A gang member pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he threatened two community corrections officers guarding him in the hospital, telling them people like them were responsible for the killing of four Lakewood police officers.
The incident occurred Feb. 28 at a local hospital, where two officers were assigned to guard the 24-year-old man overnight while he was treated for a stab wound to the back.
Pierce County prosecutors said the man became upset because of visiting restrictions and “had several tirades,” pulled IV lines out of himself and threw an ice bag across the room while making threats.
The man was charged with intimidating a public servant.
During one of his fits, the man is accused of saying, “It’s officers like you who cause people to do things like that happened in Lakewood” while one of the corrections officers restrained him in bed.
On Nov. 29, 2009, Lakewood police Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Greg Richards and Ronald Owens were gunned down at a Parkland coffee shop as they began their shifts.
The man admitted the remark but denied he meant it as a threat, according to charging papers.
He was in custody on four warrants. He has prior convictions for riot with a deadly weapon, assault and malicious mischief.
“We take threats to officer safety extremely seriously,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. “Attacks on police offices, and the justice system, are attacks on our entire community.”email@example.com