OLYMPIA -- A Washington State Patrol trooper who worked as a bodyguard for the governor was arrested in Olympia, accused of destroying evidence connected to his son’s criminal case.
The trooper, Daniel Tindall, is a 24-year veteran of the WSP, but now he’s on paid administrative leave after Olympia Police said he tried to conceal evidence and hide his 18-year-old son’s alleged connection to an attempted arson.
Police said the son, Wyatt Tindall, tried to set a car on fire.
Jill VanHulle said her surveillance cameras caught Wyatt red handed. Court documents said Wyatt was trying to get back at a classmate who stopped returning his messages.
VaHulle said her daughter was the target of Wyatt’s alleged vandalism and stalking.
Investigators said Wyatt’s father, Daniel Tindall, first confronted his son about the alleged arson but didn’t tell Olympia police. According to documents, Daniel then allegedly tried to destroy evidence that could have put his son behind bars.
"We worried actually that, being law enforcement, maybe police wouldn’t pursue it quite as vigorously but we were wrong,” said VanHulle.
Police searched Tindall’s second home in Winthrop where they allegedly discovered a leather jacket and tennis shoes worn by Wyatt when he was allegedly captured on surveillance video.
Investigators said they also found pieces of the mask Wyatt was wearing; it had been partially burned in a wood stove.
“They made a decision to dispose of the clothing and to not tell the police, to basically provide an alibi for him,” said VanHulle.
While Wyatt faces attempted arson and malicious mischief charges, his mother and father are facing evidence tampering and criminal assistance charges.
Daniel was placed on paid administrative leave while the criminal investigation continues.
“If this conduct is ultimately proven true, it doesn’t represent or reflect on the other 2,200 men and women of the State Patrol,” said Bob Calkins, a Washington State Patrol spokesman. “It would be disappointing if this were proven true.”
VanHulle doesn’t understand how a veteran trooper could break the law to protect his child.
“I don’t know what to think about that. I mean who does that?” she asked. “It makes you think, what would you do for your kids? What would you do to protect your kids?”
She says trooper Tindall should have cooperated with Olympia police and gotten his son some help. Tindall had worked for the governors office for 12 years, and likely worked for various different governors.
Gov. Inslee spoke about Tindall Friday, saying he was sad and disappointed in his alleged actions, but that he was professional and a nice person while he was working as a bodyguard.
Daniel and his wife were released from jail without bond; they are both expected to be back in court in June.