FOLLOWUP: Bail set at $100,000 for West Seattle apartment-arson suspect

(WSB photo, Sunday)

A judge has set bail at $100,000 for the 31-year-old man arrested Sunday for allegedly setting his West Seattle Junction apartment on fire. We covered the fire at the Elan 41 complex at Jefferson Square early yesterday morning; later in the day, police announced they had arrested the resident of the apartment where the fire started. According to probable-cause documents used at this afternoon’s bail hearing, the man first told firefighters that he started the fire because, the report says, “there had been snipers in his apartment and they were shooting at him; to defend himself, he grabbed a bottle of acetone, threw it at them, and lit it on fire.” He then ran out, he is reported to have explained, but came back for his dog. After police arrested him, the report says, officers asked him why he started the fire; they say, “He changed the subject and wanted to know who the person was in the back of the patrol car.” The officer wrote that he advised the suspect he couldn’t see that person; “this made him upset.” The suspect then repeated what he had told SFD, adding, according to the police report, “he had saved people because the snipers would have killed them all.” The only prior arrest we can find for him was a misdemeanor assault case a year and a half ago, dismissed because there was “no prosecuting witness.” Not much information is available about that case but we do note his address was listed as the same apartment. One person was hurt in the fire, an SFD lieutenant who suffered minor injuries.

17 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Bail set at $100,000 for West Seattle apartment-arson suspect"

  • OP July 9, 2018 (5:38 pm)

    Schizophrenic, clearly. Thankfully no one was hurt, or something worse didn’t happen.

  • Ktrapp July 9, 2018 (6:20 pm)

    I suppose it would have been known if there was a dog at the apartment that was in any danger, right?

    • WSB July 9, 2018 (6:26 pm)

      The documents say the suspect’s dog was subsequently taken to a “shelter.”

      • RSN July 9, 2018 (9:46 pm)

        If anyone finds out where the dog was taken, my wife and I would be interested in adopting him. He and his dog were our neighbors. Super sweet dog, I feel bad for him. He was an Australian Shepherd and I think his name was Reece.

        • ACG July 9, 2018 (10:54 pm)

          You are super thoughtful and kind to want to give the pup a home. I hope you are successful in finding him. 

        • CAM July 10, 2018 (12:30 am)

          The police could probably give you that information but there is likely a period of time that has to pass before a pet is considered abandoned and available for adoption. It’s also possible that this individual has family or friends that he would prefer the dog be with so that he can be reunited with him in the future. 

        • KD July 10, 2018 (2:42 am)

          It most likely would be up at The Seattle Animal Shelter, being in the city limits would be their jurisdiction. There would be a 3 day hold and if he doesn’t come and claim by then. I do know of some cases that the animal should not have gone back to ‘owner’ yet did, so I hope that it’s a stiff police report impressing the point of mental instability and delusion. Not good for any pet to live with, even if they are an emotional support. Animals deserve calm and not chaos. (If you call (206)386-PETS and give address and date of rescue and ask for a case number, then you can check after 3 business days, that would be starting Monday I suppose.)

        • Hoku July 10, 2018 (1:15 pm)

          I hope you get the dog! 

        • WM July 15, 2018 (5:38 pm)

          I heard his fog was taken by Animal Control. The idea to adopt Reese crossed my mind too. Such a sweet and mellow dog.

  • zark00 July 10, 2018 (1:45 pm)

    Shouldn’t we be more worried about the guy, who clearly needs help, than about the dog?

    • KD July 10, 2018 (5:24 pm)

      @ zark00 .. ummmmm, don’t mix apples and oranges (not equate the two beings) fortunately the one relative spoke up and informed us what is going and of course there is care for the human, and of course people care about him but geez.. don’t ever leave animals (or children or vulnerable adults) in the dust. They don’t get to choose the bad situation they are forced to live in or get to speak up. The critters go through so much chaos and anxiety as it is, and if you ever did animal rescue you wouldn’t even make a statement like that. They are living vulnerable and feeling beings that are scared and confused. YOU BET I and others are ‘going to ask about the dog!’ Thankyou Anonymous for the updated info. and for seeing through for the doggies’ (Reece!) welfare. I wish he could have explained to him his upcoming transition. Dang right I’ll ask about the dog! I’m glad others spoke up too!! 🐾🐾💗

  • Anonymous July 10, 2018 (2:47 pm)

    I am a relative of the suspect, he is sick with a serious mental illness- he is not a criminal or a monster. There is predisposition of schizophrenia in the family, and as I understand, as of lately he’d been frequently using cannabis “concentrates” as it is legal in Washington State. Reece is in a safe place and will hopefully be taken to another relatives stable home in a different state soon. Thank you RSN neighbor for your genuine care and concern for Reece; the very sad and unfortunate situation is being monitored and handled properly. 

    • Coldheart Craig July 10, 2018 (3:12 pm)

      Are you sure this is the same person? According to the KC register the suspect is not named Reece. 

      • WSB July 10, 2018 (3:13 pm)

        The dog is named Reece. See comment upthread.

    • IMHO July 10, 2018 (6:09 pm)

      I’m so glad to know that this human and his dog have family support. So many of our vulnerable population are on the street and vilified. Be well and walk in beauty.

    • Marianne July 11, 2018 (7:41 am)

      I am sorry that your relative has a serious mental illness, but to say that someone who just set a heavily occupied apartment  building on fire is not a criminal, is wrong.   He committed arson.  I am glad that no people or pets were badly hurt in the fire.  Hopefully your relative will be able to get some mental health help.

  • Anonymous July 23, 2018 (7:43 pm)

    I am someone who is personally affected with the same mental illness in question here and knows this person. I want you to know his dog, Reese, is what has kept him probably alive for this long. We need our dogs to survive. They create reality’s, at least for me. PTSD development turns into skisto and typically at his age. I have gone through SO much treatment over the years to live as a single female afflicted with multiple mental health issues. This whole entire thing has turned into a joke about the dog (his family is taking care of Reese and they’re a great family). So let’s stop there and look for some compassion for someone that has not been equated with any treatment or opportunity to find out what’s really underlining the start of this fire. He meant zero harm. He actually thought the opposite at the time. Please comment on how we can help those in need and struggling to be a “normal” member of society living amongst us here in the West. God Bless him and I hope he finds peace not not hate in this community. 

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