A short police summary from the weekend noted that, at 2 pm Saturday, “officers were searching for a suspect wanted for armed carjacking and eluding police … located the man mowing his lawn outside of his home and took him into custody.” Pursuing further information, we learned that the suspect was wanted for the May 12th shot-fired carjacking incident on West Marginal Way. 28-year-old James C. French was charged three weeks ago with first-degree robbery, and that’s why police had a warrant to arrest him on Saturday.
The charging documents say French first caught police’s attention May 12th near 40th/Dakota, as what turned out to be a stolen vehicle was being loaded onto a trailer. Police caught up with the Ford Expedition towing the trailer under the West Seattle Bridge and tried to pull it over; the driver, believed to be French, didn’t comply. Police did not pursue but shortly thereafter happened onto a collision involving the Expedition and trailer (above) and another vehicle. French and others were photographed walking away from the scene toward a nearby gas station, where French is accused of stealing another vehicle at gunpoint, firing a shot in the process. Police found that stolen vehicle near 21st and Holly. The charging documents say that’s near French’s house, though police didn’t yet know that he was the suspect. They did find his ex-girlfriend, who said the Expedition was hers and that she already knew about it because someone had shown her, the charging document says, “a photo of her crashed white Expedition on the West Seattle Blog.” The investigation continued, and within a few days, police say, the carjacking victim identified French’s photo from a montage. He was charged May 24th but did not show up for his scheduled arraignment last week, so the warrant was issued. He’s now in jail in lieu of $150,000 bail. According to court documents, he has no prior felony record.