From the annals of ‘don’t take justice into your own hands’ comes a story about a vigilante who may have gone a step too far. The Seattle man took “extraordinary steps” to evade capture for five months after an October car chase, he initiated and a subsequent shooting that killed one man and injured a second. All his efforts to avoid capture ended this week when he was arrested after being tracked down in Federal Way. After his arrest, he was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. It is alleged the man instigated the car chase and fired at the driver of a stolen tow truck who had allegedly tried to steal the man’s SUV.
On October 7, 2022, several people called 911 to report gunfire. Police found a man lying in an alley off East Fir Street, between 11th and 12th avenues. He died at the scene, and his injured passenger was found nearby. Police also discovered a tow truck that had been stolen in Shoreline stuck on concrete blocks at the south end of the alley. The passenger later told police that he had visited the dead man earlier in the day in Lake City. The man had offered to drive the passenger home but stopped along the way in the 1700 block of South Jackson Street to check on a Chevrolet Tahoe that he had earlier stripped of its stereo. After twice trying but failing to start the Tahoe’s engine, the man ended up driving past the SUV for a third time. That is when the passenger saw a man he assumed was the Tahoe’s owner standing by the vehicle. And … the chase was on. The vigilante jumped into a black sedan and fired at the tow truck as it drove through various neighborhoods. Eventually the tow truck got stuck on some concrete blocks. The passenger jumped out and ran. The vigilante allegedly shot him in the back while he was fleeing. The driver then allegedly shot into the cab of the tow truck; one witness told police that he saw a man get out of the black sedan and shoot into the cabin of the tow truck. After, the man began to walk away but then returned and again fired another round into the tow truck. The driver died. The passenger was badly injured.
In the aftermath, prosecutors suspect the man torched the car he was driving during the chase, granted a friend power of attorney so she could clear out his apartment, and bailed on weekly classes he was required to take after suffering a workplace injury. In short, he went on the lamb.
For all his efforts, the vigilante who was upset about his SUV being stolen now faces first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder charges; he may have just taken things a bit too far for a civil society. What is to be learned by this tale? Well, it seems we all need to remember to be careful out there; it is best to let the police do the enforcement of our laws. Otherwise, prosecutors may see fit to put those taking the law into their own hands behind bars, sadly.
If you or a loved one is in a bind because of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So, it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer. SQ Attorneys can be reached at (425) 359-3791 and/or (206) 441-0900.