9-year-old back-seat passenger unhurt after carjacking

The suspect reportedly told the girl to “get out” while the vehicle was moving. She did.

SULTAN — A carjacker violently stole a Ford Escape while a girl, 9, sat in the back seat.

Then as he fled, the Sultan man, 31, forced her to get out of the moving car, causing her to fall down, according to a Snohomish County deputy’s report filed in court.

The girl was shaken but not seriously hurt.

The suspect was arrested minutes later while trying to steal another car. An Everett District Court judge found probable cause Wednesday to hold the man in jail on charges of first-degree kidnapping of a minor, first-degree robbery, motor vehicle theft, reckless endangerment and second-degree vehicle prowling.

It all began around 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, when the man approached a group of cars parked at a bus stop in the 35700 block of Mann Road, on the rural side south of the Skykomish River, according to the deputy’s report. The Sultan man confronted the people in one car, occupied by a grandmother, granddaughter and two family friends in the back seat.

It appears they knew each other, according to the sheriff’s office. The man grabbed the grandmother and threw her down, the report says. Then he jumped into the driver’s seat — as the woman screamed to the kids to hurry out. Only two of the three kids fled in time. The woman called 911 to report the carjacking. At some point during the first mile or so of driving, the car thief told the young girl in the back seat to “get out,” court papers say. As the girl opened the door, the carjacker accelerated again, and she fell onto her side on the ground.

A passing bus driver picked up the girl.

On a scale of one to 10, the girl guessed the level of her fear was about an eight. She was afraid the car would run over her. Her physical pain, she said, was about a three.

Moments later, the suspect arrived at a long driveway in the 31400 block of Mann Road. A resident walked outside to find the man sitting in the driver’s seat of his daughter’s Audi Q5.

The stranger explained to the resident that he was “supposed to be given a key,” which made no sense, according to the court papers. The resident drew a pocketknife. The suspect left behind the Ford and the keys, and ran across a field, where sheriff’s deputies had arrived to arrest him.

The suspect admitted he’d used heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana “prior to the incident,” the report says.

In a jail courtroom Wednesday, the Sultan man folded his arms and appeared to shut his eyes while the judge spoke. He refused to answer questions. A public defender said deputies had flagged the suspect for possible mental health issues.

Court records show the man has a long history of domestic violence, violating no-contact orders and harassment. In his most recent felony conviction, a woman reported he sent her graphic death threats, as well as threats about stabbing her with a screwdriver, killing a baby and getting revenge for a breakup that he “did not take … well,” charging papers say.

Everett District Court Judge Anthony Howard set bail Wednesday at $250,000.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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