Poulsbo Police officer on leave during investigation

POULSBO — Poulsbo Police Officer Ricki Sabado is on paid administrative leave while the department investigates his wife’s alleged DUI crash and his son’s alleged trafficking in stolen property.

Police Chief Alan Townsend said Sabado was placed on leave Tuesday to put some distance between Sabado and the investigation, and because investigators are trying to determine whether Sabado knew anything about his wife and son’s alleged behavior before their arrests.

Townsend would not go into further detail. “Technically, I can’t comment about the nature of the internal investigation,” he said.

Sabado’s son, Favian, 26, is due in court May 30 on a felony charge of trafficking in stolen property. He was arrested and booked into Kitsap County Jail May 14 and was still being held Wednesday in county jail on $5,000 bail. He was not on the jail roster Thursday.

A Poulsbo police officer investigating a vehicle prowl and theft of tools found Favian Sabado’s name on a receipt at Junction Variety Mall May 14, showing he sold a chainsaw to the store on April 24, according to the police report. The same model of chainsaw had been reported stolen on Bainbridge Island April 24 and, according to the police report, Favian Sabado’s friend is a suspect in that theft.

The officer contacted Favian Sabado, who said he went to the store with a friend and sold the chainsaw for him but didn’t know it was stolen, according to the report.

On May 17, Kristie D. Sabado, 55, was arrested by Washington State Patrol on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs after her Ford Explorer flipped and crashed near her home on Fjord Drive near Sommerseth Street.

Witnesses said Mrs. Sabado was driving south on Fjord Drive when her car went off the roadway, narrowly missed a parked car, struck a whiskey-barrel planter, sideswiped a telephone pole and then flipped onto its top and skidded across the roadway. Mrs. Sabado was alone in the vehicle when the crash occurred, according to law enforcement reports. The crash was reported at 4:38 p.m.

A woman was parked in her car, reading a book and enjoying the water view, when she saw Mrs. Sabado’s Explorer “speeding by her vehicle” and passing within 3 feet of her car, according to the police investigation report. Two girls were walking on the sidewalk heading toward town when they saw the vehicle swerve, then flip and crash in front of them. One of the girls used her cellphone to call 9-1-1.

Witnesses said a woman, later identified as Mrs. Sabado’s daughter-in-law, helped her out of the vehicle. A Poulsbo Fire Department medic treated Mrs. Sabado at the scene for scrapes on her left elbow and left arm.

Chief Townsend said Mrs. Sabado failed a field sobriety test. In addition, “Her actions were slow and lethargic,” a police sergeant reported. “Her speech was slow as well. I also noticed her pupils were extremely small.” Because there was no odor of alcohol, Washington State Patrol was called in to determine if she was impaired.

According to Poulsbo police reports, State Trooper Joren B. Barraclough arrested Mrs. Sabado on suspicion of DUI. “She was taken by WSP to Bremerton to be processed and was released after the [blood] test,” Townsend said. Mrs. Sabado said a state patrol officer drove her home.

Washington State Patrol spokesman Russ Winger said it could take several weeks to receive the results of the blood test. He said the prosecuting attorney would make the decision as to whether any charges are filed.

According to Poulsbo Police reports, Mrs. Sabado’s car was the same car that was reported at 4:28 p.m. “driving over curbs” and nearly missing other vehicles while pulling into the Central Market parking lot. A sergeant investigating that report at the parking lot was dispatched “a minute or so later” to the crash scene.

Asked for her account of what happened, Mrs. Sabado said Wednesday, “I crashed my car,” adding that she couldn’t talk because the crash is the subject of an ongoing investigation.

Mrs. Sabado told the Herald she doesn’t take any medication that might impair her driving, and doesn’t know if anything was wrong with her car that might have contributed to the crash. “It was just a car wreck,” she said.

Officer Sabado, who was on duty at the time of the crash, went to the scene, but the sergeant sent him away because the scene involved an investigation of a family member, Townsend said.

— Megan Stephenson contributed to this report.


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