Witness to dumpster fire helps police identify and capture suspect

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

In a hallway lined with blue recycling bins and black garbage bins overflowing with garbage, the suspect is on the left by the recycling bins. His face, per KCSO policy is completely covered. Garbage covers the ground between the rows of bins. Photo courtesy KCSO.

On Monday, August 31, 2020, around 11:30pm, a 911 caller reported a dumpster fire in a condo complex in the 19400 block of Aurora Ave North.

The 9-1-1 caller reported seeing a fire in the dumpster area of the complex and the person who had started it running away. While the fire department was being called, the call taker got a description of the suspect who was seen running northbound on Aurora.

Fine, powdery ash covers the lids and fronts of four recycling bins and is piled up around the base of the bins and is on top of the garbage on the ground. Photo courtesy KCSO.

Based on the description, Shoreline police were able to locate a man matching that description at the transit center, where he "attempted to hide his face" after being spotted by the deputy.

When interviewed, the suspect initially gave a fake name, however his true identity was revealed by the deputy's portable fingerprint scanner.

The suspect sits in the back of a police car. His face is covered with a large, blank oval. KCSO does not show arrestee's faces until they have been formally charged. Photo courtesy KCSO.

The witness positively identified the suspect. Another deputy watched surveillance video from the dumpster area and confirmed the man in custody was the person who started the fire.

When interviewed, the suspect claimed that he had accidentally started the fire while trying to light a "marijuana bowl" and once the fire started, he ran away from the scene.

The suspect was arrested for investigation of Arson and booked into the King County Jail.


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