EPHRATA — Former Fourth Congressional District candidate and Ephrata resident Gavin Seim was arrested last week for allegedly harassing and obstructing a police officer.
The only information from the Ephrata Police Department on Seim’s arrest indicates on Aug. 17 officer Patrick Canady was conducting a traffic stop and Seim, who owns a photography studio in Soap Lake, interfered with him as he was conducting the stop. Probable cause was reportedly developed to arrest Seim for harassment and obstruction of a law enforcement officer and he was arrested. EPD officials told the Columbia Basin Herald the case is still open and under investigation.
In a Facebook Live video posted by Seim after the arrest he claimed he stopped at the Ephrata Walmart and was leaving the store’s parking lot when he spotted Canady’s patrol car in the parking lot’s exit lane. Seim claims Canady was “harassing some woman in her pickup truck” and “trying to be cool,” so started to record the stop.
“I said you're just harassing people. You’re blocking the traffic. He said, ‘I can be here and I’m not moving.’ You know he’s real petulant. He’s real belligerent. He doesn’t usually have any response, because he is the guy they send out just to rob people. OK, he is the armed robber of Ephrata,” Seim said in the video.
Seim said he told Canady to get into his patrol car, stop harassing people and stop blocking the road “right now.”
“The fact is, he just didn’t like being challenged,” Seim said.
Seim claims he went back to his truck and additional EPD officers arrived at the scene. It was after he returned to his truck that Seim was taken into custody. He was told if he didn’t exit he was going to be charged with resisting arrest. Canady reportedly seized Seim's phone as evidence. He was released from the Grant County Jail after posting a $2,000 bond.
Seim’s recent encounter with Canady is not his first, as in early August Seim posted a video of an encounter with the officer in Ephrata in which he recorded Canady on a traffic stop.
“I think frankly this is a vengeance thing for Canady. He saw an opportunity to get even because his thuggery is exposed. Right, because people know that he is a robber and a thief and an extortioner and a kidnapper for a living,” Seim said.
Seim was previously arrested and subsequently sentenced in connection with an incident in an East Wenatchee courtroom. He ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Fourth Congressional District in 2014, losing in the primaries to Clint Didier and Dan Newhouse, who went on to win the seat in the general election.
Richard Byrd can be reached via email at email@example.com.