A deputy on Orcas Island apprehended a suspect in Eastsound after a short chase that involved pulling his service weapon.
Timothy Brocato, 39, of Lake Stevens, Washington, is being charged with harassment and obstruction of justice by the San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
On Jan. 6, a deputy responded to a report of possible assault and harassment at an Orcas resort. A trio of friends was staying in a cabin with access to a hot tub. While in the tub, they noticed two male subjects outside of a cabin directly across the roadway. The reporting party described the men as loud, aggressive and intoxicated, and he believed them to be associated with a box truck for an off-island construction company parked nearby. He retrieved a can of pepper spray from his vehicle in case the behavior escalated.
One of the suspects, upon noticing a female in the hot tub, came closer and began making sexually aggressive comments. The woman exited the hot tub and locked herself inside a car for safety. Despite attempts to calm the man down, he allegedly approached the vehicle, began pounding on the window and hood and screaming sexual obscenities, including threats of rape.
He then threatened to physically harm the two friends outside the vehicle and started to throw punches in the air. One of the victims grabbed his nearby pepper spray and deployed it into the suspect’s face. He then called 911. The suspect and his acquaintance retreated to their cabin.
The responding deputy approached the suspects’ cabin and knocked repeatedly. Upon looking through the window, he observed the two men in their respective beds, wrapped in blankets, with empty alcohol bottles nearby. Neither one came to the door.
On Jan. 7, the officer researched the company associated with the box truck, using its employee photos online to identify Brocato, who also has a suspended license in the first degree and ignition interlock requirements to operate a vehicle. The deputy showed the victims a photo of Brocato on a Facetime call, as they had all immediately left Orcas Island. They positively identified him as the man who allegedly harassed them. The police officer left multiple voicemails and emails for the suspect, who did not respond.
On Jan. 8, the deputy saw the contracting company’s box truck stop at the intersection of Main St. and North Beach Road and recognized the driver as Brocato. He also saw a passenger in the truck who was later identified as the suspect’s 13-year-old son.
According to the report, “Brocato looked toward me in my marked patrol vehicle and turned the box truck north onto North Beach Road. I subsequently activated my patrol vehicle’s emergency overhead lights and made a U-turn in the intersection and pulled directly behind the box truck to conduct an enforcement stop.”
The vehicle sped up, continued down North Beach and pulled into the pharmacy parking lot, nearly striking a parked vehicle. Brocato opened his door, with the truck’s engine running, and began yelling “Run” to his son. Both subjects began fleeing northbound on foot across the parking lot. Brocato did not comply with the officer’s multiple verbal orders to stop. His hands were not visible as he was fleeing.
The deputy wrote, “Fearing Brocato may have a weapon in his possession I unholstered my department-issued sidearm and pointed it at Brocato.”
Both the suspect and his son then stopped and complied with the officer’s orders to place their hands in the air. The deputy reholstered his sidearm upon confirming that Brocato did not have a weapon on him. The suspect’s wife later arrived on the scene. Brocato allegedly told the deputy he was “sorry” and the police “didn’t understand.”
The officer wrote, “After speaking with Brocato and finding out Brocato’s family was with him on Orcas Island while he was working, I decided to release Brocato from the station.”
He agreed not to drive his box truck and find a licensed driver to move it while he finished his job on Orcas Island. Brocato will face charges in San Juan County Superior Court. The other suspect who was present during the alleged harassment on Jan. 6 has not been located.