Plateau resident Allen W. Bittner is being charged with assault in the second degree for allegedly using chloroform and acetone on his 13-year old stepdaughter.
According to a Black Diamond Police Department report, officers were called to a Black Diamond home on Oct. 12 due to a report of an unresponsive minor receiving CPR.
Officers arrived around 3 p.m. and met with Bittner, who was upstairs trying to resuscitate the girl.
According to officers, Bittner said he was attempting to give the girl a “breathing treatment” when she lost consciousness. Bittner said he did not know what the chemicals he gave her were, only that he used the same treatment on himself when he was in the Navy to “open the airway and kill bacteria.” He also told officers he received the chemical from a work friend, identified only as John; Bittner said he did not have a way to contact him outside his work.
Meanwhile, EMS arrived and started treating the girl, but she remained unresponsive and was taken to the Auburn airport and airlifted to Seattle Children’s Hospital where she was placed in pediatric intensive care on a breathing tube.
The child has recovered enough since the incident to be able to speak to police.
After the child was taken to the hospital, officers found an unlabeled bottle with a rag soaked in chemicals, and sent them off to be analyzed. Six days later, the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab confirmed the liquid used was chloroform and acetone; chloroform was originally used to render people unconscious for surgery, but the wrong dosage can be lethal.
After a search warrant was obtained for Bittner’s cellphone and laptop, it appeared he was searching how to make his own chloroform and the effects it can have on people just a week prior to administering the chemical to his stepdaughter.
Bittner was arrested and booked on Nov. 9.
“The defendant lied to police about the origin and nature of the substance he administered to his stepdaughter,” charging papers read, which were filed Nov. 14. “It is alarming that he would administer chemicals to his stepdaughter, but perhaps even more alarming that he would risk her life and medical treatment by lying to police about what the substance was.”
Bittner paid the $200,000 bail, and the state has asked the court for a no-contact order between Bittner and the girl or her siblings. It appears he now resides in Bonney Lake.
At the arraignment hearing on Dec. 2, Bittner pled not guilty.
Second-degree assault is a Class B felony in Washington state, and is punishable by 10 years in prison and/or up to a fine of $20,000.