A Seattle police officer has pleaded not guilty to a charge of fourth-degree assault, stemming from his arrest Sunday in what has been described as an off-duty domestic-violence incident in Everett.
A Seattle police officer has pleaded not guilty to a charge of fourth-degree assault, stemming from his arrest Sunday in what Seattle police described as an off-duty domestic-violence incident in Everett.
The officer, Todd Charles Harris, 43, entered his plea Monday in Everett Municipal Court, according to court records. A trial was set for June 25.
Everett police Lt. Robert Goetz declined to provide details of the incident, which occurred about 3:45 p.m. Sunday. Goetz, the department spokesman, said Everett police don’t release detailed information on active domestic-violence cases.
Harris, who joined the Seattle Police Department in 1997 and is listed on department records as a SWAT team member, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail before he was released at the Monday court hearing.
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The assault-domestic violence charge is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
In a news release that didn’t name Harris, Seattle police said the officer has been reassigned to his home while the investigation continues.
An internal-investigation complaint has been filed with the Seattle police Office of Professional Accountability, but the inquiry won’t proceed until the criminal case is completed, according to the news release.
Harris was suspended for 10 days in 2004 after the department found that on at least four occasions he mishandled drugs and paraphernalia he had confiscated while working off-duty at large music parties between 1998 and 2002.
Harris stored the items in his personal locker for up to weeks at a time instead of logging them into the tightly controlled property room. Department policy requires officers to submit evidence no later than the end of a shift — a strict rule designed in part to ensure that drugs aren’t lost, stolen or sold.
According to police records, Harris told investigators he was too tired to immediately log the items, then forgot the drugs were in his locker. He later booked them in the property room along with other seized drugs.
In another domestic-violence case, a Seattle detective was arrested last year in Leavenworth by Chelan County sheriff’s deputies who saw him dragging his girlfriend by her hair and coat across a gravel parking lot near an Oktoberfest venue. He was charged with fourth-degree assault but entered into a deferred-prosecution agreement with prosecutors.
Seattle Times new researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this story, which contains information from Times archives.
Steve Miletich: 206-464-3302