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Game of cops and robbers ends with Kirkland man arrested for assault
A Kirkland man has been charged with assault for allegedly threatening teens with a gun after he discovered several of them trespassing on his property late at night and mistook their game of cops and robbers for a potential robbery.
Christopher Raymond Dunn, 36, has been charged with two counts of assault by the King County Prosecutor’s Office for allegedly pointing a handgun at several teenagers after he and his fiancee allegedly discovered three of them on his property one night in February. According to a Kirkland Police report by responding officers, the incident occurred at around 10:30 p.m. during heavy rainfall. The teens later stated they had been hiding on the property while playing cops and robbers as part of a birthday celebration.
When Dunn yelled at the teenagers, they allegedly apologized and ran off the property, according to documents from a Kirkland Police investigation of the incident. Dunn then allegedly got into his truck and pursued the teens. The investigation documents allege that Dunn went to drive back home when he didn’t see them, but then discovered two other teens near his neighbor’s property who were a part of the same group playing cops and robbers. Dunn then exited the vehicle and confronted them with a semi-automatic handgun, the investigation documents allege. One of the teens claimed he was struck in the face by Dunn.
Dunn allegedly then took the teens to a nearby fence and asked them for their wallets and they replied they didn’t have any. He also didn’t believe them when they said they were Lake Washington High School students playing cops and robbers.
Dunn later told police that while he was questioning them one of the teens reached into his pocket. Thinking he had a gun, Dunn told police he searched the teen and confiscated his cellphone, which Dunn still had on him after the incident. The teens later told police that Dunn threatened to kill them if he ever saw them again.
During the ensuing investigation, police found two of the fence boards on Dunn’s property had been pulled off the rails, leaving a hole. They discovered the fence boards lying in the front yard and the screen off Dunn’s living room window removed. The doors to his tool shed had been left open and fresh footprints matching one of the teen’s shoes were inside.
Dunn denied hitting one of the teens and told police his gun had been holstered the entire time. When told by investigators that two witnesses had confirmed seeing him produce the handgun, Dunn allegedly replied that the witnesses must have mistaken his flashlight for a gun.
According to the investigation documents, the teens were able to accurately describe the handgun to police after the incident. One of the officers investigating the incident reported not finding any marks or injuries on the teen’s face who claimed to have been struck.
The Kirkland Police investigation ultimately concluded Dunn had legitimate reasons to believe someone was trying to break into his home. The investigation documents also allege one teen lied to police during a follow-up investigation about being on the property.
The police investigation also concluded, however, that Dunn’s actions to pursue the teens once they left his property “had clearly crossed the line of reasonableness and could no longer be justified.”
Initially, both Dunn and the father of the teen threatened with the handgun were willing to forgo a criminal complaint. When the teen’s mother wished to file a criminal complaint, Dunn filed one as well against the teens for trespassing.
Police eventually forwarded the case to the King County Prosecutor’s Office to consider Dunn for assault and robbery charges, as well as one of the teens for trespassing. The Reporter was not able to determine by deadline whether the teen has been charged with trespassing as he is a minor.