Staff at the downtown Olympia Timberland Library say they are working in fear and one security guard has resigned after Olympia police cracked down on a drug house across the street from the library, court papers state.
Olympia police arrested two people at the Olympia Timberland Library on Wednesday for allegedly making threats to kill a library security guard because they were upset over the staff's crackdown on heroin use in library bathroom stalls. One suspect followed the security guard into the library Wednesday and intimidated staff, according to court papers.
Library staff complaints about the heroin problem had led Olympia police to make a drug bust at a home behind the library on Sept. 12. Olympia police made six arrests, including for heroin and methamphetamine possession, at the home in the 900 block of Franklin Street. Among those arrested were Dean Fulks and Laurie Pfeiffer, who live at the home. Fulks, 52, was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Pfeiffer was arrested on suspicion of heroin possession.
A Timberland Regional Library district spokesman said the problems on Wednesday were the result of anger about the Sept. 12 police activity.
One suspect, Steven Henry, 46, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of felony harassment for allegedly threatening a library security guard's life. A prosecutor amended Henry's charge prior to his court hearing Thursday. As of Friday, Henry was being held without bail at the Thurston County jail on suspicion of intimidating a witness.
The library security guard has quit because of the threat and he now fears for his safety, said Jeff Kleingartner, communications manager for the Timberland Regional Library district.
Henry is accused of following the security guard into the library on Eighth Avenue, telling him "I'm going to kill you, (expletive)," and "You won't make it home tonight." Henry allegedly repeatedly yelled out threats to kill the security guard.
Once inside the library, Henry followed the guard into the library manager's office, where employees were having a meeting, and yelled and swore at the employees.
"Several employees who witnessed only the yelling and taunting behavior by the door were too intimidated to provide their names to appear on a police report," court papers state.
The other person who was arrested is accused of threatening the security guard about 6 p.m. that evening, Kleingartner said. He was cited by Olympia police with misdemeanor harassment.
Kleingartner said the harassment of the security guard is the result of unhappiness over the library staff calling police when they discovered people shooting heroin in bathroom stalls.
An Olympia police spokeswoman and neighbors described the Franklin Street house as a "drug house." A library official said after the bust that library staff were surprised to learn people were selling heroin in a home right behind their building. Staff had contacted police because they were getting a large number of complaints about people shooting heroin in library bathrooms and dirty needles outside on the library grounds.
Library staff are now afraid of individuals threatening staff, Kleingartner said.
"It's very unfortunate," he said. "We're hoping a small group of people aren't going to affect the greater public. We haven't seen anything like this at other libraries."
The library security guard who quit has been replaced, Kleingartner said. There are two security guards employed at the library, he said.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 firstname.lastname@example.org