Oak Harbor police follow trail of blood to suspect
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
June 3, 2011 · Updated 1:53 PM
A 37-year-old Oak Harbor man left behind a trail of blood during a crime spree last month, court documents indicate.
Terence Horton pleaded not guilty in Island County Superior Court May 31 to second-degree burglary, two counts of malicious mischief in the second degree and one count of theft in the third degree.
According to a report by Detective Ron Hofkamp with the Oak Harbor Police Department, the trouble started at the Safeway store on the night of May 17. Police officers gave Horton a one-year trespass notice for being disorderly. An hour later, the officers were called back to the grocery store, where Horton was standing nearby and cursing at Safeway employees. He was again ordered to leave, court documents state.
A few hours later, police were called to an intrusion alarm at Island Cafe. They found that a window in the restaurant was shattered by a rock and blood was covering the ledge.
Shortly afterward, a witness reported that a window of the Payless Shoe Store had also been smashed. The investigating officer went into the store and discovered that several display cases had been tipped over, two large mirrors were smashed, a computer monitor was shattered and the cash register was destroyed.
The officer noticed a significant amount of blood inside the store and surmised that the burglar injured himself on the broken glass. The officers followed a trail of blood drops outside the store that led past Kmart and across the highway to Island Cafe.
A couple of police officers found Horton, who was bloody from cuts on his hands and head, walking along Highway 20 near the Blockbuster video store. He was “very abusive to the officers and resistive,” Hofkamp wrote. Horton slammed his head against the partition inside the police car, causing two gashes on his forehead, the police report states.
Horton was brought to the hospital, where a doctor pulled glass shards from his chest and back, the police report states.
Subsequently, the officers discovered that someone had vandalized the front of the Saars Market Place store by tipping over the electric riding horse and newspaper racks, smashing watermelon and uprooting potted plants.
In addition, a motorcycle that was parked nearby had been tipped over and damaged. Likewise, someone smashed the windows on a car parked next to the shoe store.
In all, the damage was estimated at $5,000, Hofkamp wrote.
Horton’s attorney, Peter Simpson of Coupeville, said he’s in the process of reviewing police reports on the case. He said a trial date has been set.
If convicted of the charges against him, Horton could face more than five years in prison under the standard sentencing range. His criminal record increased the potential sentence.
Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.