Orcas man charged with assaulting a police officer

Brett Isaac Hickman, 42, has been charged in San Juan County Superior Court with one count of assault in the third degree against a law enforcement officer.

On Sept. 1, Hickman was in custody at the San Juan County jail when he was moved from his cell for a court appearance. Hickman was agitated and would not put on his orange jumpsuit. He allegedly punched a corrections deputy, who was trying to calm him down, in the shoulder. Undersheriff Zac Reimer was also in attendance, and when he advanced toward Hickman, the inmate allegedly punched the deputy again, this time in the face. Reimer and another deputy were able to detain and place handcuffs on Hickman. He was then transferred to a safety cell.

On Sept. 12, Judge Kathryn Loring approved a mental health evaluation of the defendant filed by public defender Alex Frix. According to the court documents, Hickman has been previously diagnosed with a mental health condition, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in previous cases and received treatment at Western State Hospital for several years.

According to court document, an evaluation will be done in the San Juan County jail by a “qualified expert who shall be approved by the prosecuting attorney and who is designated by the Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services.” On Sept. 19 during an arraignment hearing, Hickman was remanded to the custody of the San Juan County Sheriff and his bail was set at $5,000. A review hearing is scheduled for Oct. 3.

Per the police report, Hickman is homeless and resides in Eastsound. His criminal history in San Juan County includes assault, obstruction of a law enforcement officer and possession of a dangerous weapon. In Boulder and Durango, Colorado, his previous convictions are multiple counts of trespassing and harassment, assault and disorderly conduct — fighting in public.