MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Wrongful death lawsuit filed over SPD officer’s ruse that may have led to suspect’s suicide

Jun 16, 2021, 3:04 PM | Updated: Jun 17, 2021, 5:56 am

seattle crime, police, Che Taylor, charleena lyles, seattle gangs, wrongful death...

(AP file photo)

(AP file photo)

In 2018, a suspect in a fender bender in Seattle committed suicide, following a ruse conducted by an SPD officer who had falsely told the man’s friend that a woman was in critical condition from the crash. Now, the man’s mother and friends are filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

Report: Seattle officer’s lie may have led to suspect’s suicide

The man — who has since been identified as Porter Feller — had fled from the scene of a multi-vehicle accident in May of 2018. Two officers followed up at the home his car was registered to, telling his friend, Maggie Parks, that a victim in the hit-and-run was near death, despite the fact that there no actual injuries reported from the crash. One of the officers remarked to his partner, “it’s a lie, but it’s fun.”

The woman eventually passed the officer’s story on to Feller, who hadn’t recalled hitting anyone. He was also a recovering heroin addict of 20 years, who had reportedly “gotten a new job and was saving money.”

According to testimony in an investigation conducted by Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability, Feller became “increasingly worried about the hit and run and that he believed he might have killed someone,” based on the officer’s fake recounting of the incident to his friend. He later told his friend that he was feeling suicidal, and that it “was related to his concern regarding the hit and run.”

5 SPD officers disciplined for potential violation of election laws

Roughly a month after the crash, Feller committed suicide, leaving a note to his roommate next to money reading, “you keep this.” The OPA’s investigation eventually concluded that the officer involved in the incident had violated SPD policies requiring officers to “strive to be professional,” and to “use discretion” regarding the severity of a crime when conducting a ruse. The officer was suspended for six days.

The wrongful death lawsuit is being filed by Feller’s friend Maggie Parks, his mother Renee Thomas, and his friend Amy Marderosian, who had been the first to discover Feller’s body. A report from The Seattle Times notes that the lawsuit itself does not specify an exact dollar amount, but a previous notice filed with the city asked for $4 million.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Woodland Park Zoo's Batu is expecting....

Julia Dallas

Local zoo animals become mothers for the first time

Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium both have news! Two animals are experiencing motherhood for the first time.

9 hours ago

Photo: Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson....

James Lynch

Auburn Officer Jeff Nelson’s fate now in hands of jury

It has been five years since Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson shot and killed 26-year-old Jesse Sarey who was going through a crisis.

10 hours ago

Steamboat Geyser is protected by a boardwalk and 3-foot fence. (Getty Images)...

Bill Kaczaraba

Lynnwood man creates costly photo opportunity in Yellowstone

A 21-year-old Lynwood man faces legal consequences for his actions near Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

10 hours ago

Photo: A 27-year-old registered Washington sex offender was caught while he was allegedly traveling...

Julia Dallas

Washington sex offender caught allegedly traveling to sexually assault teen

A 27-year-old registered Washington sex offender was caught while he was allegedly traveling to Oregon to sexually assault a teen.

12 hours ago

Photo: Starting this fall, students at Seattle's Hamilton International Middle School will have to ...

Julia Dallas

2 Seattle schools to say goodbye to cell phones in the fall

Starting this fall, students at Seattle's Hamilton International Middle School will have to lock up their cell phones during school hours.

13 hours ago

Grocery prices...

Heather Bosch

Lawmaker: High grocery prices due to ‘Corporate Greed’

Grocery prices remain stubbornly high. One Washington lawmaker, Kim Schrier, says that's because of corporate greed.

14 hours ago

Wrongful death lawsuit filed over SPD officer’s ruse that may have led to suspect’s suicide