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Felon pulls gun on Port Orchard Police
Two Port Orchard police officers engaged in a "fight for their life" to tackle a man with a gun earlier this month, said Al Townsend, Port Orchard's Police Chief.
One officer broke his ribs in the fight occurring July 2 at the Heritage Mobile Home Park on 290 Granat Rd. and is on medical leave. Four suspects were arrested, including 29-year-old Bainbridge Island resident John Bale, who was booked on assault with a deadly weapon, felony possession of a firearm and other charges.
Bale is a convicted felon and could face federal charges brought by the bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Townsend said.
"It was serious," the police chief said. "He was trying to shoot a police officer."
According to a Port Orchard Police report, a Heritage Mobile Home Park resident called police in the early evening hours of July 2 to report a possible drug sale. The caller saw a women park a car at the Paul Powers Park adjacent to the mobile home park. Three men got out of the car and walked through a chain link fence into the mobile home park. According to the report, the mobile home park is a known hotspot drug sales.
When two Port Orchard Police arrived at the mobile home park, they stopped and detained the three men. Two of the men, Cole Leonard of Port Orchard and Gene Delvo of Port Orchard, put their hands on the trunk of a squad car when asked by police. The third man, Bale, stood for a moment and then ran off in the direction of Paul Powers Park.
The two Port Orchard Police officers chased after him. According to the report, as the two officers reached Bale and tried to take him to the ground, they noticed a black HI Point FM 9mm handgun in his right hand that, according to the report, he was attempting to fire. One of the officers yelled out, "he has a gun,". The officers fought over the gun, which later was found loaded and cocked, and managed to wrestle it away, Townsend said. During the scuffle, both officers suffered minor injuries. Bale escaped without the gun and ran to Paul Powers Park where a car was waiting for him and the officers called for back up.
The police officers managed to catch up with Bale at the car, driven by Cristal Mccune of Port Orchard, as Kitsap County Sheriff's Deputies arrived. According to the report, Bale was yelling at Mccune to drive away and she was yelling back that she couldn't because she didn't have the keys. One of the police officers used a taser on Bale until he agreed to put his hands behind his back.
Inside of Mccune's car, police found shaved vehicle keys, bolt cutters, pry bars, needles, a bullet proof vest and methamphetamine. Leonard was arrested for possession of burglary tools and drug paraphernalia. Delvo was arrested on drug paraphernalia and 2nd degree theft for carrying a stolen credit card. Mccune was arrested for possession of burglary tools and possession of a double-sided knife. All are being held in Kitsap County Jail.
Townsend said the incident and the apparent intention to shoot a police officer was indicative in a shift in criminals' attitudes that has occurred in the last six months.
"It seems like people are much more brazen," he said. "You look at Tony (Radulescu) and others. These criminals have a total disregard for anybody."Townsend said he is not completely sure of the reasons of the apparent shift in attitudes, but worries summer, when criminal activity typically increases, will be difficult for officers.
The incident was the first time in "quite a while" a police officer was injured during something other than training, Townsend said. The injured officer should be back on the force in a couple of weeks, he said.