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Saturday, May 31, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Assault Suspect Disappears From Navy Ship

Seattle Times Snohomish County Bureau

EVERETT - A Navy man who allegedly was involved in a six-hour standoff with police on Memorial Day has "jumped ship" after being turned over to Navy custody.

A warrant for the arrest of Chief Petty Officer Thomas Krueger, 31, on second-degree-assault charges has been issued by the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office.

Deputy Prosecutor David Kurtz said Krueger, who was stationed on the USS Abraham Lincoln, is believed to be headed for California.

A Naval Station Everett spokesman said Krueger has been listed as a deserter, and his name was entered in the National Crime Information Center's computer system, meaning he could be arrested anywhere in the country if stopped by a civilian law officer, said Petty Officer Jason Chudy.

Normally, someone in the military can be absent for up to 30 days before being considered a deserter. "But because of the severity of the charges, we're listing him as a deserter now," Chudy said.

Desertion carries a range of punishment, including imprisonment and a dishonorable discharge from the military.

According to charging papers, Krueger pointed a gun at his wife during a dispute Monday morning at their home in the 3200 block of 26th Street, Everett. The gun discharged accidently during the incident when Krueger put it down, the charging papers said. No one was hit by the shot, and the wife escaped through a second-story window, injuring herself slightly while trying to flee.

Police were called at about 9 a.m., beginning a standoff that involved more than 30 officers, who sealed off the area until after 3 p.m., when the man finally surrendered.

He was turned over to the Navy for custody while the case was being investigated and was not supposed to leave the ship or have contact with his wife, Kurtz said.

On Wednesday, however, a detective overheard a phone conversation between Krueger and his wife. Krueger told her he was at a phone booth in Oregon, heading for California, Kurtz said.

Krueger is being sought on an arrest warrant carrying $75,000 bail.

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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