Stanwood police track suspect in assault on veteran

STANWOOD — The victim was 73 years old, an Army veteran living near Stanwood.

On June 7, he was folding clothes at a laundromat in the Viking Village shopping center.

Unbeknownst to him, a man in his 20s was watching, with ill intentions.

The suspect “came up behind him in the laundromat, hit him in the back and demanded his keys and wallet and everything he had,” Stanwood Police Chief Rick Hawkins said.

A struggle ensued.

The older man was tumbled over a laundry cart. He suffered five broken ribs.

The suspect took off with the victim’s pickup truck.

The robbery was reported about 4:45 p.m.

Stanwood deputy Tracy Peckham was almost off her shift, Hawkins said.

She had to act quickly, to gather enough information to give the night shift something to go on.

“We didn’t have a lot,” Hawkins said. “We didn’t have a license plate to start with.”

The victim could provide some details, but he was pretty shook up, Stanwood Sgt. Ryan Gausman said.

Deputy Adam Malaby had the graveyard shift that night. He had a description of the stolen truck and the suspect.

The robber had last been seen in the truck, southbound on 88th Avenue NW, running a red light to cross Highway 532, Hawkins said.

Malaby has been a police officer for 16 years. He previously worked in directed patrol for the sheriff’s office, a unit that targets criminals deemed most likely to cause harm.

Malaby also served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

He called Gausman, his boss, on the sergeant’s day off.

Malaby told Gausman: “I decided I’m going to find that guy.”

“We get incidents all the time where we’re looking for suspects, but what happened, that struck a chord with him,” Gausman said.

Malaby knew that Island Crossing was a place where stolen cars show up, so he headed south. There was the truck, ditched outside a gas station.

“He knew it was a good place to look,” Gausman said.

“And it worked,” Hawkins said.

Malaby started talking to folks in the area. He told them about who he was looking for.

A man matching that description happened to be in the gas station.

Malaby called for backup. The man was interviewed, along with several others.

The investigation is ongoing, Hawkins said Thursday. Detective Johan Kingsberry is building a case, piece by piece.

Police obtained a judge’s permission to search the recovered truck. Evidence inside could help them make an arrest, Hawkins said. The case file is more than a half-inch thick, and that’s not all of it, either.

The victim is recovering.

Malaby’s instincts came in handy, Hawkins said.

“It was good police work, simple as that,” he said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Departing mayor’s locally drawn portrait joins city’s pantheon

Artist Elizabeth Person’s portrait of Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson will hang with others at City Hall.

Inslee proposes tapping reserves, carbon tax in budget plan

The proposal also includes money for the mental health system and efforts to fight opioid addiction.

One dead in crash south of Granite Falls

Two cars collided near the intersection of N. Lake Roesiger Road and Hidden Valley Road.

2 women struck, injured while crossing busy roads

The first happened Wednesday night in Everett. The second was Thursday morning in Edmonds.

Lynnwood robbery leads to lockdown at Edmonds schools

Edmonds police said it was just a precaution as they search around Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Counties fed up with unfunded mandates may sue the state

For example, no money has been provided to install, maintain and clear out required ballot boxes.

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

Most Read