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Domestic Assault and Arson Investigation

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**PRESS RELEASE**
On Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 2:26am, Mount Vernon Police responded to an apartment in the 200 block of S. Baker
Street in West Mount Vernon after a female called 911 to report she had just escaped her apartment as her boyfriend was attempting to light the apartment on fire.  On arrival, officers didn’t see any signs of an active fire in the building, however Mount Vernon Fire was requested to the scene.  Attempts were made to contact the male in the residence, but he refused to come to the door.  While attempts to contact him continued, officers learned the male had threatened the female with a large knife before she had escaped the residence.

The immediate area around the apartment was secured and neighbors were contacted.  Officers made repeated attempts to speak with the male suspect by phone and through the door, but he refused to respond and on several occasions turned loud music on in the residence.  

Members of the Skagit County Crisis Negotiations Team responded, and over the course of several hours made repeated attempts via cell phone, text and over a loudspeaker to get the suspect to respond, but he refused to communicate.  During this period, adjacent apartment units were evacuated and chemical agents were deployed into the suspect’s apartment in an effort to force the suspect to communicate or exit the apartment and avoid a confrontation in the residence.

At approximately 7:30am, after these efforts were unsuccessful, officers forced entry through the front door of the apartment.  The suspect then began communicating with officers, however he remained barricaded in a bedroom behind a closed door.  Negotiations continued for approximately 20 minutes, until the suspect exited the bedroom and was taken into custody.  During the arrest process, a struggle ensued, during which an officer was injured.  The injured officer was transported from the scene to the Skagit Valley Hospital for treatment, and is expected to make a full recovery.

The suspect, a 21-year old man from Toppenish, was booked into the Skagit County Community Justice Center for investigation of Domestic Violence Assault 1st Degree, Arson 1st Degree and Resisting Arrest.

Due to contamination from the chemical agents, officers posted the property with warning notices, and the property owner is being notified. The investigation is continuing.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information that would assist investigators is asked to call the 24-hour dispatch information number (360) 428-3211 or during business hours call Mount Vernon Police at (360) 336-6271.

Lieutenant Greg Booth

Case # 19-M18590

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