TACOMA, Wash. - Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer's testimony and cross examination from state prosecutors will continue Monday in the criminal trial against him.
Washington State Attorney General’s Office charged Troyer with misdemeanor counts of false reporting and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant for claiming his life was threatened. Troyer has pleaded not guilty.
The sheriff said he wanted to take the witness stand because he has not been given the opportunity to tell his side of the story about the day in question in January 2021.
Troyer said he believes he was accused of being a liar and racist and wants his truth to be heard.
In his testimony on Thursday, Troyer told the court that threats come with the territory of being in law enforcement.
"In our line of work, we’re threatened a lot. And I’ve been threatened a lot over the years. Some because I was our media guy and high profile in some major cases and controversial cases. I’ve had threats via email, some that have been painted on bathroom walls and taken pictures of. Some where we’ve identified suspects and subjects. And once our agency determined people were just mad and harmless, I’ve never ever pursued a single threat against me, ever," said Troyer.
Before beginning his testimony, the court heard the call he made on January 27, 2021 to South Sound 911 on a law-enforcement-only line, claiming newspaper carrier Sedrick Altheimer was threatening to kill him.
Troyer is heard on part of the call saying, "In Tacoma on the north end. About two blocks from my house and I caught someone in my driveway and he just threatened to kill me. I blocked him in. He’s here right now."
Altheimer testified Troyer was following him while he was delivering newspapers in Tacoma’s Vista View neighborhood. Altheimer said he approached Troyer first—asking why he was being followed, if Troyer was a cop and if Troyer was following him because he was Black. Altheimer argued he never threatened Troyer.
However, Troyer said he did and claimed Altheimer looked like he was "ready to fight."
Troyer made the help call saying he was threatened, but in that call, he is also heard telling the dispatcher he wasn’t mad at Altheimer.
"I’m not worried about the threats. I don’t want anything done about it, I just want everybody to be safe as they are arriving. And I said I wasn’t worried about the threats," Troyer testified.
In the call, the sheriff is also heard asking for one or two officers to help him. More than 40 units were dispatched on the day in question. About 10 officers arrived to the scene, most of them Troyer said he never met before.
"I didn’t know who was who that night, but I talked to three to four different people at different times as this event went on," said Troyer.
The sheriff said in the brief conversations he had with those three or four officers, they told him Altheimer was working his paper route.
"I said ‘let him go do his job. I just wanted to let the guy go do his job.’ He could have told me that from the beginning and none of this would have happened. But he didn’t," Troyer testified.
Troyer said when everyone left the neighborhood, there was no report written at the scene and no one asked him other questions. He said he thought that was the end of the situation.
"From what I understood, the case was closed out because nobody gave me a case number, nobody told me they were writing a report. By me looking at the paperwork and understanding it, the case was closed. And then reopened the next day and I never got a call. Nobody ever called me, gave me a case number, told me a police report was written, asked me in detail what happened. Because if they would have said, hey we are going to do an investigation we want to know everything that happened, I would have told them," said Troyer.