A 23-year-old Seattle man was arrested last week after he allegedly fired a handgun in the direction of two sheriff deputies on Department of Natural Resources land near Quilcene and then tried to …
A 23-year-old Seattle man was arrested last week after he allegedly fired a handgun in the direction of two sheriff deputies on Department of Natural Resources land near Quilcene and then tried to ram a patrol vehicle as he tried to get away.
Luke A. Sisneros was taken into custody and booked into Jefferson County Jail just before 3 a.m. Wednesday, April 21 on suspicion of attempted first-degree assault of a police officer, reckless endangerment, driving under the influence, and carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle without a concealed pistol license.
Sisneros made his first appearance Thursday morning in Jefferson County Superior Court.
His legal troubles began after a caller reported someone had blocked a private driveway in the 2400 block of Snow Creek Road in Quilcene with a chain and put up “No trespassing” signs.
Sheriff deputies responded to the property, which was land owned by the Department of Natural Resources.
Officers in two patrol vehicles — Deputy Adam Newman and Deputy Kolby Schreier — blocked the driveway, an old logging road, just a few minutes before midnight April 20 and started in on foot and found a camping area. They discovered a lantern that was set up on the road, and further up the road, a vehicle was shining headlights in their direction.
According to a probable cause report, the deputies saw a person step in front of the headlights — who was later identified as Sisneros — but the lights went out and a gunshot rang out.
Sgt. Brandon Przygocki of the sheriff’s office, in his report on the arrest, said the pair “heard the bullet travel over their heads and into the trees.”
Schreier called out “shots fired” over his radio and
UNITS CONVERGE ON SCENE
Przygocki and Deputy Darrin Dotson responded to the call.
Przygocki said in his report the two deputies at the scene took cover and watched as Sisneros drove away in a Jeep.
As Przygocki was heading to the campsite, he wrote he saw Jeep headlights coming at him at a high rate of speed and alleged “Sisneros made an obvious swerve to the left toward my patrol vehicle in an apparent attempt to ram me with his vehicle.”
“I drove into the ditch and braced for impact from a collision and was concerned for possible gunshots,” Przygocki added.
He said Sisneros turned his vehicle broadside and Przygocki took cover, fearing he would be shot at.
Sisneros never did shoot, Przygocki added, but obeyed officers’ orders and was taken into custody without incident.
After initially denying shooting a gun or trying to ram a police car, Sisneros told police he shot into the ground because he was scared after he heard something near his campsite, and said he thought it was “like a bear or something.”
Przygocki noted in his report that Sisneros had “a very strong odor of alcohol and marijuana intoxicants emanating from his person.”
He also slurred while talking and stumbled, police alleged.
Though Sisneros said he hadn’t seen the patrol cars, Przygocki wrote that Sisneros had to drive around the parked police vehicles through a ditch, brush and trees, and damaged his Jeep while driving away.
At one point, Przygocki wrote in his report, Sisneros asked if police were going to kill him and said “I’m just trying to live” and “I don’t want to die.”
HANDGUN FOUND IN JEEP
Deputies found a .45-caliber American Tactical 1911 handgun on the front passenger seat of the Jeep that was loaded with six rounds.
Breathalyzer tests taken at the jail from Sisneros had results of .162, .163, .159, and .160.
Przygocki noted that Sisneros was cooperative and friendly after he was arrested and allegedly told police that he respected officers and the very difficult job they have.
During his court appearance last week on a Zoom call from the county jail, Sisneros told Court Commissioner Micky Forbes that he had never been in trouble with the law before.
He also said he did not understand the proceedings.
“This is my first time ever,” he said, adding that he had done a lot of volunteer work and community service.
Sisneros added that he has a job, and was scheduled to be at work the next day to get signatures for a ballot measure to help the homeless.
Forbes told him that probable cause existed for his arrest for first-degree assault with a deadly weapon, a felony, and multiple misdemeanors.
Reckless endangerment and DUI are both gross misdemeanors; carrying a concealed pistol without a license is a misdemeanor.
Forbes appointed a public defender to represent him.
BAIL SOUGHT BUT DENIED
Chief Criminal Deputy Chris Ashcraft asked bail to be set at $25,000.
On the jail video link, Sisneros said “This is my first offense.”
Scott Charlton, his appointed attorney, quickly spoke up and asked that he be released on his own personal recognizance without bail.
But Ashcraft noted that Sisneros had a chance to cooperate with police when law enforcement arrived at the scene, and instead of just putting down his gun, he tried to drive away.
“We think he’s a danger to the community,” Ashcraft added.
Charlton, however, noted Sisneros’ lack of a criminal history, and said he had promised to be at all his future court appearances. Sisneros also agreed to the strictest of conditions that would be placed on his release.
“He appears very earnest and somewhat naive to me,” Charlton said.
While noting “the allegations are quite serious,” the deadly assault charge, Charlton added, was based on the use of the Jeep as the deadly weapon.
Charlton questioned whether Sisneros was intentionally trying to assault anyone with his vehicle as he drove from the scene.
Forbes agreed to have Sisneros released on his own recognizance.
“I’m scratching off the $25,000,” Forbes said as she reviewed his court paperwork.
Sisneros was ordered released and his arraignment was set for April 30.
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