Police use drone to find suspect hiding under pier

Police use drone to find suspect hiding under pier

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

ANACORTES, Wash. — Swinomish police used a drone to find a suspect in a domestic violence assault Saturday.

At 1 a.m., police were called to a report of an assault that happened near the Swinomish Casino in which a woman had been choked and beaten by her boyfriend.

The suspect, a 29-year-old man, ran from the scene before officers arrived. Officers said the suspect had a history of being armed, assaulting police, and had a parole violation warrant out of Missouri for fleeing from a burglary charge.

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Officers established a perimeter around a large area on the north end of the Swinomish Reservation while Swinomish Police Department and Skagit County Sheriff's Office drone units each responded to the scene.

Soon after the Swinomish police drone was airborne, the suspect was spotted with the drone's thermal imaging camera hiding under a nearby pier.

The drone operator directed officers to the location and the suspect, Justin T. Etier, was taken into custody.

Etier was booked in to the Skagit County Community Justice Center for investigation of second-degree assault in violation of the Domestic Violence Protection Act, as well as a fugitive from justice for the charge in Missouri.

Anacortes officers and deputies from the Skagit County Sheriff's Office assisted.

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