Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 28, 2016
Makah Tribal Member Sentenced to Prison for Assault of Police Officer
Defendant Attacked Officer in Attempt to Escape from Neah Bay Jail
An enrolled Makah Tribal member who fled the Neah Bay jail and then assaulted a Neah Bay Police Officer in an attempt to escape custody was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 15 months in prison and three years of supervised release, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. BRANDON JOSEPH EATON, 32, escaped from custody on July 15, 2015. The officer who was escorting EATON at the jail chased him down, and with the help of other community members, subdued EATON. EATON bit and hit the officer causing cuts requiring more than a dozen stitches. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle said it is important for others “to know that if an officer gets injured in the line of duty such as this, it will not go without consequence.”
According to records filed in the case, EATON was being escorted back to his cell after making a telephone call when he ran from the police station and refused to stop when ordered by police. The Neah Bay Police Officer chased EATON for a few blocks. When the officer caught up with EATON, the officer was punched in the face and head repeatedly and was bitten on the hand. The officer’s wounds required 19 stitches. As part of his sentence, EATON was ordered to pay $338 in restitution to the officer to compensate him for time off work and additional childcare costs.
In asking for a prison sentence Neah Bay Police Chief Jasper Bruner wrote to the court “This request is not out of revenge or retribution, this is in the hope that he can address the substance abuse and emotional issues that have plagued him. Mr. Eaton has a long standing history with our police department in a negative way.”
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Neah Bay Office of Public Safety. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ye-Ting Woo.