Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

January 25, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Hit-and-run charge refiled against man at center of SPD internal probe

 

[do action="brightcove-video" videoid="1993372139001"/]

The Seattle City Attorney’s Office has refiled a hit-and-run charge against a man whose rough arrest by a Seattle police officer has prompted a review by the department’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA).

The City Attorney’s Office also filed a charge of third-degree driving with a suspended license against the man, Leo M. Etherly.

Etherly was initially charged with hit-and-run driving for allegedly striking a female bicyclist and assault for spitting on officers who detained him in connection with an Oct. 6 incident in the Central Area. However, an SPD detective asked that the misdemeanor charges be dismissed and that the King County Prosecutor’s Office consider felony charges. The county declined, at which point the City Attorney’s Office began further investigation.

The assault charge against Etherly was not refiled because the City Attorney’s Office did not believe a jury would return a guilty verdict against Etherly, according to a news release.

The OPA began the review of the incident, which was captured on dash-cam video, after an officer put his hands on Etherly’s throat and face, then punched him twice after Etherly resisted being handcuffed, police said. On the video, it appears that Etherly spits on one of the officers.

Seattle police held a news conference in November to show the footage of the Oct. 6 incident. At the time, Sgt. Sean Whitcomb told reporters the officer’s use of force raised concerns with the officer’s acting captain, who referred the incident to OPA investigators within days of Etherly’s arrest.

On Friday, police spokesman Mark Jamieson said the case is still under investigation by the OPA.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: hit and run, Seattle Police Department

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►