San Juan County District Court has filed four charges against Stuart Gray Piff, 35, of Friday Harbor in connection with a case against him of assault in the second degree — strangulation.
During his preliminary appearance for the assault case in superior court in mid-June, he was released on $500 bail, ordered to wear an ankle monitor and to not have contact with the juvenile victim. He didn’t appear for his readiness hearing and a bench warrant was issued. He was brought into superior court by the sheriff’s office on Sept. 24 and released on $5,000 bail. A trial date of Oct. 22 has been set.
According to court documents, a San Juan Island deputy was dispatched to a report of a domestic assault on June 10 at 9:40 a.m. at Piff’s home in Friday Harbor. Upon arrival, the 17-year-old victim was not present and Piff denied seeing her that morning. She was later located at a different home and transported to the sheriff’s office to meet with juvenile services.
According to the victim, she woke Piff up at 6 a.m. that day, and he began accusing her of taking his personal items. She said he pushed her chest, which caused her to fall backward and hit the back of her head on a table. While she was kneeling on the floor crying, he allegedly came up behind her, began choking her and slammed the side of her head onto the floor while calling her names. The victim stated that he choked her several times during the encounter and she “felt as though she was going to black out.” The deputy located red marks on the left side of her neck and a lump on the back of her head that was “tender to the touch.” The San Juan County Prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the victim’s relationship to Piff.
On Sept. 24, Piff was charged in district court with escape in the third degree for not complying with the requirements of his electronic monitoring. He was released on $500 bail. On Sept. 26, two San Juan Island deputies were dispatched to a home on Roche Harbor Road regarding a wanted person and a possible order violation. Piff was allegedly inside the house with the victim from the assault case. The victim also had a felony juvenile warrant out of Oregon for her arrest.
When questioned by deputies about the location of the victim, Piff said she was “probably at her mother’s,” according to the probable cause statement. The deputies returned an hour and a half later and called the home’s owner, who stated both Piff and the victim were inside. The owner gave the deputies written permission to go inside the residence. When they tried to gain entrance, Piff said he would not let anyone in without the owner present, and yelled that the victim was not there. Eventually, Piff exited the home with his arm around the victim, and the two hugged prior to both being placed under arrest.
Piff was charged with violating a no-contact order, criminal assistance in the second degree and the unlawful harboring of a minor. He was arraigned on Sept. 27, and bail was set at $7,500. He is currently being held in San Juan County Jail. A pre-trial conference for all four district court charges is scheduled for Oct. 30.
In a separate superior court case, Piff was charged on June 4 with a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act — possession of methamphetamine. A trial is scheduled for Oct. 29.
According to the determination of probable cause, on Nov. 15, 2018, a deputy pulled over Piff in his vehicle because of a misdemeanor warrant out for his arrest. After placing him into custody, the deputy took an inventory of the car and found a white crystalline substance in a container in the driver’s side door. After obtaining a search warrant, an additional clear container with a white substance was discovered. Both tested positive for methamphetamines. Piff’s license was suspended at the time of his arrest. He was sentenced on Nov. 21 for that charge.
Piff’s criminal history also includes marijuana possession and driving with a suspended or revoked license.