The Bellevue Police Department quietly issued a short statement about two of their officers’ demotions and punishment after being drunk and unruly at a Seahawk’s game.
If Chief Linda Pillo wanted to say something about the rowdy, lewd, intoxicated action of her officers there would have been plenty to talk about from the police department’s 580-page investigation of the incident.
I’ve obtained the confidential report from a public disclosure request.
The document includes dozens of witness statements along with lengthy interviews of the two officers who were disciplined.
Andrew Hanke, an 11-year veteran patrol officer was removed from the bomb squad and suspended for 160-hours without pay.
Hanke’s supervisor, 23-year Bellevue police veteran Dion Robertson, was also involved in the bad behavior. Robertson was demoted from corporal to patrolman and removed from his job running the department’s bomb squad.
Demotions and pay cuts are the tangible result of their drunken behavior. With that, the police department considers the case closed.
The case might be reopened in citizens’ minds after reading details about the officers’ poor judgment before, during and after the Seahawk’s September 16, 2012 home game against Dallas.
The documents describe three aggressive, drunk interactions involving two off-duty Bellevue officers. The first problem was a pre-game littering incident that involved a confrontation with a Seattle Police officer. Inside Century Link Field the officers continued to exhibit rude, obnoxious behavior. After the officers were escorted off the property, at least one of them put others’ lives in danger as he drove home and later admitted he was “very intoxicated” and “couldn’t remember if he actually did drive his vehicle home” from the stadium to Snoqualmie.
Officer Hanke had purchased four single-game tickets. Hanke and his wife met up with Corporal Robertson at a home in east King County around 9:00 on the morning of the 16th and started drinking Coors Light Beer.
Hanke had a couple of beers, Robertson had a Bloody Mary and then the two couples drove to a tailgating area near the stadium.
They admitted they had a lot to drink, but couldn’t recall exactly how much they consumed before the game. Along with the Bloody Marys and Coors Light beers, they had shots of whiskey and “Pink Panty Droppers.”
Officer Hanke later described that drink to Bellevue investigators as one-fifth of vodka, eight beers and lemonade in a two gallon jug. They made two batches of “panty droppers.”
Robertson had so much to drink that he says he “blacked out for quite a few things.” He does remember leaving the tailgate party and walking to Century Link.
One of the women with the group littered on their walk to the stadium. There’s actually a dispute about whether it was a Coors can or a plastic beer bottle.
There’s no dispute that a Seattle Police officer who was assigned to work that day saw the littering and asked the women to pick up the trash and dispose of it.
The woman complied, but Officer Hanke ran up to her and asked what she was doing. She testified that her husband tried to defuse the situation by telling the Seattle office, “Of course you would catch a cop’s wife.”
According to Hanke’s wife, the Seattle cop then said, “Oh yeah, then she’s definitely getting a ticket.” Give me your license.”
She turned her license over, and she claims the Seattle officer “provoked” her husband. She also says in her testimony, “We were not out of control puking, falling down, staggering, jaywalking, or causing any sort of disturbance.”
That’s not how an off-duty Redmond police offer saw it.
We’ve learned through these documents a Redmond officer watched the whole thing. He was going to the game with his family, and had a two year child in a carrier on his back. He said based on his experience he thought Officer Hanke was aggressive, and he was worried the Seattle cop would be “assaulted.”
The Redmond officer testified that Hanke said, “Are you really going to make my wife pick that up?” and “I am a Bellevue Police Officer.” Others witnesses and officers who became involved support his statements.
Witnesses say Hanke also asked, “Are you picking on my wife because she’s white?”
The Redmond off-duty cop described Hanke as being “very agitated, aggressive. In layman’s terms he was being a real jerk or a-hole” as he tried to “intimidate” the Seattle officer.
Robertson was also described as “angry” and “drunk” as he insulted the officer and called her a vulgar name. He said, “I’m a corporal with 23 years on” and threw his cop weight around.
“I have 23 years’ experience; I bet you only have 2-3 years’ experience, no wonder Seattle has problems,” Roberson is quoted as saying as he was standing within inches of the Seattle cop’s face.
When another Seattle officer approached him, Robertson identified himself as being on the bomb squad with Bellevue PD, and he offered to buy the Seattle lieutenant a drink.
He also told a Seattle police supervisor, “No wonder you guys have all the problems in Seattle with the DOJ.”
Inside the stadium, the group stopped in a lounge area for another round of drinks – rum and Coke was the drink of choice at that point.
While in their seats, they only lasted 20 minutes before “Hawkeyes” were on them. That’s another name for the team of people at Seahawks stadium who deal with inebriated or problem fans.
For the first time, we’re learning from witnesses that Hanke made racist comments also.
A season ticket holder in section 344 says as they took their seats Hanke said to Robertson something about “these blacks. They think they run the show.”
Witnesses confirm the Bellevue cops repeatedly dropped the “F-bomb” and used a vulgar reference to a woman’s body. And another witness says one of the women was dipping her hand in her beer and flicking it at others.
A Seahawk’s alcohol enforcement employee describe the two male Bellevue cops as being “verbally belligerent” and extremely intoxicated.
As they left the game, one of the women with the officers told a fan “I hope you’re proud of yourself because you got two of Bellevue’s finest” kicked out and “better watch your ass if you come to Bellevue.”
Outside the stadium, Hanke and Robertson continued to act “belligerent.” They encountered the same Seattle cop who stopped them on the way into the stadium. Hanke called the female cop a vulgar name. Both were told to go “sober up” and were advised not drive.
Hanke says he does not recall driving home. But he in fact drove from Century Link, by himself, to Snoqualmie.
Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo learned of the misconduct of her officers from the Seattle Police Department.
An email from Assistant SPD Chief Jim Pugel to Chief Pillo reads: “Not trying to cause grief, but I know that you do not want the profession or your department represented like this.”
Even though they were off duty, the officers’ conduct violated their code of ethics as it’s defined on several pages of the 580 page document:
Employees, whether on-duty or off will not commit any act intended to bring reproach or discredit upon the department or City of Bellevue.
I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all.
I will at all times be civil and courteous to the public and to one another.
Hanke was suspended for 30-days. His demotion amounts to about a $6,600 yearly salary loss, on a base pay of $38.16 an hour.
In an apology letter Hanke acknowledged his behavior was “inappropriate and disrespectful.”
Robertson’s demotion amounts to a loss of $3.04 an hour from his base salary of $41.20. He is still on the bomb squad, although not in a leadership role.
He also had to write an apology to the community. “I was completely out of line,” Robertson wrote. “While I cannot change the past, I can let you know I have taken complete responsibility and taken the positive life changes to make sure it never happens again.”
This incident has caused him to stop drinking, he says.
By LINDA THOMAS