Deputy Berdon Parsons, already facing three felony assault charges, was charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly gripping his boyfriend's arms during an argument that preceded the 13-hour standoff with police. Released from jail after posting a bond, Parsons is now wanted on a bench warrant for failing to appear for his case-setting hearing.
A bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of a King County sheriff’s deputy who prompted a 13-hour standoff with Seattle police in early June after he failed to appear for a court hearing.
Deputy Berdon Parsons, 30, is wanted on charges filed in King County Superior Court with three counts of third-degree assault for allegedly using pepper spray to temporarily force officers who responded to his Capitol Hill apartment to back off. Last week, he was charged in Seattle Municipal Court with fourth-degree assault domestic violence. The misdemeanor charge alleges Parsons grabbed and squeezed his boyfriend’s biceps during an argument that preceded the standoff with police.
He had been placed on paid administrative lead in March, before the standoff, pending a fitness-for-duty evaluation, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office, and remains on paid leave as of Thursday, the office confirmed. Such examinations are undertaken when there is “reasonable suspicion” that a member of the department is psychologically or physically unfit to perform his or her duties, according to a sheriff’s department manual.
Just before 2 a.m. on May 30, Parsons’ boyfriend went to the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct and reported that Parsons had gripped his arms and attempted to keep him from leaving their apartment after an argument, according to charging papers in both cases. The boyfriend told police Parsons was a law-enforcement officer with tactical training, likely had access to guns and was possibly in crisis.
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When police reached Parsons by phone, he told officers he had a shotgun and refused to come out of his apartment in the 1700 block of Belmont Avenue. As several officers stood in the hall outside Parsons’ unit awaiting a warrant to arrest Parsons on investigation of domestic-violence assault, he is accused of spraying an orange liquid identified in the charges as pepper spray or OC (oleoresin capsicum) spray through the seams of his apartment door, and it dispersed in the hallway where officers were standing.
A SWAT team eventually breached the doors into the apartment and found Parsons in the bathroom.
He spent two weeks in the King County Jail before he was released June 15 after posting a $15,000 bond, jail and court records show.
Parsons failed to show up in Superior Court for a case-setting hearing on July 9, and a $20,075 bench warrant was issued for his arrest, court records say. On Aug. 9, prosecutors intend to ask a judge to allow forfeiture of the $15,000 bond.
Parsons is scheduled to be arraigned on the fourth-degree assault charge on Monday.