The man arrested early today, six and a half hours after taking over the Westwood Village Target, had been released from jail one week earlier, after a judge refused prosecutors’ request to set bail for a case in which he was accused of assaulting a police officer. Charges have since been filed in that January 13th case, and because of that, as well as his self-identification on social media during last night’s incident, we are publishing the defendant’s name, Timothy A. Clemans.
The 31-year-old Burien resident had an initial court hearing today, and a judge found probable cause to hold him for investigation of first-degree burglary. The document from today’s hearing details what police say happened before and during the standoff. First, they say, he called 911 to say he was going to take hostages somewhere in an hour because he’d been refused services at a hospital. He was on the phone with the 911 calltaker much of the way to what turned out to be the Target store, “talking about past crimes and the need for mental-health services.” After detailing what he told the 911 calltaker, the document then goes into how Target employees, including security staff, managed to get everyone out safely once he arrived and started declaring he was going to take hostages, after arming himself with a knife from a shelf at the store. One customer in a motorized wheelchair even came face to face with him, the document says, and told him to “get the f— away from me,” and he did. Security helped her get out of the store and soon it was empty, except for Clemans.
In the assault case earlier this month, court documents say he approached a police officer near 4th/Jackson downtown and said he needed “crisis services.” The officer said he needed a reason to arrange for that. Clemans then punched the officer in the eye. He was booked into jail, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office asked a judge to set bail at $10,000, but the judge – not identified in documents – instead released him on personal recognizance. Four days later, prosecutors charged him with third-degree assault.
Prosecutors note that they have filed charges in every case involving Clemans that’s been referred to them by police or deputies. Earlier this month, they handled his sentencing for two King County Sheriff’s Office misdemeanor cases in District Court. Documents aren’t available so we don’t have details of those cases, but they apparently involved threats and “unlawful display of a weapon.” At the sentencing hearing on January 6th, he received a sentence that prosecutors say the file indicates “would have been satisfied with the time that he had already spent in jail.” The aforementioned officer-punching incident happened one week later.
He has two felony convictions since 2019. Three years ago, he showed up at the West Precinct downtown with a realistic-looking BB gun and attempted to provoke officers. That resulted in an assault conviction and a six-month sentence. Then in 2020, he was found guilty of felony harassment for another incident with a knife at a Target store, this time downtown, evacuated after he armed himself with a knife and demanded that police come kill him. He was sentenced to three months in jail.
Clemans has a different kind of history with SPD before the aforementioned incidents and others. In the mid-2010s he worked with the department on technology issues such as automation that could make it less labor-intensive for SPD to release records without violating privacy. We mentioned his work briefly in a few WSB stories, here and here.
WHAT’S NEXT: A judge will consider bail. It’s up to the KCPAO to file charges in this case, which require more documentation from SPD, but, spokesperson Casey McNerthney tells WSB, “We plan to act on it immediately if/when it’s referred to us.”