News

Island County Sheriff's deputy saves a life before losing his job

Island County Deputy Robert Mirabal addresses commissioners during a budget hearing Monday afternoon. As the most junior deputy, he will be laid off next year because of budget cuts. - Jessie Stensland/Whidbey News-Times
Island County Deputy Robert Mirabal addresses commissioners during a budget hearing Monday afternoon. As the most junior deputy, he will be laid off next year because of budget cuts.
— image credit: Jessie Stensland/Whidbey News-Times

An Island County Sheriff’s deputy who was a victim of budget cuts likely saved a woman’s life during his last week on the job, according to Detective Sgt. Mike Beech.

Deputy Robert Mirabal was patrolling on Highway 525 in Greenbank early Sunday morning when he saw a woman walking on the side of the road at about 2:30. The deputy stopped to speak to the woman and noticed she had injuries to her face. With some persuasion, he talked her into going to Whidbey General Hospital.

It turned out, Beech said, that the 51-year-old woman had been severely beaten by her boyfriend. She had a fractured vertebrae, extensive bruising and bite marks all over her body. Worst of all, she suffered from a subarachnoid hematoma, which is bleeding in the area between the brain and the tissue that covers the brain.

The woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center for treatment. Beech said she was in satisfactory condition Monday afternoon.

“It was pretty horrific,” Beech said of the injuries. He said she may not have survived the brain injury if she hadn’t been stopped by the deputy and received prompt treatment.

Beech said the woman and her boyfriend, 38-year-old Kevin Porter, were homeless and living in a camping trailer in woods in the Greenbank area. She claimed she was sleeping and awoke to Porter beating her; he had been out drinking and returned just before the assault, according to Beech.

Beech said he and other deputies searched wooded areas all over Greenbank to find the camping trailer. They arrested Porter on suspicion of first-degree assault. He’s being held in Island County jail on $50,000 bail.

Mirabal was the only deputy who was laid off during a contentious round of budget cutting in December. He left the Coupeville Marshal’s Office last summer to take a job with the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Dec 20
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates