Sultan man sues two Snohomish County deputies after they shot him, dog multiple times

SULTAN, Wash. — A Sultan man has filed a lawsuit after two Snohomish County deputies shot him multiple times and shot and killed his dog, violating his civil rights.

Body camera footage captured the entire incident.

Last July 9, Snohomish County deputies said they received a call about a man with a knife near the intersection of Second Street and Cedar Avenue in Sultan.


According to the lawsuit, Marcus Whybark, now 45, had a mental health episode, possibly due to withdrawals of alcohol.

Whybark has a history of struggling with alcohol and drugs, Whybark’s attorney wrote in the lawsuit but was sober that day.

He became confused, disoriented, and anxious as he worried about the safety of his house, the attorneys wrote.

His significant other was inside the house.

Whybark picked up a knife from inside his home and walked out front, while his significant other sat inside her blue Ford Ranger truck parked in front of Whybark’s home.

Around 6:40 p.m., a neighbor on a bicycle, who knows Whybark, asked if Whybark was alright after he saw him with a knife.

Both had a “brief physical tussle,” the lawsuit said, but Whybark did not injure the man.

The neighbor later called 911 to report the interaction.

Snohomish County deputy Kenneth Frederickson first arrived at the scene.

In body camera footage, Frederickson told Whybark to talk with him and to step away from the knife.

Frederickson is heard in the video saying the knife is on the ground.

Moments later, Deputy Carl Whalen pulls up to the scene and begins demanding Whybark to “Put it down,” and “Get on the ground.”

At this moment, body camera captured the sound of something being dropped.

Deputy Whalen approached Whybark right before he was tased.

Whybark’s dog later ran out of his truck and barked at a deputy.

A deputy dropped his taser, pulled out his gun, and shot and killed the dog, the video captured.

Whybark then walks over to his significant other’s truck and gets on top of the bed cover of the vehicle.

The Sultan man is seen covering his head with both of his hands as deputies fired multiple shots at him.

“Given that Mr. Whybark posed no immediate threat to anyone, a reasonable officer would have taken the time to learn more about the situation and assess how it might be resolved peacefully,” Whybark’s attorney wrote in the lawsuit.

“Both officers had their service weapons and less lethal weapons available if Mr. Whybark attempted to do anything threatening or harmful. But instead of proceeding calmly, deliberately and thinkingly, Defendant Whalen did the exact opposite. He immediately jumped out of his patrol car. He then aggressively, unnecessarily, and unreasonably escalated the situation by drawing his taser and marching towards Mr. Whybark at a rapid clip, pointing his weapon at Mr. Whybark while simultaneously shouting commands even though he knew (or should have known) that the person he was shouting at was mentally confused,” the attorneys added.

The lawsuit indicates Whybark is looking for compensation for his physical pain, psychological trauma, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life and to cover his medical bills.

KIRO 7 News reached out to the law firm representing Whybark.

We’re still waiting to hear back.


KIRO 7 News stopped by Whybark’s home to see if he would be willing to talk about the lawsuit. We were told he was not available.

However, we spoke with his son.

“I came home. I saw the footage, and it literally looked like they’re playing airsoft with him. Shooting toy guns with him, but they’re real,” Lukus Whybark shared.

“Pretty teared up because that’s my dad. I broke down. I couldn’t live without him. It was terrible,” he said.

Whybark said he doesn’t believe the deputies should go to jail, but said he believes they should face consequences.

“I think they should definitely not be on the force anymore because that wasn’t right. I mean he had his hands on his head before they even fired the first shot,” he said.

Nikki Bolter, Marcus Whybark’s sister, told KIRO 7 News, “I know my brother loved that dog, but to do it in front of his house where he does have two children.” She added, “I know it had some big impact on them.”

“They didn’t protect and serve my brother. They might have thought they’re protecting other people and themselves from my brother. They didn’t protect him,” she added.

“It’s brutal. He can’t even walk into a store. He breaks down all the time. He cannot even hear loud noises without thinking someone is after him,” he said.


KIRO 7 News reached out to the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office.

We’re still waiting for a statement.

A spokesperson for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said they can’t talk because their deputies are involved in the case, but said both deputies are still working for the office and an internal investigation is still underway.

She said the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART) is leading the case.

We reached out to a team’s leader and we’re still waiting to hear back.

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