Tacoma, Wash. ( Associated Press) — The sheriff of Pierce County, Washington, was ordered to post $100,000 bail while he awaits trial over false-reporting charges related to his controversial confrontation with a black newspaper carrier last year.
Judge Jeffrey Jahns imposed bail — at 10 times the amount requested by prosecutors — while setting aside Sheriff Ed Troyer’s earlier release on personal identification during a hearing in Pierce County District Court in Tacoma on Friday.
Seattle Times reports Johns initially orders the sheriff into custody until he can post cash or bonds – telling him, “Mr. Troyer, you are not free to leave this courtroom” – Troyer Angrily objecting to John Sheeran, U.S. attorney.
Johns was relieved after Troyer’s attorney produced a bail agency representative in the courtroom, who said bail would be posted immediately.
Troyer faces criminal felony charges of false reporting and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant on January 27, 2021 during a confrontation with Alttimer, who distributes the newspaper on his regular route.
In his ruling from the bench, Johns pointed to testimony that Troyer had violated his terms of the pretrial release by repeatedly contacting newspaper carrier Cedric Altheimer over the past several months, and to Troyer’s testimony about the events. Said “not reliable” and “false or deceptive.”
Johns found that Troyer represented “a great threat to the community, especially Mr. Altheimer”.
Johns pointed to Troyer’s position as the top law enforcement officer in Pierce County, saying that Ultimer, as a black man in his 20s, would have every reason to fear for his safety because of Troyer’s actions.
In an emailed statement Friday evening, Sheeran criticized the bail decision.
“Sheriff Troyer did nothing today to warrant the court to grant bail and when compared to the many heinous crimes charged in Pierce County this week, the amount was clearly exorbitant,” Sheeran said.