Efforts by law enforcement to get an erratic, troublesome visitor to leave Whidbey Island by ferry ended with the man being tased in a Central Whidbey restaurant.
Prosecutors charged the suspect, 42-year-old Ryan Peria, in Island County District Court Jan. 30 with theft in the third degree and criminal trespass in the second degree. Court documents identify Peria as an Ellensburg resident.
The judge set Peria’s bail at $10,000 and he posted bail, according to the county jail roster.
A report by a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office states that the trouble started outside WhidbeyHealth Medical Center in Coupeville on the morning of Jan. 26. A man, later identified as Peria, had allegedly tried to steal a bicycle but was thwarted by members of the Life Flight Network helicopter crew.
Peria then went to the Coupeville Elementary School and tried to get inside, but he was stopped by deputies, the report states. Peria told deputies that he wanted a ride to the ferry, but then said he first wanted something to drink. He refused a ride to the Coupeville Country Store and walked there himself.
A deputy was stopped by the owner of a local business who said Peria had borrowed a cell phone from an employee and left without returning it, according to the report. The deputy went to the gas station and caught up with Peria who was walking out with a bottle of Gatorade. He admitted that the phone was on the roof of the school, the report states, and it was later found there.
Peria told the deputy that he would go to the Coupeville ferry after having a cigarette, so the deputy gave him money to buy a pack. But after he smoked one, Peria refused to get into the patrol car, saying he was claustrophobic.
Another deputy arrived and Peria was told that he could either be arrested or go to the ferry dock; he relented and let a deputy drive him to the ferry. A deputy purchased a ferry ticket for Peria and he walked on, the report states.
While the deputies were waiting for the ferry to leave, however, a member of the ferry crew approached them and said the captain of the ferry refused to take Peria on board and wanted him “off the boat,” the report states.
The deputies found Peria standing on the car deck and told him he needed to leave. Peria went over to the railing and acted like he was going to jump into the water, the report states. The deputy attempted to arrest Peria, but he told the deputy he was going to have to shoot him and then managed to break free and walk away, the deputy wrote.
Both deputies deployed tasers at Peria, but they had no effect. He ripped the probes out and ran across the street toward Callen’s Restaurant, the report states.
The deputies tried to prevent Peria from going into the restaurant, the report states, but he broke free again and went inside. One of the deputies followed him with a taser drawn. After Peria was repeatedly told to leave by deputies and then the owner, he was again tased and went down this time. After a scuffle, backup units arrived and Peria was taken into custody, according to court documents.
NCIC identified Peria as a “violent offender” who represents a serious threat to law enforcement, the report states.