Man accused of threatening Camas employee appears in court

Suspect allegedly brandished a gun

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A disgruntled Camas man who allegedly confronted a city employee with a gun Monday evening appeared today in Clark County Superior Court.

Steven W. Timmons, 54, faces a charge of first-degree assault at his June 28 arraignment.

Timmons apparently was angry that the alleged victim, Tobin Reed Sr., a lead utility maintenance worker, had left him a note for violating a city code, according to Camas police.

Timmons allegedly covered a yellow fire hydrant with red paint in front of his house, police said. Reed went to his house and, finding no one at home, left a note about the violation and how to repaint the hydrant.

When an intoxicated Timmons came home to find the note, he decided to confront Reed, police said. He went to Reed's house in the 1300 block of Dallas Street, argued with Reed and then brandished a handgun, police said.

Timmons allegedly put the gun in Reed's face and said, "I'll kill you, (expletive)," according to a probable cause affidavit.

After a struggle, the employee wrestled the gun away and pushed it into the street, court documents say. Reed held Timmons to the ground until Camas officers arrived around 6:30 p.m. Officers found Reed holding Timmons down and the gun in the street, police said.

No one fired the gun, and there were no injuries, police said.

Timmons told police that he didn't think the gun was loaded. However, police found six bullets inside the weapon, court records say.

Camas-Washougal Fire Chief Nick Swinhart said fire hydrants are painted yellow to indicate to firefighters and other city employees that the hydrant is owned and maintained by the city. Red is reserved for privately owned fire hydrants.

"The problem is when you paint city fire hydrants red, the fire department and city employees may think it's private when, in fact, the city is supposed to be maintaining it," Swinhart said.

He said city maps show where the city fire hydrants are located, but encountering the wrong color while out on the job could trip up employees.

"With private fire hydrants, we don't know if they've been tested, how much flow they have and whether they work at all," Swinhart said.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts; http://facebook.com/ColTrends; paris.achen@columbian.com.