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Friday, November 16, 2012 - Page updated at 06:00 p.m.
Deputy shoots at disabled man with toy gun
By Sara Jean Green
Seattle Times staff reporter
A King County sheriff's deputy fired at but missed hitting a developmentally disabled man who had brandished a toy gun at passing motorists Thursday morning near Cottage Lake.
The man, whom deputies have encountered before, has a "fascination with guns" and had made the handgun out of black plastic Lego blocks, said Deputy Charlie Akers, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.
Sometime around 11:10 a.m., drivers called 911 to report a man brandishing a handgun at passing cars on Northeast Woodinville-Duvall Road, just east of Mink Road Northeast in unincorporated King County, between Woodinville and Duvall, Akers said.
The first deputy arrived minutes later and the man ignored her commands, Akers said. When the man pulled the handgun from his waistband and raised it, the deputy fired from about 25 yards away, he said. The man dropped to the ground and other deputies moved in to handcuff him.
While on the ground, "he made a movement to grab the gun and they just jumped on him," Akers said. "At that point, they slid the gun away from him and discovered it was made out of Legos."
Akers couldn't say how many times the deputy fired her weapon but said the man was standing on the side of the road with only trees and an embankment behind him.
The man is a resident of a nearby group home and has made Lego guns before, he said.
A caretaker at the group home witnessed the incident but adhered to a policy "not to go hands-on" with the potentially-dangerous resident, Akers said.
The man was taken into custody and involuntarily committed for a mental-health evaluation, according to Akers.
"Because of his mental capacity, my guess is he will not be charged with anything," he said. "Obviously it could have been a lot worse ... but fortunately, he wasn't hurt."
The deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave, a routine move after a shooting, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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