Suspected car thief accused of intimidating judge

A suspected car thief was wheeled into court in a restraint chair Wednesday because he bit a microphone, turned over a table and threatened a judge in court the day before, according to police.

Louis S. Scarpino appeared to be asleep during the preliminary hearing in Island County Superior Court, but Jail Chief Jose Briones said in an interview that Scarpino hadn’t been drugged and was awake; he just chose not to participate.

Island County Chief Criminal Deputy Eric Ohme asked Court Commissioner H. Clarke Harvey to set Scarpino’s bail at $100,000; Harvey agreed.

Scarpino is being held on suspicion of intimidating a judge and disorderly conduct. Ohme said Scarpino could face as many as five years in prison under the standard sentencing range if convicted of the charges.

Ohme said Scarpino has a “quite extensive” criminal history that includes burglary, vehicle prowls, drug possession and communicating with a child for immoral purposes. He was recently released from prison and labeled as “a violent offender” by the Department of Corrections, according to Ohme.

Briones said Scarpino has a history in the jail of assaulting staff, assaulting other inmates and spitting blood at corrections deputies.

Jail staff planned on strapping a Taser-like shocking device to Scarpino’s leg for court Wednesday, but Scarpino initially refused to go. Briones said it was actually Scarpino’s idea to go to court in the restraint chair. For added security, several police officers surrounded the defendant in court.

The entire rigmarole began Monday morning when someone drove away in a car that a Southwest Kimball Drive resident left running. Later in the day, a couple of police officers responded to a tip and found the car on Bayshore Drive.

The officers observed Scarpino and a woman getting out of the stolen car. Scarpino allegedly claimed that he was borrowing the car in exchange for methamphetamine, the police report states. The officers arrested Scarpino on suspicion of taking a motor vehicle without permission.

Scarpino appeared in court Tuesday. He repeatedly interrupted Judge Vickie Churchill, talking loudly over her.

Scarpino reportedly became upset when she increased his bail and threatened he would “come after” her, according to the police report.

He bit the end off a microphone and spit the foam over his shoulder. He tried to “grab” another microphone with his mouth and pushed the table over, the police report states.

Three corrections officers removed Scarpino from the courtroom.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times
                                Louis Scarpino of Oak Harbor appears in Island County Superior Court in a restraint chair Wednesday because he was accused of being disorderly and intimidating a judge the day before.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times Louis Scarpino of Oak Harbor appears in Island County Superior Court in a restraint chair Wednesday because he was accused of being disorderly and intimidating a judge the day before.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times
                                Louis Scarpino of Oak Harbor appears in Island County Superior Court in a restraint chair Wednesday because he was accused of being disorderly and intimidating a judge the day before.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times Louis Scarpino of Oak Harbor appears in Island County Superior Court in a restraint chair Wednesday because he was accused of being disorderly and intimidating a judge the day before.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times Louis Scarpino of Oak Harbor appears in Island County Superior Court in a restraint chair Wednesday because he was accused of being disorderly and intimidating a judge the day before.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times
                                Louis Scarpino of Oak Harbor appears in Island County Superior Court in a restraint chair Wednesday because he was accused of being disorderly and intimidating a judge the day before.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times Louis Scarpino of Oak Harbor appears in Island County Superior Court in a restraint chair Wednesday because he was accused of being disorderly and intimidating a judge the day before.

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