West Olympia In-custody Death Investigation

City of Olympia
Date of Release: February 07, 2018

Lt. Sam Costello

West Olympia In-custody Death Investigation

Woman Dies During Crisis Intervention Contact

At about 1:05 a.m. this morning the Olympia Fire Department was dispatched to a fire alarm activation at an apartment complex in the 1200 Block of Fern Street SW. Firefighters learned that a 35 year-old woman had pulled the fire alarm while in crisis. The Olympia Police Department was called to assist the fire department with the woman, who was apparently suffering from mental illness and/or acute effects of substance use. Olympia Police arrived a short time later and were directed to the woman by firefighters at the apartment complex. Three officers and a supervisor made contact with the woman and determined that she posed a threat to herself and/or others and decided she needed to be detained for mental health evaluation. The officers were able to get the woman into restraints. She began actively fighting the officers by kicking and lunging.

The officers placed the woman on the ground and restrained her while Olympia Fire personnel on scene called for paramedics to chemically restrain her so that she could be safely transported. Paramedics arrived and administered medication to achieve chemical restraint and prevent further injury. Shortly thereafter the woman stopped breathing. Fire personnel administered CPR and delivered advanced lifesaving care to the woman as she was emergently transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital. Despite the attempts to save her life the woman died.

The cause of the woman’s death is under investigation by the Thurston County Coroner’s Office. The Thurston County Officer-Involved Critical Incident Team was called to undertake an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this matter. That investigation will be led by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from investigators with the Lacey and Tumwater Police Departments. Anyone with further information about this incident or witnesses to the circumstances should contact the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office at (360)786-5500. Press inquiries should be made to Olympia Police Lt. Sam Costello at (360)-753-8066.