Dori: Attorney General’s Office prosecutor arrested for alleged DUI, obstruction

Nov 22, 2019, 4:47 PM | Updated: 5:50 pm
police, Lake City seattle, Tacoma...
(KIRO 7 TV file photo)
(KIRO 7 TV file photo)

A source with the Washington State Patrol contacted us and wanted us to know about an arrest they had made a couple of nights ago. They told us that the man they arrested works for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.

Why did the WSP reach out to us? They were afraid that this man’s position and power would get him off the hook, and this entire case would disappear.

The Attorney General’s Office employee has not yet been charged because the results of the blood draw to determine his blood alcohol content are not yet in. We normally do not name people until they are charged, but we make exceptions for public employees because we are watchdogs of government. This man’s name is Jason Ruyf, and he is a prosecutor for Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office.

After you hear the narrative of this WSP incident report, tell me if you think this is a person who should be prosecuting other people for violating the law.

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We reached out to the Attorney General’s Office twice over the past two days for comment, but did not receive a statement by showtime on Friday. We also reached out to the judge involved in this case, but he said he cannot comment on a case in progress.

The following information is all from the police report that we obtained from WSP through a public disclosure request. The trooper writing the report was WSP Trooper Daniel Knox.

According to the report, Knox was on patrol at 2:43 a.m. when he pulled Ruyf over for failing to move over for an emergency vehicle. Knox reported that he smelled alcohol from inside the vehicle, and that Ruyf was slurring his words and fumbling with things he handled. Ruyf stated when asked that he was coming from work and had not had any drinks that night. The trooper asked him to take a sobriety test, but he refused multiple times. At that point, he was placed under arrest for a suspected DUI.

Once he was at the Tacoma Police Department, according to the report, Ruyf refused to submit to a breathalyzer test, claiming he had seen firsthand how inaccurate they were. At that point, the trooper said he was going to obtain a search warrant to get a blood test.

This next part is where things get a little problematic. I have got to wonder if you or I would have the same clout in this situation.

Trooper Knox sent a search warrant request to Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson, describing Ruyf’s slow, slurred speech, obvious odor of intoxicants, fumbling movements, and bloodshot, watery eyes. The judge denied the request, stating he did not find adequate cause for a blood draw.  Knox requested a conference call with Judge Cuthbertson, who stated that he knew Ruyf because Ruyf had been a Pierce County prosecutor before moving up to the Attorney General’s Office. The judge said that Ruyf was probably working late because he is “a workaholic” and “is like that.” Cuthbertson further said that “doing the 2 or 3 a.m. thing, your eyes can be bloodshot and stuff.” After being asked by Knox if he should contact a different judge because he knew Ruyf, the judge said he “didn’t want to wake anyone else.” He then sent an email agreeing to the blood draw.

They went to the hospital for the blood draw, but Ruyf then reportedly said he would fight the blood draw because he needed to protect himself. At 4 a.m., Knox had to call four backup cops to restrain him when he became belligerent. Ruyf resisted to such a great extent that they had to hold him down on a hospital bed, handcuffing him to the bedposts. He kept resisting throughout the blood draw and kept repeating that he did not consent.

After the draw, Ruyf asked not to be booked into jail because he was afraid for his safety; he added that he had served in the military and worked for the government for years. Knox reminded him that he had been told that refusing the tests would get him sent to jail. On the way to jail, Ruyf asked if the trooper could use his discretion and decide to refer charges instead of booking him. His pleas were unsuccessful, and he was booked into jail, then released on bail a few hours later.

I want you to think about this. You have a judge who at first refuses to grant a search warrant to someone because he knows him. Then you have a guy who works for the Attorney General’s Office and allegedly refuses a breath test, knowing that you get arrested if you refuse a breathalyzer test. He allegedly struggles so much through the blood draw that four cops have to pin him down, and then still throws around his government employment as a reason why he shouldn’t be taken to jail.

We will follow this case closely. But here is what I will tell you:

Why did sources reach out to the Dori Monson Show to tell this story? They were afraid, considering his power in the Attorney General’s Office and his friends in high places, that this story would disappear if they did not tell it.

We have told it. And I assure you, this story will not disappear.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Dori: Attorney General’s Office prosecutor arrested for alleged DUI, obstruction