Here’s what happened after court appearances this afternoon for two people arrested in West Seattle Thursday afternoon/evening.
HELICOPTER SEARCH: The most notable arrest was that of a 33-year-old man who became the subject of an air and ground search for two hours after being spotted naked, possibly with a “knife or box cutter,” near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. He was found in a brushy area between the 10200 blocks of 47th SW and Marine View Drive. (A commenter says the machete police reported finding near him was taken from their nearby yard.) He was released
after today’s initial appearance. We haven’t yet seen the documents we requested from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, so we don’t know why, and whether he might still face charges. The jail docket shows he spent four days in jail last month after being arrested elsewhere in King County on suspicion of trespassing and resisting arrest.
ADDED 7:39 PM: Moments after publishing this, Casey McNerthney from the KCPAO explained what happened, saying he wasn’t even sent before a judge because the case was weak:
There was little information in the initial document we received that showed his intent to commit a crime or clearly steal something, which we need to clearly show in a probable cause argument before a judge. The house was not lived in. That and a detail that a worker at the construction site offered him a cookie and then he left works against our argument for probable cause for burglary on a felony matter (rather than criminal trespass).
In previous unrelated cases, courts have only found probable cause for criminal trespass when someone is in a space unlawfully but without a clear intent to commit a crime – and in Seattle that gross misdemeanor crime of criminal trespass has to go to the City Attorney’s Office.
But if more information emerges, McNerthney says, charges could still eventually be filed.
BURGLARY SUSPECT: As mentioned briefly in our coverage of that story – and by two commenters – another man was arrested on suspicion of burglarizing a house north of Fauntleroy Park. He is 30 years old and probable cause was found this afternoon to hold him for investigation of burglary. The court document says police who were “in the area on another call” saw him enter a residential garage and start “rummaging around.” The house’s resident was home at the time and said the suspect was a stranger who didn’t have permission to be there, so he was arrested on suspicion of residential burglary. The KCPAO’s office says bail wasn’t addressed today – that’ll be at another hearing. Records show the suspect has one prior felony conviction in King County, for assault, seven years ago.