A man was arrested last week after investigators said he broke into two homes in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood.
Charging papers said the first woman was naked and alone in her apartment when a stranger walked in around 8 p.m. on July 14, She screamed for him to leave, went to a bedroom and called 911, charging papaers say
About six minutes later, that same man, identified in charging papers as Arturo Diaz-Hernandez, allegedly entered a second home near 6th Avenue and Prospect Street in Lower Queen Anne through an unlocked door where a mother and her 14-year-old son were eating dinner.
“I didn’t know what to do and I just said, 'No, no, no! Get out of my house,'” the mother said in an interview with KIRO 7.
She did not want to be publicly identified, but said the man left quickly.
“I checked to make sure he wasn’t still in the yard,” she said. “And then I saw him going to the condos next door.”
Diaz-Hernandez then went to a third home in the span of about 20 minutes, according to charging papers, where he banged on a woman’s windows and door and “silently” walked toward her when she opened the door. She slammed the door and called police, according to charging papers.
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Police found Diaz-Hernandez walking nearby, “wearing gloves and had gardening shears and a flashlight,” according to charging papers. “Given his behavior, [the] State is concerned for public safety.”
He told police that he lived in a RV in the Ballard Fred Meyer parking lot and, “did not know how he got to the area,” the charging papers said.
Prosecutors charged Diaz-Hernandez, who remains jailed, with residential burglary and attempted residential burglary. Police said he did not have a chance to steal anything because he encountered people at all three homes.
“I was surprised mostly and a little scared because my husband wasn’t home and my son asked me to call the cops, and I said ‘No,’” said one of the victims. “First of all, I didn’t think they’d get here very quickly and secondly I said we don’t know, maybe he’s hungry.”
King County Jail records show Diaz-Hernandez has been arrested at least six times since April, for crimes including burglary, and was released from jail three days before his latest arrest.
Of the six recent King County arrests, 20 days is the longest he’s spent behind bars. Prosecutors said he has a previous conviction of third-degree malicious mischief and has had one warrant since 2018.
One of the latest alleged victims questioned whether jail time is the answer.
“That’s the other thing about jail,” the woman said. “That’s a cycle as well, so how do we help the people that need help without continuing the cycle?”
King County prosecutors requested bail be set at $25,000.
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