A 30-year-old Friday Harbor man was charged with allegedly threatening to kill at least one civilian and then, once in custody, allegedly tried to escape and assaulted three San Juan County deputies. Paul Noah Espinoza has been charged with a total of six felonies.
Espinoza received a felony charge of harassment to kill on March 7. Court documents state he allegedly threatened a man “and/or” a woman.
On March 9, Espinoza was arrested for that charge and, once in custody, allegedly broke out of an interview room by “ripping the door off,” according to San Juan County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Teresa Barnett. This led to his charge of escape.
Once out of the holding area, Espinoza allegedly hit Deputy Eric Gardner, tackled and hit Deputy Andy Urbach and hit “and/or” body slammed Undersheriff Brent Johnson, state court documents. Johnson has since retired.
Espinoza was charged with the felony of assaulting a law enforcement officer in the third degree for each of these three alleged offenses. Barnett added that she later amended the final assault charge from the third degree to the second degree because Johnson suffered two broken ribs.
Espinoza was also charged with harassment of a crime justice participant, another felony, when he allegedly threatened to harm Deputy Scott Brennan.
Espinoza’s bail is set at $50,000 and he had not posted it as of July 17. His trial is set for Aug. 20.
According to court documents, Espinoza has a history of crimes, including five separate sentences for assault in the fourth degree.
Assaulting a law enforcement officer in the second degree is a class B felony, said Barnett, and can receive a 10-year maximum sentence. The other charges are class C felonies and can each receive a five-year maximum sentence.