Ferry County Deputy Arrested For Assault

REPUBLIC, Wash. — Former Republic police chief and current Ferry County deputy Nick Merritt has been charged with second-degree assault after allegedly trying to strangle his 16-year-old daughter.

Investigators who say they’re handling a delicate case mainly because Merritt is in law enforcement. He was police chief in Republic for seven years and had recently joined the Ferry County Sheriff’s Office.

It all started with an anonymous tip to Child Protective Services that Merritt assaulted his daughter. Local authorities asked the Washington State Patrol to handle the investigation.

Merritt’s daughter claims she was thrown to the floor by her father. Then after cursing at him, he pushed her onto a bed and strangled her on two different occasions. She tried to call 911, but Merritt pulled the phone away. She did not need medical attention.

In court documents, Merritt denied choking her. But he admits putting his hands on her neck and that what he did was “probably pretty scary.” Merritt made his first court appearence Wednesday in Republic.

CPS has removed three foster children from the Merritts’ home. None of them were victimized.

Merritt is on administrative leave from the Ferry County Sheriff’s Office. He did not return a call for comment. All calls to Ferry County were referred to WSP, and both the current and former mayors of Republic declined to comment.