Thursday, January 15, 2015
EAST WENATCHEE A former congressional candidate was arrested Thursday for allegedly arguing with a judge in a Douglas County District Courtroom.
Former candidate Gavin Seim, 29, of Ephrata, and his father, Grant Seim, 59, also of Ephrata, both were arrested, Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal said.
Gavin Seim was among more than a dozen candidates who sought the 4th District U.S. House seat vacated by Richard “Doc” Hastings. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, was elected to the post in the general election and was seated last week.
The two were among 10-15 supporters of Tavis T. Shasteen, a 19-year-old cited in October 2014 for allegedly refusing to give his driver’s license to a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy. Shasteen, of Ephrata, was stopped for allegedly going 76 mph in a 60 mph zone.
The deputy issued him a criminal citation and allowed him to leave, rather book him into jail and impound his car, court records show.
During Thursday’s hearing on the infraction, Gavin Seim allegedly got into an argument with the judge because he wanted to represent Shasteen. Seim, although not an attorney, argued he should be allowed to represent Shasteen, the Sheriff's Office reported.
In addition, he allegedly took exception to a ruling by Judge Judith L. McCauley because she did not want spectators live-streaming video from the courtroom.
“Seim began yelling at the judge and walking toward her bench,” Gjesdal said. McCauley “ordered him removed from the courtroom.”
When deputies tried to escort him out, he allegedly began to pull away and resist. He was placed under arrest and later booked into jail for interfering with a court, disorderly conduct and contempt of court, Gjesdal said.
As the deputies were attempting to handcuff Gavin Seim, Shasteen’s supporters began coming to the front of the courtroom, apparently in an effort to interfere with the arrest.
The sheriff and two deputies had to hold them back as they pressed to within a few feet of the front of the courtroom, Gjesdal said.
“They also tried to block the arresting deputies as they attempted to leave the courtroom,” he said.
Grant Seim allegedly came to the front of the courtroom and began arguing with sheriff’s officials.
The judge ordered that persons who were being disruptive would have to remain in the seating area and maintain courtroom decorum or leave. Grant Seim said he would not calm down or leave, Gjesdal said.
He allegedly sat down on the floor and told the sheriff he wanted to be arrested. He was arrested by East Wenatchee Police Department officers who were on scene to assist and booked for interfering with court and disorderly conduct.
There were no injuries during the disturbance, Gjesdal said, adding the jury deliberated 15 minutes before finding Shasteen guilty.
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