The CEO of Bellevue-based Hebert Research has been placed on probation after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment stemming from allegations he rammed a juvenile all-terrain vehicle rider with his truck and threatened the young man with an ax.
James D. Hebert, 64, pleaded guilty in Kittitas Superior Court, according to records of the April 3 hearing. He was sentenced to the maximum of 90 days for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and 364 for reckless endangerment, a gross misdemeanor. But the sentences were suspended and he was placed on probation for one year on the condition he have no criminal violations. A previous charge of felony harassment was dropped.
According to charging papers, the boy inadvertently rode a four-wheel ATV onto Hebert’s wooded property on Ridgecrest Road near Ronald on July 28. The boy told police that Hebert came racing toward him head-on in a blue Ford Explorer.
The ATV driver, whose age was not revealed, turned and tried to escape but was struck from behind, according to charging papers. He was thrown from the ATV and broke his shoulder. Hebert reportedly got out of the vehicle and accused the boy of running into him.
The charges alleged Hebert got an ax out of the Explorer and “threatened to kill him and anyone else who came on his property.” Fearing for his life, the injured boy told investigators he climbed back onto the ATV and left.
Hebert told police a different story about what happened. But prosecutors say tire tracks, wreckage left behind and damage to Hebert’s vehicle corroborate the boy’s version of the encounter, according to court documents.
Hebert’s 35-year-old Bellevue firm does market research for government agencies, non-profits, start ups and Fortune 500 corporations, according to the company’s website.
Hebert is a former executive-in-residence at the University of Washington – Bothell’s business school.
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