A former South Whidbey man hiding out from the long arm of the law in China was recently banned from the Island County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page for his trollish activities, according to Detective Ed Wallace.
Michael Farrens has been a thorn in the sheriff’s virtual side since his mugshot was posted on the sheriff’s Facebook page last month. He wrote tirades accusing the sheriff’s office of discriminating against him by posting his mugshot and of illegally arresting him in a felony eluding case from 2013.
“What a bunch of crooked retards,” he wrote in one post, which has been removed from the Facebook page.
Since then, Farrens created a YouTube video criticizing Coupeville Marshal Rick Norrie, who arrested him in the 2013 case, and a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/FireRickNorrie, with a petition to get Norrie fired.
Farrens was fairly well known to law enforcement on South Whidbey before he moved to China. In one memorable case, a Clinton couple found Farrens naked and lying in a fetal position in their shower, according to documents obtained through a records request.
Farrens claimed he had been shackled and bound by pirates, the deputy’s report states.
Farrens is currently wanted on a $10,000 warrant out of Island County Superior Court.
Prosecutors charged him on Sept. 11, 2013 with assault in the third degree and felony eluding.
Norrie was a sergeant with the Island County Sheriff’s Office when he clocked Farrens speeding on Highway 525 in Clinton Jan. 19, 2013, according to Norrie’s report on the incident.
Norrie turned on his emergency lights and pursued Farrens, who allegedly led him on a chase in dense fog through a Clinton Foodmart parking lot to Deer Lake Road and eventually to Possession Ridge Lane, Norrie wrote.
Farrens stopped at a home. Norrie and another deputy pulled him from his car. Farrens allegedly head-butted Norrie in the face while he was being seat belted in the back of Norrie’s car, the report states.
“The defendant also implied his wife was a known Chinese mafia associate and would end my life for the injustice served him,” Norrie wrote.
The report states that Norrie, as a certified drug recognition expert, felt that Farrens showed signs of both alcohol and marijuana impairment. A breath test, however, showed Farrens had a blood-alcohol level of .055, which is below the legal limit.
Farrens’ version of the incident is that he had one beer with dinner and was followed home by the deputies, but didn’t pull over right away because he didn’t feel safe. He claims Norrie shot at his car, grabbed him, twisted his arm in an effort to break it and threw him into a fence after he stopped at his house.
Farrens alleges that he head-butted Norrie in an effort to protect himself from deputies who were hitting him, he wrote.
In a message to the newspaper, Farrens said the deputies tried to “railroad” him because they were sure he was driving drunk. He said he didn’t hear anything from the courts about the case for many months, so he and his wife moved to China. Records showed he wasn’t charged until eight months after the incident.
“I am currently living in China because both me and my Chinese wife were in fear of our safety after this happened,” he wrote.
In his video about Norrie, Farrens highlights a 2007 Seattle Post-Intelligencer story, “Some cops get free passes when stopped for DUI.”
The story is critical of the former Island County sheriff’s handling of a 2003 incident in which Norrie, a sergeant at the time, allowed one of his patrol deputies to drive home drunk on Whidbey Island.
Norrie met the deputy on the side of the road and smelled alcohol on her breath. A preliminary breath test showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.119. Nevertheless, Norrie told her to drive home in her patrol car.
Norrie immediately realized his mistake and called the former sheriff to explain what happened.
Mark Brown, the current sheriff, named Norrie as the Coupeville town marshal after the sheriff’s office took over law enforcement in the town last year.
Norrie did not return a call for comment.
Farrens’ video has photos of Norrie taken from the South Whidbey Record with text from the P-I story.
Farrens claims he was banned from the sheriff’s Facebook page because of his critiques of deputies.
However, Wallace, who manages the site, said Farrens was booted because of his continued use of swear words.