A deputy who responded to a report of a naked man running around a South Whidbey golf course ended up being chased by the suspect, who demanded the fleeing officer’s gun and ranted about aliens, according to court documents.
The deputy’s report on the bizarre case describes how he made extraordinary efforts to avoid using deadly force in arresting the nude golfer, who is accused of briefly stealing a car.
Three deputies eventually took the suspect, 26-year-old Zachary R. Simer of Issaquah, into custody.
The incident occurred in September 2020, but Simer wasn’t charged until this month. Many non-violent cases have been delayed during the pandemic.
Prosecutors charged Simer in Island County Superior Court Dec. 1 with taking motor vehicles without permission in the second degree and malicious mischief in the third degree.
Simer and two friends went golfing at the Harbor Hill Golf Course on the morning of Sept. 7, 2020. The two friends later told a deputy that Simer went off to golf on his own but showed up shortly afterward naked and ranting, according to court documents.
Deputy Michael Sadler with the Island County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 report about a man, sans clothing, running around the neighborhood near the golf course. A dog walker told him she saw the nude guy running across Honeymoon Bay Drive.
A witness said the man drove a green Subaru, parked in the middle of an intersection, got out and headed toward the water. Another resident said the naked man took a gas can from his garage and ran down to his moored boat, according to Sadler’s report.
The deputy found Simer, still naked, on a dock spraying water from a hose for an unclear reason. Simer ignored the deputy, got onto a boat and started untying it from its mooring.
Simer gazed at the deputy “with glassy eyes” and told him he wanted his firearm, Sadler wrote. Simer suddenly jumped from the boat and ran toward the deputy.
Sadler turned and ran, unholstering his taser while fleeing. The deputy stopped when he reached a larger dock and told Simer to halt, but the naked man continued running at him and demanding his gun, the deputy wrote. The deputy shot him in the torso with the taser.
Simer lowered himself to his knees, but then popped up again and jumped into the water. He swam for a short time, then climbed onto a boat. He sat on the driver’s seat, turning the wheel and ranting about aliens and God sending him to “take care of it,” the report states.
Simer followed the deputy’s command to get off the boat, but then ran at him again. The deputy fled to an open area and ordered Simer to get on the ground. Simer initially complied but resisted while being handcuffed.
When asked if he had taken any drugs, Simer said “mushrooms from the forest.”
Simer fought with law enforcement and medical staff at the scene and had to be strapped to a gurney. An ambulance started leaving with Simer when it began to visibly shake, so the deputies placed Simer in four-point restraints, the report states.