Break-in suspect lingered to watch porn, police say

EVERETT — A man shot in the thigh at a north Everett realty office Thursday allegedly told investigators he spent much of the time inside the office building watching pornography, according to court records.

The businessman who shot him told police he had been arming himself with a handgun after break-ins at Robinett &Associates, 1831 Colby Ave., earlier this week and in 2011, court papers said.

Joel K. Berry, 30, walked with a limp during a brief bail hearing in Everett District Court Friday. He was arrested Thursday for investigation of first-degree burglary and was booked into the Snohomish County Jail. Bail was set at $15,000.

Court papers released Friday provided more details about the burglary allegation and what led up to the shooting.

The worker, 76, told police he noticed that plywood placed over a window after a Tuesday burglary had been removed. The front door to the business was locked and he didn’t think anyone would be inside.

The worker found the intruder inside, detained him at gunpoint and called 911 around 9:15 a.m.

That’s when Berry allegedly told the worker he was not going to jail and attempted to climb out the window. When that failed, the intruder allegedly threw a computer monitor at the worker, striking him in the gun hand.

The worker told police he feared for his life, took a step back and fired one shot.

The suspect left through the front door and threw a brief case at the worker, trying to prevent the man from chasing him, court papers said. Police caught up with him about a half a block away.

After police arrested him, Berry reportedly told them he thought the building was unoccupied. When he noticed the computer, he decided to access the internet so he could view pornography, court papers said.

He allegedly told police: “The computer is why I stayed, to watch porn.”

He said he was watching “a lot of porn and the computer crashed.”

Berry told police he was trying to restart the computer when the worker came in, court papers said.

Police also found a bundle of papers tied by a rubber band in the area of the office where the confrontation occurred. Mixed in the paperwork was a court citation for theft with the suspect’s name on it as well as cashier checks and other documents belonging to people associated with the Everett business.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com.

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