King County deputy fired after passing out in boat, leaving gun on dock where teenagers found it

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SEATTLE (AP) — A King County sheriff's deputy has been fired after he reportedly passed out drunk in a boat and left his gun behind on the dock, where it was found by teenagers.

Deputy Christopher Dearth was terminated May 1, according to personnel records provided to The Associated Press under a Public Records Act request.

Chief Deputy Jim Pugel wrote that it was clear the off-duty, 28-year-old Dearth not only operated a vessel in the Tacoma Narrows under the influence Jan. 19, but also left his department-issued identification and firearm on the dock at the Narrows Marina — and assaulted the Tacoma police officers who responded.

Pugel said it appears the only reason Dearth wasn't arrested was because he was a deputy.

The King County Police Officers Guild did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Dearth was named Washington’s Most Wanted Officer of the Month in April 2014 for catching a wanted child rapist twice.

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11 comments

  • d_2

    Pugel said it appears the only reason Dearth wasn’t arrested was because he was a deputy. Did he really say that out loud? Hilarious!

  • John Fuller

    I find it interesting that Q13Fox is not telling the whole story. The Seattle Times has the real scoop of how he also assaulted a Tacoma police officer after he was found intoxicated after operating a vessel and left his police identification and a firearm at the Narrows dock. He was not arrested or even sited… Tacoma Police are just as corrupt as Seattle PD!

    • Walt Waisath

      I find it interesting that the points you say Q13 did not cover are right there in the article, third paragraph. I disagree that the TPD is just as corrupt as the SPD, since they were extending a professional courtesy and, although he was combative, probably didn’t cause any real harm to the officer he assaulted. TPD probably had faith that the King County Sheriff would punish the officer, and it is up to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s office if he faces charges for any of the committed crimes (although I am not as confident in the PA’s office here in Pierce County).

      By the way, the word is cited, not sited. Sited means located at, cited means that a monetary punishment notice was issued.

      • SeattleLiberal15

        But Walt — why should the TCP extend “professional courtesy”? A badge doesn’t confer special privileges (it shouldn’t, anyway). The drunk deputy should have been treated the same as any other person under the same circumstances. And whether or not he “caused any real harm to the officer he assaulted” shouldn’t play any part other than what would happen if it was you or me doing the assaulting. I seem to recall reading many reports in recent years about non-police officers getting shot, tazed, and/or beaten pretty well for doing an awful lot less “real harm” to the arresting officer. The Rule of Law must be applied the same to all people.

  • Wallus

    “Pugel said it appears the only reason Dearth wasn’t arrested was because he was a deputy” Why the hell wasn’t he arrested? I call BS.

  • The World is Ending

    If he were not a cop, when he assaulted the responding officers they would have either shot him or beat him to unconsciousness, then tossed him in a cell and forgot about him, but the thing that surprises me is that the union let him be terminated.

  • wowjustwow

    It’s the “good ole’ boys club” people. Remember the jocks in H.S. or the frat boys in college that could do no wrong and their every action was celebrated? Same deal here. Just be glad there is a spotlight on Police behavior now. 10 years ago you would have never even have heard about this incident. He was fired, let it go.

  • noone

    Unfortunate. He may want to check out SMART recovery and get his act and life together again in a sustainable way. I think the stress of dealing up close with things like the scum ball child molester that he tracked down takes its toll on a human being and so that human being may want to take extra precautions like the SMART program to manage those stressors in a way that won’t lead to self-destructive actions.