Nathan Paul Trujillo, 21, appears in Island County Superior Court Monday. He pleaded not guilty to kidnapping in the first degree in relation to a July 11 incident in Oak Harbor that resulted in him being shot and wounded by a police officer. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News-Times

Trujillo pleads ‘not guilty’ in kidnapping charge

With his arm in a black sling, Nathan Paul Trujillo pleaded not guilty to first-degree kidnapping in Island County Superior Court Monday before Judge Vickie Churchill.

His face was void of expression during the hearing, except to briefly smile and nod at a young man sitting in the courtroom.

Trujillo, 21, was shot and wounded by an Oak Harbor police officer the morning of July 11 when he refused to drop a gun he allegedly aimed at a woman while assaulting her.

The gun was later determined to be a loaded, “realistic-looking BB gun.”

Trujillo is accused of “intentionally abducting another person with intent to inflict bodily injury on him or her, or to inflict extreme mental distress on him or her,” according to the arrest warrant.

Maximum sentence for first-degree kidnapping is life imprisonment and/or a $50,000 fine; standard sentencing is four to six years. His bail is set at $100,000, and he remains in jail. Trial is set for 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Trujillo was ordered by the court to be evaluated by a mental health provider prior to any release. He’s also ordered to stay in Washington state and not have contact with his alleged victim.

In court documents, Trujillo is listed as homeless and unemployed and reported to have a history of mental health problems. Documents also state that the Oak Harbor Police Department contacted him prior to the July 11 incident for alleged trespassing and drug-related issues. Trujillo’s record shows numerous arrests and charges in Island and Snohomish counties.

At approximately 8:50 a.m. July 11, about nine Oak Harbor officers and deputies with Island County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call that a man with a gun was holding down a woman in the area of Hal Ramaley Memorial Park on Bayshore Drive.

After refusing to drop the weapon, an unnamed officer shot Trujillo in the left elbow, said Washington State Trooper Heather Axtman with the Skagit Multi-Agency Response Team that investigated the incident.

The SMART team looks into incidents involving police force in the region.

Trujillo was also tasered by police when he continued to struggle, Axtman said. He received immediate medical care from officers and medics and was airlifted to Haborview Medical Center in Seattle.

July 14, Trujillo was charged with first-degree kidnapping and transported from the Seattle hospital to Island County Jail.

In court documents filed by Island County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme, Trujillo is alleged to have followed a 48-year-old woman for two blocks in the vicinity of the Oak Harbor downtown park, yelling that her family was abducted and “they” were going to abduct her as well.

When the woman sat on a bench and tried to avoid Trujillo, he allegedly grabbed her, shook her, removed her shoes and socks and continued screaming that she was going to die if she didn’t get into a van.

An affidavit states Trujillo pulled out a gun and pressed it against the woman’s neck and face.

The victim later told police she does not know Trujillo.

Over the past several years, Trujillo was arrested and convicted for many offenses, including assault, theft and being a minor in possession/and or consumption of alcohol, according to the prosecutor’s office.

On June 23, Trujillo pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and two counts of third-degree theft, court records show. His 60-day sentence was reduced for time served.