A Bonney Lake police officer was recently recognized for his use of a Stop Stick during a car chase and kidnapping.
During the May 8 Bonney Lake City Council meeting, Officer Joe Stark was given the 2017 Hit Award of the Year by Stop Stick National Sales Director Adam Freeman.
Freeman said the company highlights events when officers use the Stop Stick — an expandable stick with spikes to pop a car’s tires — from all around the United States every year.
“There were approximately 2,000 reports submitted to us in 2017 across the country,” Freeman told the council and Officer Stark. “This was the top Hit across the United States out of those 2,000… You are the reigning Hit king.”
According to a report written by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department, Stark — who was with the Monroe Police Department at the time — was one of many officers who responded to an assault with a weapon call on July 16, 2017.
“The victim stated the male was holding a knife to her throat, and she didn’t know where she was other than a car on state Route 2,” Freeman read from the report. “The suspect was driving erratically and swerving into oncoming traffic, as if he was attempting to cause a collision.”
Even when the car was located, the suspect was not deterred, and even aimed his car at law enforcement.
However, Stark was able to deploy his Stop Stick, and the suspect had to stop his car about a mile away.
The suspect threatened suicide by cop when he was confronted by officers, but was arrested instead.
“It was later learned the suspect poured gasoline on the victim and himself. The victim stated he was going to light her and himself on fire, but the victim was able to break the lighter before he could do so,” Freeman said. “That was when the suspect resorted to holding a knife to the victim’s throat and threatened to kill her.
“Given the facts of this case,” the report concluded, “there is no doubt in my mind at least two lives were saved because of the actions taken by Officer Stark and other deputies and troopers.”