He actively tried to resist,” McPhee said, adding that Tiemersma’s pistol holster is fitted with a security measure to prevent it from being used against him.
During the struggle, Tiemersma tried to use his Taser but was unable to deploy it because the two were to close together, MacPhee said.