By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – One might say it was a slam dunk.
A Centralia police officer seeking an anti-harassment order against a 20-year-old local man faced off in court yesterday, and near the end of the half-day hearing, Bo D. Rupert summed up his opposition.
Rupert urged Lewis County District Court Commissioner Wendy Tripp not to grant the order. But said if she did, she may as well put in a restriction that prohibits him from coming within 1,000 feet of Officer Mike Lowrey.
“Because I might be forced to make a decision I might not want to make,” Rupert said, in the Chehalis courtroom, to the commissioner.
Lowrey petitioned for the order on Feb. 13, after the discovery Rupert had re-posted photos of him and his family on a social media site, and had also posted his opinion Lowrey and two other officers should be executed for treason.
The officer, represented by Centralia attorney Shane O’Rourke, made the request as a private citizen. But he asked that Rupert be prevented from harassing his wife, his four children and himself, both on and off duty.
Tripp heard from Lowrey, from Centralia Police Department Sgt. Stacy Denham, from Centralia Police Officer Josh Mercer, from last year’s losing candidate for Lewis County Sheriff Brian Green, and from O’Rourke and Rupert. The 20-year-old represented himself.
“Your own witness said you were abrasive,” Tripp said. “You’re somewhat of a volatile personality. That comes across.”
Tripp noted the two sides described interactions that took place on certain days at certain places, but had little else in common.
It’s possible the situation that started Rupert’s upset with Lowrey, at Starbucks with Rupert’s nephew, was based on a mistaken notion, she said.
Rupert contended Lowrey got his nephew banned from the business, simply because he was related to him. Lowrey’s said he wasn’t working the day of the incident.
“You said you became extremely angry, because he involved your family,” Tripp said. “But you don’t seem to have insight, you involved his family.”
“You’re crossing a line, there’s no doubt in my mind,” she said.
Tripp decided Rupert could have no contact with Lowrey’s family, or with Lowrey when he is off duty.
“I’m not going to make an order that involves him as a police officer, I think that’s unenforceable,” she said.
Tripp alluded to the option of Lowrey dealing with any harassing behavior while Lowrey is in uniform in other ways.
The anti-harassment order would be effective for one year, she said.
What Tripp didn’t address directly when she spoke to the men at the end of the hearing, was Rupert’s videotaping of officers performing their jobs. The resident of both Chehalis and Centralia says he does it as a volunteer for a police accountability group called Peaceful Streets Lewis County.
Rupert indicated he planned to get an order against Lowrey. That he’s written a letter to the Attorney General, and that he’s going to go to the FBI.
Outside the courtroom, Lowrey said he is relieved.
“The whole thing is protecting my family,” he said.
In the same hallway on the third floor of the Lewis County Law and Justice Center, Rupert said he will appeal.
“I’m pissed as hell about it,” he said. “I’m just trying to show a lesson, you don’t involve people’s family and not expect someone to fight back as I did.”
Then he tore in half his copy of the order and left it, along with the dumped-out papers from his briefcase laying on the counter, and walked out the door.
For background, read “Centralia police officer asks judge to order citizen to stop harassing him” from Thursday March 19, 2015, here