Anti-harassment order issued against Washington Sheriff

TACOMA, Wash. — An anti-harassment order has been issued against a western Washington sheriff, requiring him to stay away from a black newspaper hauler who is suing him for a confrontation last year.

Pro Tem Judge Christine Chin on Monday cited “unlawful harassing conduct” in ruling that Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer must stay away from Sedrick Altheimer for a year, the Seattle Times reported.

The decision came during a virtual hearing on whether to extend a temporary anti-harassment order against Troyer that was filed last month by an attorney for Altheimer.

Chin referenced recent incidents in which Altheimer said Troyer followed him in an SUV, driving around and flashing his headlights as Altheimer delivered newspapers in Tacoma.

Altheimer testified under oath Monday about the encounters, saying he feared continued contact with Troyer.

Troyer did not come to the hearing, but was later subpoenaed by the judge. His attorney, John Sheeran, said Troyer would not testify because of an ongoing criminal case against him.

Sheeran disputed Altheimer’s harassment claims, saying Troyer had only met him once since the 2021 incident – while watching his elderly father, to whom Altheimer delivered a diary.

Troyer came under fire and called for his resignation during his Jan. 27, 2021, morning meeting with Altheimer, who was delivering newspapers on his usual route. Saying he believed Altheimer was acting suspiciously, Troyer followed him in his SUV, not identifying himself as law enforcement.

The two hit a stalemate, and Troyer called for a broad police response, repeatedly telling an emergency dispatcher that Altheimer had threatened to kill him. Troyer renounced his threatening allegations during questioning by Tacoma police.

Troyer pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges of misrepresentation and false or misleading statement to an official about the incident. He called the charges brought by the state attorney general’s office a “politically motivated anti-cop punch.”

A trial was originally scheduled for July but was moved to October.

A Pierce County Council-commissioned investigation led by former U.S. Attorney Brian Moran found that Troyer’s conduct violated policies on impartial policing and other professional standards.

Last year, Troyer was also placed on Pierce County’s “Brady List” – a list of law enforcement officers with credibility issues that could impact their ability to serve as witnesses in criminal cases.

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