Immediately following the court's decision, Yoos motioned this reporter to come over and read what he was writing.
"The city of Olympia needs video cameras - I would have been entirely vindicated with a recorded witness, either on the patrol cars or attached to officer's uniforms. I've seen some very sophisticated cameras under $1,000 each."
Asking him what he does now, Yoos wrote, “I’ll scheme with the attorney, hopefully rest a bit.”
Accused of a
felony assault against a police officer, Yoos was initially cited for criminal trespass
and obstructing justice on June 1, 2011. On that date, Yoos was riding on his bicycle through downtown Olympia
at 11:30 p.m. toward his home on Martin Way, when he stopped to throw some dirty
napkins in a Dumpster located at 2302 Fourth Avenue, near Twister
Donuts, in Olympia.
Within minutes, several officers converged on Yoos. Yoos’ method of communication, pen and paper, were taken away, and his attempts to communicate using sign language were interpreted by officers as violent behavior. Yoos is 5'9 and weighs about 155 pounds.
The case was bumped up to a felony after Olympia Police Department Sergeant Paul Johnson filed a report weeks after the situation, alleging that Yoos had kicked him during the scuffle. The alleged kick did not require medical treatment. Yoos denies kicking Sergeant Johnson.
The following is a portion of an unofficial transcription as heard and written by this reporter of yesterday's testimony by Yoos, when questioned by his attorney.
Hildes: Were you trying to be uncooperative?
Yoos: No, I just wanted to go home to bed and it was a little frightening to have this armed man immediately arrest me and accuse me of something that I had not done.
Yoos looked pale and drawn. During another break, he was asked how he feels. He wrote that his red nose and sniffles was the result of allergies.
Asked how he is holding up in general, Yoos wrote, “It’s been hanging over me for 26 months with over 20 court appearances counting the city ones – s’been hellacious – I’m not able to consider adopting a pup….”
Interview with Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney J. Andrew Toynbee
In a telephone interview this morning with Thurston County Chief Prosecuting Attorney J. Andrew Toynbee, who has pursued and argued the case against Yoos, Toynbee was asked what happens next.
Toynbee said the case is scheduled to go to trial and Yoos could be convicted of assault of the third degree with a sentence of one to three months in jail, acquitted, or, he could accept a plea offer to a lesser charge.
“I’m not interested in sending Mr. Yoos to jail,” said Toynbee. “I have made several attempts for plea offers in the past but Mr. Yoos’ attorney, Larry Hildes, has not entertained them.”
Asked why Sergeant Paul Johnson, the officer who was allegedly kicked by Yoos, did not testify, Toynbee said, “The motion only focused on one issue – whether law enforcement was discriminatory in their actions. Sergeant Johnson didn’t take action, he oversaw the situation after he arrived, but he would be called to trial. He could have testified, but it (the hearing) was going on and on….”
Asked if he thinks it’s a problem that Sergeant Johnson’s report is dated weeks after the incident, (it is dated June 27), and unsigned, Toynbee said, “No, I don’t think it’s a problem. Two officers, Costello and Wilson saw it (the kick).”
Asked how much Thurston County has spent thus far on Yoos’ case, Toynbee said he is a salaried employee and doesn’t know how much has been spent.