Pierce County deputy charged with assault to be fired, sheriff says

Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said he intends to fire a deputy who was charged with first-degree assault Wednesday for allegedly attacking another man with a knife earlier this year.

Pastor issued a statement saying the deputy, 48-year-old Robert Glen Carpenter, had been charged with a felony crime as a result of his conduct in the early-morning hours of Oct. 5.

“I believe that this criminal matter needs to be handled by the justice system in the same manner as it would for any other citizen,” Pastor said in the statement. “A notice of intent to terminate his employment has been issued based upon the investigation completed by the Tacoma Police Department.”

Kitsap County prosecutors, who Pierce County authorities asked to review the case to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, filed the charge in Pierce County Superior Court.

According to the declaration for determination of probable cause:

The sergeant and two men he met at a bar in the 3500 block of McKinley Avenue made plans to go to a marijuana dispensary.

The three drove to a dispensary in the 3800 block of Pacific Avenue.

Carpenter bought edible marijuana and handed some to the others.

One of the other men said he wanted marijuana he could smoke because edibles did not get him high. At that point, Carpenter lifted his shirt to expose a handgun.

The man felt threatened, lowered his shoulder into Carpenter and got the gun away from him. Then he ran to the third person’s vehicle, and Carpenter followed.

According to charging papers, Carpenter made it halfway inside the vehicle, pulled a knife and started slashing and stabbing the man who had asked for smoking marijuana.

Meanwhile, the third man started filming on his phone in hopes that Carpenter would stop when he noticed he was on video.

Arriving officers saw Carpenter and the other man inside the car and heard the victim yell, “He is killing me!” They also saw his hands covered in blood.

Officers detained everyone, and Carpenter allegedly told them: “I got robbed and I want my attorney.”

An ambulance took the victim to St. Joseph Medical Center, where he got 15 stitches for cuts to his hands.

Investigators found a bloody folding knife outside the car, and a handgun that Carpenter bought in August on the floorboard.

Carpenter was booked into jail and released the next day, pending investigation.

The 25-year veteran of the department is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 26.

Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said previously that Carpenter would be on administrative leave during the investigation and that the leave could be unpaid if he were to be charged with a felony.

Carpenter was arrested twice on the same day in 2007 in Chelan County on suspicion of drunken driving, for which he got a deferred prosecution after he agreed to treatment for alcohol abuse, according to New Tribune archives.

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