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Island County Sheriff could be portrayed in Colton Harris-Moore movie

Who should play Island County Sheriff Mark Brown on the silver screen?

That’s a question a casting director may have to answer someday. A Hollywood movie studio recently purchased the rights to a book proposal based on slippery teenaged fugitive Colton Harris-Moore, the Camano Island kid known as the “barefoot bandit.”

Brown isn’t happy about the prospects of a movie glamorizing Harris-Moore, a suspect in dozens of burglaries and airplane thefts in at least three counties. But he and his friends have a sense of humor about possibility of a feature film.

After all, Brown is a major player in the story, so an accurate movie should portray him as an important, if frustrated, character. Which leaves an important question: Who should play the strait-laced sheriff?

With the question put to them, a number of Brown’s friends felt it was important that a fellow redhead play the role.

Lt. Jason Longoria with the Washington State Patrol, Brown’s friend and former colleague, said he has long been predicting that there will be a Harris-Moore movie. All along, he’s said that actor David Caruso from “CSI: Miami” should play Brown.

“They’re both redheaded and David Caruso is already associated with law enforcement,” he said.

In fact, Brown himself picked Caruso, or as he put it, “that redheaded guy from ‘CSI: Miami.’”

“But he’d have to gain weight and lose his hair,” Brown joked.

“I love those sunglasses,” he added, referring to the shades Caruso constantly takes off and puts on when delivering overly dramatic one-liners.

Undersheriff Kelly Mauck felt that a much different star would be better suited for the role. He nominated Conan O’Brien.

“They both have red hair and are goofy looking,” he kidded.

Coupeville Marshal Dave Penrod, one of Brown’s best friends, said there’s only one man who could do the job, if the studio wouldn’t let Brown play himself. He would cast Tommy Lee Jones.

“We don’t need some 18-year-old Hollywood actor trying to play him,” Penrod said. “Tommy Lee Jones could get it down perfect.”

Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks, who obviously wants to continue his good relationship with the sheriff, suggested that ultimate leading-man Robert Redford could do the job.

Oak Harbor Chamber Director Jill Johnson, who ran Brown’s election campaign, noted the similarities between the Harris-Moore’s case and the movie “Catch Me If You Can.” She said the star of that movie — Tom Hanks, not Leonardo DiCaprio — played a guy similar to Brown and could do it again.

“He’s a kind, persistent fellow,” she said.

News-Times publisher Marcia Van Dyke, a fellow Rotary member, felt that actor William H. Macy, the Oscar-nominated star of “Fargo,” could capture the nuances of the sheriff.

“He has honesty, sincerity, integrity and a touch of goofiness,” she said.

But Wylie Farr, the chief administrative deputy at the Sheriff’s Office, doubted that any Hollywood actor could accurately portray her unique boss.

“He’ll have to play himself.”

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