Man pleads guilty to assaulting sheriff’s deputy

EVERETT — A Stanwood man who clobbered a sheriff’s deputy on the head in October pleaded guilty Thursday to felony assault.

Duane Sanders, 29, also admitted he was in possession of a stolen vehicle and operated an illegal wrecking yard. He was under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections at the time of the crimes.

Sanders is scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

The convicted felon has a history of drug use, violence and mental health issues, court records say. He had five previous felony convictions, dating back to 2004.

Sanders ended up sideways with the law again on Oct. 18 after he crossed paths with a sheriff’s deputy in the Warm Beach area. The deputy was recovering a stolen pickup found in some woods when Sanders and a woman pulled up nearby. The deputy recognized Sanders from previous arrests and confronted him.

Sanders admitted that his driver’s license was probably suspended. The deputy started handcuffing the defendant, but Sanders had different plans. He started grappling with the deputy and they both ended up on the ground. Sanders was able to gain the upper hand, climbing on top of the deputy and pounding him in the face at least twice.

The deputy tried to use pepper spray to subdue Sanders but that failed. The deputy continued to try to get Sanders under control, but Sanders absconded into some nearby woods, still wearing the handcuffs on one wrist.

A tow truck driver arrived and found the deputy bleeding and unsteady on his feet, court papers said. He needed stitches to close up large gashes to a hand and an ear.

A manhunt that included a helicopter and police dogs ensued for hours. Deputies came up empty-handed. Sanders turned himself in later that day at the Snohomish County Jail. He was still wearing the handcuffs, dangling from one wrist.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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