Police link WSU blow dart attacks to a Tacoma man


by KREM.com


Posted on January 22, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 22 at 7:24 PM

PULLMAN, Wash.--The Pullman Police Department arrested a Tacoma resident for Assault in connection with his involvement in a blow dart assault that happened in Pullman on Jan. 12.

Pullman Police had received a report from a 20-year-old female resident who said she was shot with a dart while standing on the sidewalk of Colorado and Monroe. The dart went through two layers of clothing and stuck into the woman’s stomach by about one half of an inch.

“The potential is there for a devastating injury.  If that hits you in the eye or if that hits you in the temple, or if that hits you in the back it can go right through and hit you in the spinal cord,” said Pullman police commander Christ Tennant.

READ: WSU student hit by blow dart on College Hill

The victim was able to pull the dart out and she did not need medical treatment. The dart was similar to the type shot out of a blow dart gun. Surveillance video showed a suspect vehicle driving by around the time the woman was hit.

Pullman Police received a second report on Jan. 14 of a man being struck with a blow dart near Klemgard. The dart went about one-half of an inch deep into the man’s back. The dart matched the dart of the first assault.

Detectives learned that there were three similar blow dart assault cases in Ellensburg on Jan. 12. Surveillance video of the suspect vehicle in the Ellensburg cases was higher quality than the Pullman video.
“Our surveillance video wasn't really good of the car, but theirs was much better,” said Tennant.

Citizens provided leads and detectives were able to identify and arrest 18-year-old Joseph Gillies.

“This case was broke open by the general public. Somebody at WSU wanted to be involved, felt that this assault was wrong, had some information and was willing to pick up the phone and call the police and share that information with us that solves crimes,” said Tennant.