Police say sheriff's deputy on multiple prescriptions at time of arrest

A King County Sheriff's deputy has allegedly tested positive for multiple prescription drugs following his New Year's Eve arrest in Newcastle, according to Bellevue Police, who conducted the investigation after the deputy was found in the Starbuck's parking lot slumped over the wheel of his patrol vehicle.

Bellevue Police report the 46-year-old deputy was impaired by those medications on New Year's Eve. He had been observed passed out in his patrol car by a passerby, who also stated they were unable to wake him. Another sheriff's deputy, captain and sergeant responded to the Starbuck's parking lot at Newcastle Way and Coal Creek Parkway, where they were able to rouse the passed-out deputy and determine he was impaired by something other than alcohol, a news release states.

Bellevue Police Lt. Marcia Harnden, who has worked eight out of the past 10 New Year's Eve patrols and is a trained drug recognition expert, was called to the scene to perform the examination of the sheriff's deputy.

The Washington State Patrol Toxicology Lab reportedly could not detect the substances in the deputy's system, which required submitting blood samples from the law enforcement officer to NMS Labs in Pennsylvania for additional screening on Feb. 28. The BPD received the result on March 31. All substances found in the deputy's system have impairing qualities that affect a person's ability to operate machinery or vehicle, police report.

According to the sheriff’s office, their internal investigation for policy violations is still open and the 15-year veteran of the department remains on light duty, which means performing clerical work with no actual policing authority. The case has been submitted to the King County Prosecutor's Office for review and possible charges.

Another sheriff's deputy was arrested for suspicion of drug impairment on Feb. 28 in Mill Creek when the 19-year veteran rear-ended a car early in his shift.

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