A man who worked for the Washougal Police Department for more than 28 years is accused of repeatedly punching a mentally ill suspect involved in a domestic violence case.
Former Officer Robert Ritchie, 53, is charged with fourth degree assault, a gross misdemeanor. Clark County District Court Judge Sonya Langsdorf is scheduled to announce a verdict Wednesday, at 2:30 p.m.
Ritchie’s case involved a non-jury, bench trial March 14.
The incident involving Tyler Lampman, 26, occurred in July 2012, after Ritchie responded to a call involving Lampman and family members.
After Lampman was arrested for domestic violence, he was handcuffed and placed in the back of the patrol vehicle. Ritchie stopped the patrol car after Lampman was causing a disturbance in the back seat.
Court documents indicate an altercation occurred after Ritchie opened the back passenger door and Lampman spit on him.
“Ritchie punched him several times, as witnessed by several independent folks,” Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kasey Vu said this morning.
If Ritchie is found guilty, a sentence could range from zero to 364 days in jail or partial confinement, home, work crew or work release.
“The judge would have discretion to impose a sentence in that range,” Vu said.
The potential fine could be from zero up to $5,000, as well as the possible requirement to pay for Lampman’s medical or out-of-pocket costs.
Ritchie was fired from the WPD after the incident. He served as a sergeant for seven years before he was demoted in March 2004.
Police Chief Bob Garwood concluded that Ritchie acted legally but with poor judgment in the handling of an aggressive dog case that resulted in the use of a Taser on Russian immigrant Olga Rybak 12 times in 91 seconds.