Coupeville man accused of killing dog with pickax

A Coupeville man is accused of beating a dog to death with a pickax and shooting it Sunday, according to police.

Jonathan P. Rasmussen, 36, also threatened to cut off his mother’s head with a chainsaw; he then grabbed a chainsaw and unsuccessfully tried to start it, the police report states.

Rasmussen made his preliminary appearance in Island County Superior Court Monday afternoon. Judge Alan Hancock ruled there was probable cause to hold him on suspicion of charges that include animal cruelty in the first degree and assault in the second degree.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme asked that Rasmussen be held on $100,000 because he posed “a severe risk” to the community of committing a violent offense. Hancock agreed, calling the allegations appalling.

The first incident occurred just after midnight Aug. 27. Rasmussen’s mother came home from work to find Rasmussen, who lives with her in rural Coupeville, intoxicated and agitated.

Rasmussen made numerous threats, including a threat to slit her throat. He also threatened to cut her head off with a chainsaw. He suddenly lunged over to a wheelbarrow and grabbed a chainsaw as his mother ran for the house. He tried to start the chainsaw several times, but it was out of gas, the police report states.

Later in the day, Rasmussen was at his sister’s home, which is near his mother’s house. He became enraged at his mother’s Bernese mountain dog because it killed a neighbor’s chicken.

Rasmussen first tied a rope around the dog’s neck and dragged it around the property, causing the dog to vomit. He grabbed a pickax and started hitting the dog with it, the report states. He then went to his truck, retrieved a .22 rifle and shot the animal.

Three children were home when the incident occurred. They hid inside the house with their parents.

Rasmussen walked away from the home but was quickly arrested by a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office. He had blood on both hands, his wrists and his clothing; blood was spattered on his legs, the report states.

Rasmussen’s family members said they were scared of Rasmussen, who had been getting more and more out of control, the report states.

More in News

Two Democrats will challenge Rep. Norma Smith in 2020

Democratic candidates are getting an early start in their bid to replace… Continue reading

Buffalo abuse and submarine theft | Island Scanner

Tuesday, July 23 At 11 a.m., a caller reported that tires and… Continue reading

Langley city council supports gun control

By Wendy Leigh wleigh@whidbeynewsgroup.com In a unanimous vote at the Langley City… Continue reading

Three people seriously injured in head-on collision Saturday

Two people were airlifted and another seriously injured in a head-on collision… Continue reading

New Bayview fire station to open Aug. 24

By Wendy Leigh wleigh@whidbeynewsgroup.com Reactions to the brand-spanking-new fire station in Bayview… Continue reading

Port of South Whidbey agrees to join Creative District effort

Langley is inching closer to becoming certifiably creative. Eight organizations have come… Continue reading

Annual music festival on the water canceled

An annual musical event at the Langley marina has been cancelled this… Continue reading

WICA brings Mueller report to stage Aug. 23

Whidbey Island Center for the Arts will present Robert Schenkkan’s “The Investigation:… Continue reading

Commissioners sign contract to build mental health crisis center

Whidbey Island is a step closer to having its first facility for… Continue reading

Most Read