The Rikki Coma Reserve Officer Handcuffing Given Center Stage by the Shoalwater Bay Administration.
Rikki Coma October 24, 2018 testimony: Raymond Police Officer Rikki Coma told investigator James Riley about her experience on July 4, 2016. At that time Coma was a reserve officer helping on the Shoalwater Bay Fourth of July fireworks celebration. Interestingly, Coma’s direct supervisor is Sarah’s husband, Sergeant Arley Boggs. Coma is also a friend of Matt Padgett which shows the closely interconnected relationships that many officers have in the area within our coastal communities.
While Rikki Coma was in the training phase before becoming a full-time officer, Padgett ran a situational awareness exercise, but also probably a type of “hazing” common to recruits. Many officers have a military background and do this to help instill camaraderie to strengthen and reinforce teamwork relationships within departments and among colleagues. In this case, Rikki Coma was handcuffed to a closet rod that could be easily removed if the officer maintained situational awareness.
Sarah Boggs was not an eyewitness to what happened and only found out about it second hand, initially from Chris Boggs. Unlike most other officers who had witnessed the events, including Rikki Coma, Sarah and Chris Boggs decided to interpret the situation as sexual harassment and bullying on behalf of Rikki Coma’s feelings, without consulting her first and getting Coma’s perceptions about the 2016 event.
Additionally, both officers seemed to have colluded in shaping misinformation about it, even dating the events a full year after, claiming it had happened in July 2017. The WSP investigator James Riley asked Coma: “How did the situation that we’re talking about now make you feel?”
Rikki Coma: “I actually wasn’t even thinking that this is even an issue, so I – I didn’t – I didn’t take it personal. I actually thought it was funny, uh – so yeah – I didn’t – didn’t make me feel embarrassed or anything. I actually had to be reminded of this incident when – when this whole thing came up.”
Officer Eric Fuller October 24, 2018, testimony: Raymond reserve officer Eric Fuller told WSP investigators about the handcuffing event on the Fourth of July of 2016. Fuller’s direct supervisor is also Sarah’s husband Arley Boggs of Raymond Washington. Officer Fuller is very close to Rikki Coma, they grew up together from the time Fuller was a toddler because their moms are best friends. Later in life Coma was influenced to enter her chosen profession of law enforcement due to Fuller’s help and support.
Eric Fuller: “During the, uh, handcuffing incident, where she was handcuffed to the — to the closet rod, you know, it was a joking – from what I remember, a joking demeanor, uh – once he removed the closet rod and showed her how easy it would have been for her to do that, you know, it turned into that kind of mentor mentality, where hey, I’m not trying to do this to mess with you, I’m trying to show you, you know – different things, I’m trying to learn from, you know – from this – just this instance.”
Kristofer Aho’s October 24, 2018 testimony: Aho claimed the handcuffing took place in Padgett’s office although it was in Aho’s office. Photos taken by Officer Eric Fuller uncovered other inconsistencies in Aho’s version of events. Photo evidence tell a much different version of events when compared to Aho’s description on two counts.
First, Coma’s documented reaction to what happened is consistent with what Fuller photographed, that she felt it was funny and was not at all embarrassed.
Second, Aho as pictured was a direct participant and visibly enjoyed what was happening in his office. Aho seems to have altered what his feeling were at the time compared to how he later described them to internal affairs investigators. WSP investigator asked, “How did Officer Coma take it in your opinion?”
Kristofer Aho: “I felt like I personally – and I felt like Officer Coma felt – I – to me it seemed like she was embarrassed and felt uncomfortable with it. From my perspective, that you know, he was the lieutenant and she was currently in reserve from Raymond and she was hired to come up and work and I don’t think she felt like she – I don’t think she would have felt like she could say anything. I didn’t feel like I could say anything, so – but I was an employed officer by Shoalwater Bay, so.”
Chris Boggs September 7, 2018, Problem Resolution document: Chris Boggs Problem Resolution document, misdated to 2017 in line with Sarah Boggs’ assertions.
Chris Boggs: “During 4th of July 2017 I was in my office doing reports I could hear laughing coming from Office[r] Aho’s office when Lt. Padgett told me to come see this. I walked to the door of the office I could see a female Raymond Police Reserve Officer with on hand [sic] handcuffed to a closet rod. Lt. Padgett said something to the effect of do you was [sic.] a key. She said yes Lt. Padgett threw a key on the ground at her feet and started laughing at that point I left the office.”
Sarah Boggs September 5, 2018 Problem Resolution document: Sarah Boggs had created the heading “Sexual nature,” to highlight how she wanted to characterize the Rikki Coma handcuffing. Directly under this heading she wrote:
Sarah Boggs: “Handcuffed Ricki [sic.] Coma (female Reserve officer) to a coat closet rod. When she asked to be let go, he threw the key on [the] floor and walked away. He referred to it as “training.”