Mount Vernon police arrest alleged arsonist at apartment complex

Mount Vernon Police

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — The Mount Vernon Police Department arrested an alleged arsonist on Sunday, according to Lieutenant Dave Shackleton.

It all started when police got reports of a “violation of a court order” in the 1900 block of East College Way.

Around four hours later, officers were sent to the same address again. They said the same suspect was throwing items into the hallway of the complex.

When officers told the suspect they were under arrest, the suspect allegedly pulled out a knife and threatened to harm themselves. The suspect also created a barricade that blocked law enforcement out of the apartment.

“Officers attempted to verbally de-escalate the situation however, as they were doing so, the subject started a fire in the apartment and began throwing things out of the apartment at officers,” said a spokesperson.

After evacuating the complex, officers used “less lethal chemical munitions” to force the suspect to surrender, however, they continued to refuse.

Firefighters then extinguished the fire and began venting smoke from the area.

“Officers attempted to re-contact the subject, however, the subject continued to throw items at officers,” said a spokesperson. “Amongst those arriving to assist was a member of the Skagit County Crisis Negotiations Team from the Burlington Police Department.”

“The Crisis Negotiator was able to engage the subject verbally,” they continued.

The suspect eventually surrendered at 6:36 p.m. by allowing officers into the apartment.

The 39-year-old suspect was booked into the Skagit County Jail for arson, assault, resisting arrest, and violation of a court order.