LEAVENWORTH - On March 28, Chelan County Deputies were dispatched to a reported assault in the 16000 block of Chumstick Highway shortly after 7 a.m. According to the initial report, Abel Wilkes had “flipped out” and was shooting firearms at his residence. When he was confronted by a neighbor, Wilkes allegedly pointed a rifle at the neighbor and told him to leave him alone.
The victim left the area and contacted deputies in Leavenworth to report the assault. Due to the nature of the incident, members of the Eastern Cascades SWAT Team responded to the call, arriving about 10:30 a.m., and attempted to make contact with Wilkes. The Eastern Cascades SWAT Team consists of officers from the Chelan and Douglas County Sheriff’s Offices, the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee Police Departments and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Wilkes was not compliant and actively resisted the officers’ attempts to place him under arrest, and a protracted standoff ensued. During the standoff, one of the SWAT Team officers discharged their duty weapon toward Wilkes. There is also evidence that Wilkes discharged a firearm.
After the gunfire, Wilkes continued to resist arrest, barricading his residence against the efforts of the officers. Late in the afternoon, the Eastern Cascades SWAT Team was assisted by the Washington State Patrol SWAT Team, who eventually took over the scene around 11 p.m.
Wilkes was finally taken into custody at approximately 5 a.m. on March 29. He was medically evaluated and did not have any visible injuries. He was booked into the Chelan County Jail on charges of Assault 2nd degree.
The officer has been placed on administrative leave with their agency, as is standard in these situations.
Due to the officer’s use of potentially deadly force, the incident is being investigated by the Central Basin Investigative Team. CBIT consists of officers from Adams, Grant and Kittitas Counties, the Cities of Moses Lake, Quincy, Ellensburg, Ephrata and Othello, as well as Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The investigation is ongoing, and we expect more information to be released in the coming days. The contact for media inquiries is the CBIT Commander, Capt. Mike Williams 509-764-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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