An inmate of the Jefferson County Jail, who had been arrested July 10 on charges of burglary and theft, pleaded not guilty to five counts of assault Aug. 4, allegedly committed July 12, while he was …
An inmate of the Jefferson County Jail, who had been arrested July 10 on charges of burglary and theft, pleaded not guilty to five counts of assault Aug. 4, allegedly committed July 12, while he was in jail.
Port Townsend resident Kele Ryan Lorecki, 26, was already in custody for residential burglary (domestic violence) and theft in the second degree (other than a firearm, domestic violence) when he allegedly committed five counts of assault in the third degree on a law enforcement officer, with two counts against Deputy Erik Allen, and one count each against deputies James Webberley, James Brayden Goodier and John Thomas, according to court documents.
Kele Lorecki filed suit in March against Jefferson County for an unspecified sum because of another incident last year in which is father, Thomas Lorecki, died. In the suit, Kele Lorecki alleges the county failed to adequately supervise his father “despite his obvious suicidal state.” Thomas Lorecki died Sept. 16, 2016 after hanging himself in Jefferson County Jail.
In his initial case report of the most recent incidents, dated July 18, Chief Criminal Deputy Art Frank wrote that, during Kele Lorecki’s incarceration, “He was involved in numerous incidents where he refused to follow directions and resisted the directions of the corrections staff. These actions required use of physical force to gain compliance, that included the use of restraints and OC [pepper spray] and Taser.”
Frank dated those incidents July 10, 12 and 13. In addition to the aforementioned deputies, Frank listed correction officers Justin Maher, Troy Phillis and Steve Richmond as being involved in one or more of these incidents.
Webberley, Thomas, Richmond, Phillis, Goodier and Allen all wrote incident reports regarding incidents with Lorecki on July 12. According to the reports, which were also filed with the court, Webberley, Goodier and Allen responded to a request for assistance at 1:07 p.m. from Sgt. Phillis at the segregation cell, from which deputies says Lorecki was allegedly attempting to escape.
Allen wrote that he administered two bursts of pepper spray to Lorecki’s face, after telling him to stop trying to force his way out of the cell door, but in his estimation, it appeared that the pepper spray “was not taking any effect.”
Webberley wrote that he used the Taser on Lorecki’s left arm “for approximately 3-4 seconds,” until Lorecki removed his arm from the cell door, allowing the deputies to shut it. Allen and Goodier wrote that Webberley issued multiple verbal warnings to Lorecki before using the Taser on him.
Phillis wrote that the pepper spray apparently began to take effect after the door was shut, “and Lorecki was yelling how much it hurt and he couldn’t see.”
In his account of the incident, Allen wrote that Lorecki followed instructions to put his hands through the cuff port on the cell door, but then pulled his hands away from the door after Allen placed wrist restraints on him. Allen reported scrapes to his left hand, which was pulled through the cuff port, but when Allen instructed Lorecki to come back to the cuff port, so that the chain of his restraints could be tethered, Lorecki complied.
Allen wrote that Lorecki also complied when directed to go to his knees, so Allen could place ankle restraints on him.
Phillis wrote that Lorecki was moved to the booking shower for decontamination, and while in the shower, “Lorecki continued to yell and scream, stating he didn’t want to die.”
Allen reported calling Jeffcom at 1:17 p.m. to have aid examine Lorecki, for being pepper sprayed and having had the Taser used on him. Allen and Phillis’ accounts both place that occurring at 1:22 p.m.
Phillis wrote that the medics removed the Taser darts from Lorecki’s arm, but determined it was “unnecessary to transport Lorecki to the hospital for further evaluation.” At the same time, Phillis reported that the medic wanted to speak with Superintendent Richmond, who was conducting video court at the time, “regarding further evaluations for Lorecki.”
Webberley, Goodier and Allen all wrote that Lorecki spat on all three of them, after they removed him from the shower and placed him in restraints. The deputies wrote that Lorecki was placed under a spit hood in the crisis cell under 15-minute checks as a result.
In Richmond’s report, he wrote that, at approximately 3:40 p.m. that same day, he found a 2-foot strip of orange jail clothing in the toilet of the segregation cell. Because this was similar to a piece of torn jail clothing that they suspected Lorecki may have tried to harm himself with during a previous incarceration, Richmond directed the on-duty corrections staff to place Lorecki on suicide watch, and to notify Discovery Behavioral Health to have Lorecki evaluated.
In Thomas’ written statement, he reported giving water to Lorecki at 8:27 p.m. that same day. Since Lorecki was under restraints, he repeatedly requested the water from Thomas, who poured it into his mouth each time. Thomas wrote that he left Lorecki’s cell after Lorecki spat water at him.
While Lorecki previously had omnibus, 3.5 and pretrial hearings scheduled for August, with a trial slated to follow in September, his omnibus hearing now falls on Sept. 1, with his 3.5 and pretrial hearings both moved to Sept. 22, and his trial running from Oct. 2-4.
Lorecki continues to be held on $5,000 bail, and his previously entered petition for drug court has been set aside for consideration during an Aug. 18 status hearing.