Oak Harbor man arrested on $1 million bond for alleged hate crime
Officers from seven law enforcement agencies, responders from two federal agencies, multiple armored vehicles, a negotiation team and a police helicopter participated in the June 17 arrest of an Oak Harbor man who had posted comments online about the murder of gay men and appeared to be particularly obsessed with the June 18 Anacortes Pride Parade, police say.
Officers arrested Tyler R. Dinsmoor, 27, on a $1 million warrant at his Lyon Road home without incident, according to Oak Harbor Police Chief Kevin Dresker.
Dresker said the massive spectacle from law enforcement was due to the nature of Dinsmoor’s online comments, which included violent vitriol aimed at the LGBTQ community and disturbing posts about the gay pride parade. The chief said officers also knew Dinsmoor had firearms.
It was not online comments that led to the arrest, however, but a homophobic threat he allegedly made against a North Whidbey woman on June 14, according to a police report.
Island County District Attorney Greg Banks said his office is working closely with the Oak Harbor Police Department on the case. He said prosecutors cut off testimony at a June 15 trial to obtain an arrest warrant, which was authorized by Island County Superior Court Judge Christon Skinner.
Prosecutors charged Dinsmoor in Island County Superior Court on June 15 with committing a hate crime, a felony charge.
Asking the judge for the warrant, Assistant District Attorney Michael Safstrom described Dinsmoor as presenting “extreme risk of actual violence in the near future”.
Dresker said law enforcement in Island and Skagit Counties, as well as Homeland Security, are aware of Dinsmoor’s online postings on gab.com, a social media platform popular with ultra-conservatives. Concerned citizens have sent screenshots of Dinsmoor’s messages to the police.
Anacortes police and organizers of the June 18 Pride parade were also aware of the messages and had planned additional security measures before the arrest, according to law enforcement.
Detective Sergeant. Jennifer Gravel of the Oak Harbor Police Department wrote in her report on the case that a woman who lives in a North Whidbey home with her wife and children told police that Dinsmoor yelled at her from a house. neighbor that “it was legal to kill homosexuals,” the report said. The woman said the comment was particularly chilling because a neighbor told her Dinsmoor had once pointed a gun at the neighbor’s nephew, who is black, when he walked into the yard of a nearby residence to return a cane fishing.
In his report, Gravel details some of Dinsmoor’s online postings, which include videos, photos and written statements. He used an offensive slur to refer to people in the LGBTQ community throughout the posts and often referenced the Bible.
In various messages, Dinsmoor wrote that God hates homosexuals, that “sodomites all deserve to die”, that he wants the death penalty for all homosexuals and that “all homosexuals are child molesters in waiting, and all (every one of them) must be put to death immediately,” the report said. He called another online commenter a “sympathizer (insult for homosexual) worthy of death.” He wrote that “this is not is not murder if it is justified murder”.
In her report, the detective wrote that Dinsmoor posted an image of the Anacortes parade flyer with the comment “tell me out of it”. He also posted a photoshopped image of a man with a shoulder holster pointing a handgun at a group of people who appear to be participating in a gay pride parade, the report said.
This week, Dinsmoor posted that he was “9mm away from sending” two gay men to a store. “Pray for me brother,” the message continues, “I may not make it through this month (offensive term),” the report reads. The detective explained that “fedposting” is Internet slang for something posted online that shows premeditated planning of criminal activity.
Dinsmoor’s posts also include racist, sexist and anti-Semitic comments, the report said. He wrote that white people are not responsible for the “bad behavior” of black people and that the best case scenario is for black people and white people to live in separate countries, the detective wrote. He wrote that a “career woman” is useless and “an abomination”.
Gardner wrote that she believes Dinsmoor is “an extreme risk to the public, particularly upcoming Pride events in the area”. She noted that he had a semi-automatic rifle and other firearms. The detective recommended that Dinsmoor be ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation if released on bail.
Court documents say Dinsmoor owns a home-based business called Dinsmoor Sheepskins. In January, he spoke out against a sales tax on affordable housing at a meeting of Island County commissioners.