Private security guard arrested after allegedly handcuffing, assaulting woman on Seattle waterfront

A Seattle security guard is out of jail after he was arrested for unlawful imprisonment of a woman on Monday evening.

According to court documents, the security guard told police that he followed a woman he believed was “acting shady.” He followed her and saw her urinating behind a trash can.

That was when he told police he placed the woman in handcuffs. However, witnesses called 911, saying that the guard was being too rough. A co-worker even told police in the documents that the guards’ actions were “slightly too aggressive for whatever happened.” Officers arrested the guard for unlawful imprisonment.

“Any time we have an assault case anywhere in King County, we’re going to act on that with an urgency to review it,” Casey McNerthney, from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, said.

The police report states that the woman had scrapes on the back of her hands, while her wrists had red marks and were swollen. Those injuries were blamed on the handcuffs, which the report said the woman was in for about an hour.

“We asked the judge to hold this defendant on $40,000 bail, the first appearance, the judge released him on his personal recognizance,” McNerthney said.

KIRO 7 did speak with the guard’s wife. She said she supports her husband but did not want to be identified.

“All I can tell you is that he’s a good person who likes to protect people and protect the property that he was hired to protect,” she said.

KIRO 7 has also been in touch with several security companies about their use-of-force policies. One of the firms pointed us to Washington State Law RCW.9A.16.020 Section 4, which states, “The use, attempt or offer to use force upon or toward the person of another is not unlawful whenever reasonably used by a person to detain someone who enters or remains unlawfully in a building or on real property lawfully in the possession of such person, so long as such detention is reasonable in duration and manner to investigate the reason for the detained person’s presence on the premises, and so long as the premises in question did not reasonably appear to be intended to be open to members of the public.”

In this case, police noted in their report that the woman was detained for a civil infraction, not a crime. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is waiting for documents from SPD but tells KIRO 7 that could take a few days. The guard has not been formally charged.