Four days after a desperate father crashed into a stolen car to rescue his kidnapped toddler on Highland Park Way, the suspect is charged – and has a history that includes a case reported here earlier this year. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged 35-year-old Samuel M. Robinson with second-degree kidnapping and auto theft. Robinson has an extensive criminal history, including felony charges in three cases this year alone. One was reported here back in August, and its circumstances also were bizarre: Robinson was accused of breaking into a Westwood home, stealing car keys and the residents’ car, then returning to their cul-de-sac the next night – in the stolen car, to prowl other vehicles.
As we reported when Robinson was charged with burglary in that case, the suspect already had been charged with felonies in two other cases earlier in the summer – on July 8th, auto theft for stealing a pickup truck in southeast West Seattle, and on July 28th, second-degree burglary for a break-in at a Kent business a few days earlier. Despite all that, after the Westwood burglary/auto theft, King County Superior Court Judge Melinda Young set bail at half of the $50,000 that prosecutors had requested.
But the case gets more complicated from there. Robinson was found incompetent to stand trial, and was supposed to be admitted to Western State Hospital for 45 days of attempted competency restoration. Apparently there was no room, so in October, Robinson’s lawyer sought a dismissal for a due-process violation. Judge Young denied that motion but agreed to release Robinson on personal recognizance, with conditions including taking prescribed medication, so Robinson got out October 19th. After Robinson failed to show for a hearing November 8th, a warrant was issued. Robinson’s bail is now set at $315,000. The charging documents say the defendant, who has a Westwood address, claims to steal cars because of “projection” in which the cars communicate that they’re intended for Robinson’s use. In this case, Robinson acknowledged becoming quickly aware of the 15-month-old boy in the car but continuing to drive anyway, thinking about possibly taking the child to a relative’s house.