Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times                                Jonathan Rasmussen appears in Island County Superior Court Monday after he allegedly killed a dog with a pickaxe.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times Jonathan Rasmussen appears in Island County Superior Court Monday after he allegedly killed a dog with a pickaxe.

Coupeville man accused of killing dog with pickaxe

A Coupeville man is accused of beating a dog to death with a pickaxe and shooting it Sunday, according to police.

Jonathan P. Rasmussen, 36, also threatened to cut off his mother’s head with a chainsaw; he then grabbed a chainsaw and unsuccessfully tried to start it, the police report states.

Rasmussen made his preliminary appearance in Island County Superior Court Monday afternoon. Judge Alan Hancock ruled there was probable cause to hold him on suspicion of charges that include animal cruelty in the first degree and assault in the second degree.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme asked that Rasmussen be held on $100,000 because he posed “a severe risk” to the community of committing a violent offense. Hancock agreed, calling the allegations appalling.

The first incident occurred just after midnight Aug. 27. Rasmussen’s mother came home from work to find Rasmussen, who lives with her in rural Coupeville, intoxicated and agitated.

Rasmussen made numerous threats, including a threat to slit her throat. He also threatened to cut her head off with a chainsaw. He suddenly lunged over to a wheelbarrow and grabbed a chainsaw as his mother ran for the house. He tried to start the chainsaw several times, but it was out of gas, the police report states.

Later in the day, Rasmussen was at his sister’s home, which is near his mother’s house. He became enraged at his mother’s Bernese mountain dog because it killed a neighbor’s chicken.

Rasmussen first tied a rope around the dog’s neck and dragged it around the property, causing the dog to vomit. He grabbed a pickaxe and started hitting the dog with it, the report states. He then went to his truck, retrieved a .22 rifle and shot the dog.

Three children were home when the incident occurred. They hid inside the house with their parents.

Rasmussen walked away from the home but was quickly arrested by a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office. He had blood on both hands, his wrists and his clothing; blood was spattered on his legs, the report states.

Rasmussen’s family members said they were scared of Rasmussen, who had been getting more and more out of control, the report states.

More in News

South Whidbey student arrested for alleged threat

Superintendent Moccia wrote the student was “emergency expelled” until an investigation is completed.

Treatment plant wins award for 2020

The Langley Wastewater Treatment Plant is the recipient of an award for its efforts.

Police probe Walmart scuffle

A woman and her teenage daughter attacked an employee at the Oak Harbor Walmart Thursday.

Driver in 2019 crash charged

An Oak Harbor woman is accused of causing a car accident in which she and a passenger were injured.

Naked golfer accused of chasing deputy, stealing car

A naked man chased a deputy, demanded the fleeing officer’s gun and ranted about aliens.

See caption
Winter clothing drive, fundraiser seek to wrap refugees in warmth

As winter sets in, there is a dire need for everyone to be dressed warmly.

Oak Harbor child molester reoffends, but sentence less lenient second time

Gary T. Boyer, 71, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court to third degree child molestation.

Election certification yields wins for write-in candidates

Voter turnout this year in Island County was 49%, well above the state average of 39%.

Man accused of killing dog with a hatchet

A judge found probable cause to believe 29-year-old Nicholas R. Anderson committed animal cruelty.

Most Read