3 charged in assault, intimidation

EVERETT — Drugs, rip-offs and unsolicited haircuts have three people facing a variety of felony charges.

Prosecutors on Friday filed charges against Larry Mulanax, the owner of C’s Towing in Stanwood, for his alleged role in the July 30 assault of a woman.

The victim’s hand and feet were bound before her head was shaved after Mulanax reportedly accused the woman of stealing from him and returning a car late.

Prosecutors allege that Mulanax, 68, ordered two other people to shave the woman’s head. He then took naked pictures of her and kept her ponytail in a safe by his bed, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Valerie Bouffiou wrote in court papers.

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives also found what appeared to be crack cocaine in the safe, according to court documents.

Mulanax was charged Friday with second-degree assault with a weapon, drug possession with intent to deliver and intimidating a witness. He is being held in the Snohomish County Jail on $500,000 bail.

Also charged were Richard Ace Brown, 56, and Jennifer Bertalan, 24. Both are accused of taking part in the July 30 assault. Prosecutors allege that Brown cut off the woman’s ponytail and used a knife to continue to lop off her hair. He’s also accused of forcing the woman to take off her clothes and threatening to kill her. Brown lives in a travel trailer on Mulanax’s property.

Prosecutors allege that Bertalan also participated in the assault and used an electric razor to buzz off the woman’s hair. Bertalan also is charged with second-degree robbery.

Detectives believe she helped arrange for a June 8 break-in at Mulanax’s home and pretended to be a victim.

In that case, two masked men bound Mulanax with duct tape and tortured him into giving them the combination to a safe. He told investigators that the men used metal spoons and a filet knife that had been heated over a stove. Mulanax had a large burn in the center of his back, according to court papers.

Mulanax told a sheriff’s deputy that the robbers stole $5,000 in cash, more than $200,000 in gem stones, 38 silver dollars plus several expensive watches along with a handgun and rifle.

Bertalan is accused of helping set up the home invasion. She told detectives that Mulanax ordered people to assault her at an Everett motel May 1, including shaving her head, according to court records. She said the May assault gave her motivation for planning the June home invasion, according to court records.

Witnesses told detectives that Mulanax controls several women by supplying them drugs.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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