A Seattle police officer is under internal investigation after he made “brief physical contact” with a man who allegedly punched the officer’s wife, who is a fellow officer, police said.
A police account of the Tuesday night incident doesn’t describe the physical contact, but the K-9 officer has been placed on administrative reassignment while he is under investigation by the department’s Office of Professional Accountability. Police have not released the name of the officer.
Seattle police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said that officers were investigating a group of men drinking at Seattle Central Community College around 9:45 p.m. when they encountered two men, 23 and 29, who had been drinking whiskey on the campus..
When a male officer asked the 29-year-old man for his identification, the younger man walked away, Whitcomb said. When the man kept walking, the female officer grabbed his backpack strap. The man “turned towards her, pushed her and punched her in the face,” Whitcomb wrote in a news release.
Both officers tried to restrain the man, but the man managed to punch the male officer in the face and the fight wound up on the ground.
“During the struggle, the female officer struck her head on either the ground or the stairwell,” according to Whitcomb.
At this point additional officers arrived, including the female officer’s husband.
“Seeing that his wife had been injured, he [the officer] approached the suspect and made brief physical contact with him. Two officers closest to him immediately separated him and kept him away from the suspect,” Whitcomb wrote.
The suspect was handcuffed when the officer initiated the contact, Whitcomb said.
The female officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
The 23-year-old suspect was taken to Harborview Medical Center where he was apparently treated for unspecified injuries and later booked into the King County Jail for investigation of assault. Police found a plastic bag containing about 3.8 grams of what appeared to be marijuana in his backpack.