Sequim man in video files complaint against police
By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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Bar owner: Police cited the wrong manSEQUIM –– Dale Dunning, owner of The Oasis Bar and Grill in Sequim, said officers cited the wrong man for assault from a fight that ended in police punching Morgan Weimer in a planter box outside the bar early Sunday morning.
“Really, we felt Morgan was not the one instigating it,” Dunning said Thursday.
Weimer was cited Tuesday by police for misdemeanor fourth-degree assault on Kristopher Boynton, 31, in addition to a charge of resisting arrest, also a misdemeanor.
Dunning, who said both men are regulars at his establishment, said his viewings of surveillance footage from cameras at The Oasis, and what wait staff told him of the evening, left him with the impression that Weimer had been provoked by Boynton and his friend.
“I’ve had a better look at this than anybody,” Dunning said. “And they arrested the wrong guy.”
Footage from The Oasis’ cameras was cited by Police Chief Bill Dickinson to show that officers felt Weimer was resisting their attempts to arrest him after one angle shows him throwing an elbow at a man at the bar.
Dunning provided footage from four cameras to police shortly after the incident.
Weimer said Wednesday, and Dunning on Thursday, that Boynton was trying to taunt Weimer into a fight.
Dunning said the whole incident happened very quickly and was “a perfect storm of terrible circumstances.”
He said officers were talking and laughing with him seconds before the elbow was thrown and they moved to arrest Weimer.
— Peninsula Daily News
“I just want somebody to take a look at this,” Weimer said.
Police did not return several phone calls from the Peninsula Daily News for confirmation, nor had they responded to the PDN's public records request to review the complaint as of Thursday afternoon.
Weimer was cited Tuesday for fourth-degree assault against Kristopher Boynton, 31, and resisting arrest stemming from the incident, which was recorded by an eyewitness' cellphone and seen by thousands online.
Both are misdemeanors.
The video shows Officer Grant Dennis delivering a series of blows to Weimer's backside as he was forced by Dennis and other officers face down in a planter box outside the Oasis, 301 E. Washington St., which was hosting a punk-rock concert inside.
Weimer claimed he was not the one who started the altercation.
“They were carrying me out, and I just remember trying to tell them, 'It wasn't me, it wasn't me — that's the guy that started it,'” he said.
According to Weimer's account, Boynton bumped into him in the crowded bar and then began to taunt Weimer and a friend for the next several minutes.
“They just kept up in my ear, saying they were going to get me,” Weimer said.
“I threw a . . . like a 'back-off' elbow, and then the cops came in and grabbed me.”
Weimer's citation orders him to appear in Clallam County District Court in Port Angeles for a first appearance on the charges at 1:30 p.m. May 30.
The city's municipal cases are heard in District Court.
Police Chief Bill Dickinson said Monday that he had ordered an investigation into his officers' conduct. The officers are still on duty.
The chief also expressed support for the officers, saying they used necessary force to arrest Weimer, whom they said was resisting arrest.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: May 16. 2013 6:07PM