Details: Bellevue Off-Duty Officers Were Crude, Drunk Before Seahawks Game Ejection

A Redmond police officer and another Bellevue officer who apologized for his colleagues were among the witnesses to the incident involving boorish behavior by off-duty Bellevue police officers at a Seahawks game, according to documents.

An off-duty Redmond police officer was concerned enough about the actions of a group of drunk, off-duty Bellevue Police officers at a Seattle Seahawks game that he was ready to set down his toddler son to defend a Seattle police officer who confronted one of them.

And one of those Bellevue officers, who told investigators he'd had nine drinks by the time he got to his seat, made racial statements, asking the Seattle officer if his wife had been singled out for littering because she was white.

Those were among the details in a report prepared by the Bellevue Police Department's Office of Professional Standards.

Two of the Bellevue police officers were disciplined this week after the department investigated reported unruly behavior at a Seahawks game, the Bellevue Police Department said.

Dion Robertson is a 22-year veteran of the Bellevue Police Department and a corporal who was demoted to officer and removed from the bomb squad as a result of the investigation. Andy Hanke, a police officer with seven years in Bellevue, was given 30 days suspension from duty without pay and was removed from the bomb squad.

A third officer, an off-duty detective who was with the group, was cleared of wrongdoing, according to the report.

The Bellevue Police Department this week released copies of the report, which details what witnesses and the officers said happened at a Sept. 16 Seahawks game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Witnesses names, including the name of the Bellevue police detective who was with the group, were redacted from the publicly released report.

A copy of the report, and the memos outlining the officers' displine, are attached to this article. Warning: The report contains vulgar language.

The four initially met up with a larger group of Bellevue police officers and their friends and family before the Seahawks game, which then split up to different entrances as the game started, according to the report.

According to the Bellevue Police Department's investigation, Hanke's wife, a city of Bellevue utilities department employee, was stopped by an on-duty Seattle police officer when she dropped an empty beer can on their way to the stadium.

Hanke approached the officer and asked her, "You’re going to pick out a cop’s wife?" and then asked the officer whether she singled out his wife because she was white, according to the witness statements.

Hanke, who told the investigator that he had eight drinks in the hours before the incident, said he didn't mean it in a confrontational or angry way.

"I thought I was making a joke when I told her you would catch or you would bust the cop's wife," Hanke said.

But witnesses, and the police officer and her backup, didn't take it that way. Robertson, who told the investigator they started drinking at 9:30 a.m. and he couldn't remember parts of the incident, and Hanke reportedly continued to taunt the Seattle police officer, including calling her derogatory names, witnesses said.

According to the report, an off-duty Redmond police officer who was attending the game with his wife and two young children said he saw Hanke get in the officer's face and yell. The Redmond officer got ready to help the Seattle police officer because he thought it was a possibility that Hanke would assault her.

The five-year Redmond Police Department veteran said he was prepared to hand his 2-year-old son, who was riding in a backpack child carrier, to his wife in case the officer needed help.

The Redmond officer told investigators that Hanke was "very agitated, aggressive. In layman's terms he was being a real jerk or a-hole, is what I was kind of thinking. He was you know… trying to intimidate the… the Seattle officer," according to the report.

Robertson also joined Hanke when Seattle backup officers arrived, and called the Seattle officer derogatory names, according to the report.

Another Bellevue officer who had met up with the group before the game and saw the confrontation also gave a statement that he tried to tell Hanke to "chill out," and he later apologized to the Seattle police officers for his colleagues' behavior. That officer sat in a different section than the four.

That Bellevue officer said that Hanke later apologized to him for what happened that Sunday.

When Hanke and Robertson and the two women reached their seats at the game, the two men repeatedly used the "F" word to describe the action on the field, according to another fan at the game, and then argued with the fan when he asked them to stop using vulgar language because his 12-year-old son could hear them.

The fan called stadium security, and the group was kicked out of the stadium after Robertson called the security officer a vulgar name, according to the report.

The fan who reported the group said that one of the women, identified by the report as Hanke's wife, said that the stadium had kicked out "Bellevue's finest," and he said she warned him not to get pulled over in Bellevue. Hanke's wife said she didn't remember giving the man that warning, but she said it sounded like something she would say.

According to the report, the off-duty detective who was cleared of wrongdoing got so disgusted and angry with Hanke and Robertson that she left the group and called her daughter to pick her up from the SoDo district.

The report found that Hanke was drunk when he drove his wife and Robertson home.

In memos outlining the disciplinary actions, Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo wrote that the officers' behavior tarnished not only their reputations, but Bellevue Police's reputation and the reputation of all law enforcement.

"This event was obnoxious. Too much alcohol can make people obnoxious and vulgar. It was your choice to mention your employer and occupation apparently to solicit favoritism or intimidate the Seattle Police Officer. Neither reason is acceptable or appropriate. Your behavior that day alarmed the officers and bystanders. It seriously damaged the reputation of the Bellevue Police Department," she wrote on both officers' reports.

Robertson was demoted from corporal to officer, and Hanke was suspended for 30 days and removed from the bomb squad, but Pillo stopped short of firing them.

"Many in the public demanded your termination. However, given your past work record and disciplinary record, termination cannot be imposed for this off-duty alcohol infused event," she wrote on their reports.

Pillo warned them that the incident would be designated as "Serious Misconduct because it caused a significant lack of trust in our agency and an abuse of authority."

The incident could affect future decisions related to their jobs or promotions, she wrote.

Not Surprised December 07, 2012 at 05:46 PM
I guess "Serious Misconduct" does not equal "Serious Discipline". But then again, did anyone ever think police officers would actually be fired for violating so many laws and policies? I'll try to remember this if I ever drive through Bellevue too drunk to remember driving through Bellevue.
Stephen Liss December 09, 2012 at 01:45 AM
The attachments don't seem to be available, due to security error #2048, whatever that is. Patch, would you please find a way to make these documents avaiable?


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