FOLLOWUP: Highland Park man charged with attacking same victim twice in 3 days, with short jail stay inbetween

Around this time yesterday, we were reporting on a ground and air search in Highland Park for what was eventually described as a domestic-violence assault suspect – later revealed to have gotten out of jail two days after an arrest for attacking the same victim. The suspect, 25-year-old Ulises Chaires-Batalla, was charged today with four felonies. He was first booked into jail early Monday for attacking the victim in their Highland Park apartment. Court documents say his bail was set at $50,000 and he got out of jail Wednesday morning. Hours later, he was charged with assault and harassment for Monday’s attack. But by then, he had returned to the apartment, prosecutors say, pushing his way in, knocking over a baby swing holding their 3-month-old daughter, choking the victim in view of their 3-year-old and 5-year-old sons, then pulling her into a bedroom and raping her while threatening her with a box-cutter. Prosecutors wrote, “Perhaps the only thing that saved the victim was that she happened to be on the phone with a friend” when Chaires-Batalla showed up. Aware of the previous attack, the friend called 911.

During Wednesday’s attack, the court documents say, the little boys yelled at their father to “stop killing Mommy.” He fled when he heard the sirens of the police cars responding to the 911 call from the victim’s friend. In Monday’s attack, he also had choked her, and threatened to shoot her, according to those charging papers – again, in view/earshot of at least one of their young children. She waited for him to fall asleep before fleeing to a friend’s apartment in the same building and calling police. Their response included SWAT team members because she told them he had a gun; they were able to enter the apartment and arrest him. Chaires-Batalla’s bail is now set at half a million dollars.

If you are a victim of domestic violence – here are hotlines with people you can talk to now. If and when you are being attacked, you can text 911 instead of calling, if that’s safer.

48 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Highland Park man charged with attacking same victim twice in 3 days, with short jail stay inbetween"

  • M January 28, 2021 (5:54 pm)

    Absolutely horrific. I feel so bad for the victim and small children. Certainly doesn’t seem like our system protected the victims at all. Clearly the catch and release policy of our prosecutors is not adequate to protect the safe of our community. 

  • J January 28, 2021 (6:10 pm)

    I agree, M. It feels like the prosecutors in Washington are more concerned about being kind to the suspect than with protecting the victim and public. Have you noticed how often the violent crimes here are committed by people that have committed other violent crimes and faced little to no repercussions? It gets old. 

  • StopCuttingDownTrees January 28, 2021 (6:18 pm)

    If I’m reading this correctly, the suspect wasn’t simply released irresponsibly by the court system, but posted the $50,000 bail. It sounds to me like we need legislation to set a higher minimum bail standard of perhaps 4 or 5 times that amount in crimes involving rape.

    • WSB January 28, 2021 (6:29 pm)

      The Monday attack allegations are horrific enough but rape was not part of those, so the $50,000 was based on assault and threats.

  • JW January 28, 2021 (6:24 pm)

         I don’t know what to say.  Everything I want to say is unprintable. 

  • WSHP January 28, 2021 (6:51 pm)

    Perhaps if prosecutors and the court system took violence against women and threats against women’s lives seriously and had actually prioritized HER safety, he would not have been released the first time period. That woman is alive by happenstance. The courts completely failed her & her children. 

    • JES January 28, 2021 (9:29 pm)

      This happens way too much. I can’t imagine the impact these attacks, and I’m sure other horrific behavior, have had on this woman and her children’s lives. I hope she’s able to move on safely.

  • Temet Nosce January 28, 2021 (6:58 pm)

    I commented on this yesterday evening after hours of being so upset hearing the general mentions of “ domestic assault”, k9 police search and hearing the helicopter. I am truly grateful that WSB made the decision to publish enough of the details that allow the public to have an idea of what domestic violence and sexual assault looks like in this situation. This is happening constantly in our society… even in Seattle. This is what has bothered me from the beginning of local politicians making their desire to “defund police” known. And what has bothered me about their pushing and legislating on and encouraging/ convincing others that it is the right thing to do even if there is no replacement service to fill the void. As soon as I heard them sharing this idea/ rhetoric I could picture some beaten woman or child thinking to themselves “who is going to help me now?”, “ who will show up if he tries to kill me or my mom again?”. What a horrible way to make a hopeless person feel more hopeless. Domestic abusers often controll every aspect of the victims life. The victims often live in fear of being beaten, humiliated and more. The police are their only hope when violence is occurring and they have been isolated from friends and family. Please pay attention to who is and will continue to be victimized by the police budget cuts and by demonizing the police  that we often hear about.  I think that the WSB write up gives a good overview of who is truly being “brutalized”. 

    • WSB January 28, 2021 (7:54 pm)

      Just one note, yesterday we published literally everything we knew (adding iteratively as we heard a bit more from the lieutenant at HPAC, and then word of the arrest this morning). Additional details were not available until I got the court documents today.

    • 1994 January 28, 2021 (7:55 pm)

      I agree with your views. DV perpetrators do need to be hauled off to jail by the police. The city has a fund for victims of DV if their apartment has been damaged as verified by police reports, the city will pay for repairs or reimburse the property owner for repairs. The city should make the DV perps pay for repairs – or make good attempts at recouping the funds tax payers have to pay for their rotten behaviors. 

    • Artemis January 29, 2021 (12:33 pm)

      Police did not protect her from the first attack nor the second. More police would not have helped. A community outreach position for domestic violence might be more helpful than another cop. “Defund the police” has never, ever been about abolishing the police department, but about reallocating some funding to other more effective ways of handling societal problems.

      • Alex S. January 29, 2021 (2:40 pm)

        What on earth are you talking about? The police did their job by arresting this dangerous abuser TWICE over the course of a couple days.  The problem with violent criminals constantly re-offending lies with our permissive judges & prosecutors.  There already are “community outreach positions for domestic violence.” They are called Seattle Police officers who are all trained how to help and protect victims like this poor woman; SPD also has a special Domestic Violence Unit – and guess what?  Thanks to the actions of anti-police/de-fund police activists and politicians, the DV Unit is LOSING staff because of the huge need to transfer officers to patrol positions.  Furthermore, the notion some kind of unarmed outreach team could show up and talk with rapists and abusers is not realistic: domestic violence calls are the most dangerous calls that officers have to deal with.  If you are still confused about all the work the DV Unit does, googleate “Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit”

  • Sad January 28, 2021 (7:15 pm)

    Does anyone know of any sort of donation page set up or support that can be provided to the victim and her family? 

    • C January 29, 2021 (2:57 pm)

      No donation page is setup. The victim is afraid that a donation page will draw too much attention and she does not want her name circulated.She is getting support from several friends and family members. I’ve discussed with her at length.Victim is in need of a bed for herself and is working on getting setup for food assistance while she looks for a job as her ex forced her to quit working. Using local facebook groups to try and source one. Not sure if there’s a way to provide my contact info privately but I’ll reach out to WSB  Admins. Thank you for your support. 

  • Jackie January 28, 2021 (7:26 pm)

    There should not be any bail for this kind of crime. 

    • Me January 31, 2021 (7:05 pm)

      That’s what I was going to write. Completely agree. This is horrific. 

  • aa January 28, 2021 (7:30 pm)

    many of us have been attacked, raped, and traumatized, I sure didn’t expect to have to be triggered and reminded by reading such details in the WSBlog.  Was it necessary to go into so much detail?  This is awful, I feel awful, I need to rethink how I read this neighborhood blog now to protect myself .

    • Bb January 28, 2021 (8:37 pm)

      The blog is not awful. What happened is awful. I’m sorry something similar happened to you and you were triggered. But, providing accurate and complete information is important. Especially seeing as no other media is discussing this case. Such a large police response justifies the neighborhood being informed. 

      • aa January 28, 2021 (9:26 pm)

        I never said the blog is awful.  

      • JES January 28, 2021 (9:32 pm)

        Many publications would include a trigger warning at the beginning, which is probably an important practice considering how many women have been victims of sexual violence. I would appreciate if WSB could start doing this. Take care, Bb.

      • JES January 28, 2021 (9:42 pm)

        Sorry, I meant take care aa. Bb, in a society that glamorizes / normalizes violence against women it may be difficult to see how harmful this can be to read if you haven’t been through it yourself. 

    • in support January 28, 2021 (9:23 pm)

      agreed, a content/trigger warning at the beginning would have been appreciated.

      • Yes please January 28, 2021 (9:47 pm)

        Agreed. Details are fine, but as a victim of sexual assault myself I would have appreciated a content warning near the beginning. Please consider editing the post to include one.

  • flimflam January 28, 2021 (7:58 pm)

    totally insane. so, this is what it takes to see real charges/consequences? will he actually see real consequences/charges?

    • WSB January 28, 2021 (8:16 pm)

      These are *charges* in both cases. Next step, as they go through the system, plea or trial, and then, if found guilty, sentencing.

  • Auntie January 28, 2021 (7:58 pm)

    Although I hear no mention of a restraining order in this case, I think it is clear that to a person such as this bad guy, a restraining order would be meaningless. Restraining orders are pretty much useless, impossible to enforce, if a person is determined to get to their victim. Let’s all hope that this guy is unable to post bail this time and this woman and her children can stay somewhere safe.

    • WSB January 28, 2021 (8:14 pm)

      A “no contact” order was part of the conditions of release on bond after the first arrest. It’s mentioned in the charging documents for the second case. That’s fairly standard even in nonviolent crimes, ordering the suspect/defendant to have no contact with the victim.

      • Ly January 29, 2021 (10:33 am)

        He clearly was out of his mind and didn’t care about the order. There was nothing stopping him from returning to the apartment. He shouldn’t have been let out. I agree with Auntie here. I am about to put a restraining order on someone, but what for? It doesn’t make me feel safe.

  • KayK January 28, 2021 (7:59 pm)

    How can the neighborhood help this woman and her kids? Perhaps her friend can guide us? 

    • Sandal1991 January 29, 2021 (10:01 am)

      I had the same thought about how can we help her and her children. Hopefully we can get information on doing so

  • Mike January 28, 2021 (8:32 pm)

    Call and email every council member, the mayor, Pete Holmes and every judge. This is sickening.

  • History Repeats January 28, 2021 (10:16 pm)

    This is infuriating, when will the authorities take domestic violence seriously. 

  • Scubafrog January 28, 2021 (11:56 pm)

    This is an atrocity.  Domestic violence has to be taken more seriously.  No bail for domestic assault is completely logical.  It should be noted that CA has a 1-strike policy for sex offences (we should adopt that).  Sadly, no ‘no contact’ order will keep sex predators or domestic attackers at bay – so society (and our DA’s/Elected Officials/Victim’s Groups et al) must brainstorm ways to protect victims and would-be victims.  

  • PTSD January 29, 2021 (12:04 am)

    Trigger warning would be helpful at the top of this one. Thank you for great reporting as always! P.S. Any idea what the helicopter over North Delridge between 12pm and 2pm today (Thursday) was about? Thanks!

    • WSB January 29, 2021 (12:12 am)

      It was a military helicopter, saw it make two passes over Gatewood. Wasn’t on radar.

  • Neighbor January 29, 2021 (4:31 am)

    In response to those asking how they can help the victim, I’m responding as the neighbor/friend who called 911. The perps family is continuing to victimize her. Victim is currently  staying in her apartment because she has no where else to go and has their 3 kids to care for. The perps family keeps coming around on the property; the perps mother was here just last night again.the couple recently purchased a used car to which the victim contributed to financially but didn’t put her name on the vehicle title; it was solely in the perps name. The perps mother was given a spare key and came and took back the vehicle at some point after her son was arrested for the second time. The family won’t give the victim back the money she put into the vehicle so she’s out the car and her savings. I am thinking of starting a Go Fund Me to help her get another vehicle and/or find secure housing. I will post another comment with the link once I have it set up. Open to other suggestions if anyone has experience in these types of situations but I don’t. If I’m reading the jail roster website correctly it looks like the perp has new bail set at $500,000. 

    • Me January 31, 2021 (7:10 pm)

      So glad you called the police! Im sure a lot of us would contribute to a Go Fund Me, but in addition, has she reached out to a DV group for help. They must have resources to help her. She needs a lawyer as well and I assume they can point her in the best direction, as well as possibly getting her a safe place to stay. 

  • anonyme January 29, 2021 (7:45 am)

    Many women (at least 1 in 4) are the victims of severe domestic violence, and 1 in 5 are rape victims.  This is per the NCADV.   Next time you’re in the grocery store, think about those percentages, and how many women shopping in that store have been affected.  The consequences for women (and children who are witnesses) are lifelong, and yet perps can walk free within hours of being arrested – often to finish the job.  Sorry if this is triggering, but as a survivor who nearly lost her life to DV I feel I can and should speak to this.  DV is endemic to certain cultures, including our own, and must be addressed on multiple levels, including childhood education, the media, and the courts.  When it was happening to me, police had a “hands off” policy when it came to DV, leaving women to fend for themselves, and shame kept us from seeking justice.  Things have changed – but not enough.  Not by a long shot.

  • Temet Nosce January 29, 2021 (8:46 am)

    In kindness I want to add that I believe everyone has a right to their thoughts and feelings. Not all persons with a history of being assaulted are required to view the an event the same way. Some may feel upset after reading details and Some want the story to be told so that it might help others who have been through or are going through the same. Many believe that shining a light on injustice  dissipates the darkness so that healing can begin. Everyone reacts differently and all have a right to our feelings and thoughts. I personally am very sorry for this family and I am very glad that they were rescued and pray that they may heal and find hope. 

  • LPM January 29, 2021 (9:36 am)

    My fear is if the perpetrators aren’t held accountable, civilians will take matters into their own hands.  Things have got to change.

    • anonyme January 30, 2021 (9:01 am)

      I don’t call that fear; I call it justice.  Perhaps we need a registry for domestic violence offenders.  They are just as dangerous as sexual predators, and domestic violence IS sexual violence.   A registry would allow women to know what they were getting into before becoming involved.  Let the stigma be more appropriately attached to the perps rather than the victims. Even then, laws can’t solve all problems, or prevent them. 

  • Ly January 29, 2021 (10:30 am)

    Why was the bail only set to $50K after the first assault? That is crazy. He could have killed her and the kids. How can we change this? This was not enough to protect her. It needs to be changed so other women (or men) don’t suffer this same fate.

  • Matt P January 29, 2021 (11:14 am)

    Why in the world is bail set at $500k now?  He’s clearly a danger to this woman and should be held indefinitely until trial without bail.  

  • Vic January 29, 2021 (11:57 am)

    This whole thing was just wrong, not even a monitor or someone to watch over her when there was history of violence, ofcourse he would go back more pissed, what was the judge thinking?
    They always try to do something by the time it’s too late.

  • RB January 29, 2021 (2:59 pm)

    The police didn’t protect the children and woman at all by letting the criminal go after posting bail. Ridiculous, horrendous and no inkling of justice for the victims. Who knows if she even had any notification that the man was released? She couldn’t even prepare to protect her family! SPD, do f-ing better to protect the community like you say you will.

  • West Coast Nomad January 30, 2021 (11:37 am)

    I was also surprised at the amount of detail in this story as a member of my family has survived sexual assault. Despite repeated requests, no trigger warning has been added to the top of the story. Despite responding to many other questions in the comments section, WSB has not responded to the requests for a trigger warning. Is there a reason why WSB does not think a trigger warning is necessary?  This has become standard for most news media to add those. Thank you for considering. 

    • Poppycock February 3, 2021 (10:00 am)

      I appreciate the lack  of “trigger warnings.” What gives me confidence in WSB is fact-based, unbiased reporting. “Trigger warnings” are useless at best but likely they in fact do harm by encouraging a culture of anxiety/victimhood. Avoidance of “triggering” information is not the answer to emotional distress. 

  • West Coast Nomad February 4, 2021 (7:40 am)

    A trigger warning does not take away from fact-based, unbiased reporting. What it does do is simply give a heads up. It helps those who have been traumatized understand/prepare for/have a moment to decide if they should proceed with reading a particular story, watching a particular movie and so on. I’m not sure if you are a mental health professional?  Or if you are an assault survivor or care for someone who is? I’m going to guess not or you would rethink a blanket statement about what is helpful or not to those who have experienced emotional distress, such as sexual assault.

Sorry, comment time is over.