911 calls released in fatal altercation between police, man

MALTBY — Newly released audio recordings document Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies urgently calling for help before the death of a man who appeared to be having a mental health crisis.

The Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team released 911 calls and emergency radio traffic between police and dispatchers. SMART is a task force of detectives from around the county who investigate police use of force. The records share new details about the death of Alexander Dold, 29.

On March 21, police went to a home along 221st Street SE in the Echo Lake neighborhood east of Maltby. There were reports of domestic violence. A neighbor called 911 worried about shouting she heard from next door. Dold died later that night.

Around 9:15 p.m., Dold’s mother stepped out of her house to call police. She said her son, who was living with schizophrenia, had not taken his medication in several months. Dold reportedly gave her a fat lip, tipped over a chair she was in and ripped a lanyard from her neck, according to the recording. He was not normally violent, his mom told the dispatcher.

The mother asked that officers take her son to the hospital for a psychological evaluation. She also warned that Dold was afraid of police and requested no loud sirens or lights.

A couple of deputies pulled up to the home quietly.

Minutes after deputies arrived, they called for backup. There was a confrontation between Dold and the deputies. At least one electronic stun gun was used, SMART spokesman Sgt. Josh McClure said.

It was not clear Friday if Dold received an electric shock or died from other reasons.

“We’re going to need more units out here,” a deputy said over the radio.

“We’re all coming,” someone responded.

The sound of a car revving can be heard over the radio. The deputies had called for help several more times before backup arrived. Each time, the voices became more urgent.

“We need your help now,” the deputy said.

It took additional officers about eight minutes to reach the scene. Police from more than 13 law enforcement agencies drove to the house.

About 12 minutes after deputies initially called for help, Dold stopped breathing, according to a news release. A handful of ambulances were already on their way. Officers performed CPR, but were unsuccessful.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner plans to release the cause of death once toxicology lab results are available.

A total of six law enforcement officers were involved in the altercation. There were three Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies, a sheriff’s sergeant and two Monroe officers. The deputies are between ages 29 to 46, and have experience spanning 1½ to 15 years. The Monroe police officers are 26 and 45; the younger has four years of service and the older officer three years.

The officers remain on paid administrative leave while SMART investigates, McClure said.

When the case is completed, it will be sent to Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe, who will determine whether the death involved a crime.

Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; ctompkins@heraldnet.com.

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