Family foils armed intruder

SNOHOMISH – A man forced his way into a Snohomish home and held a family of five at knifepoint until they were able to secretly call 911, police said.

“We all pulled together and did what needed to be done. I’m just glad nobody was hurt,” said the family’s father, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons. “It could have been worse – a lot worse.”

Snohomish police arrested Paul Granquist, 37, of Lake Stevens. They suspect the intruder entered the family’s open garage on Wednesday afternoon to steal some items but was interrupted by the family’s 16-year-old son.

The boy said he was just getting home shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday when a man pointed a large hunting knife at him and forced him inside.

As the pair entered the house, the family dog, Maggie, barked at the suspect, waking up the boy’s father.

“He said to get downstairs and sit on the couch or he was going to kill somebody,” the father said. “I was afraid he was going to hurt the kids.”

The intruder, who the family did not know, seemed panicky and paranoid, they said, and may have been on drugs.

“Whatever he was doing, it wasn’t logical,” the boy said. “He thought he was running from someone, but he wasn’t.”

The boy, his father and his 12-year-old sister were sitting on the couch when his mother and 9-year-old sister arrived about 10 minutes later.

The boy’s mother, who was concerned because she saw her son’s car door open and his keys on the garage floor, slipped her cellphone into her pocket before entering the house.

“She was really using her head to put the cellphone in her pocket,” her husband said.

When she joined her family on the couch, she managed to pass the cellphone to her husband.

The intruder, who had changed into clothes from the son’s room and grabbed some items from a jewelry box, was upset that the family dog wouldn’t stop barking, and allowed the father to go upstairs to get Maggie.

“I managed to call 911 then and tell them there was an intruder,” he said.

The call ended, he said, when the man “yelled up the stairs, You have 10 seconds or I’ll kill someone.’ I was just hoping I’d given enough information” to the police.

The intruder took the cellphone, then ordered the family into their small bathroom downstairs, the father said. That’s where Snohomish police found them when they arrived at the home near Blackmans Lake.

When officers knocked on the door, the man allegedly pretended to be the family’s son and told them he wasn’t allowed to open the door when his parents weren’t home, according to an affidavit filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

The family, who heard the officers, yelled for help.

Officers caught Granquist in the garage, the affidavit says, where he was apparently pretending to talk to someone on the cellphone.

The family says they’re grateful for the quick response from Snohomish police, who ended the home-invasion robbery by 3:30 p.m.

“I have a lot of confidence in the police now,” the father said. “They did a great job.”

Staying calm throughout the ordeal was critical to helping them escape, the family said.

“The girls and my son did a remarkable job keeping it together in a difficult situation,” their mother said.

She added, “This is a quiet, friendly neighborhood. I didn’t expect this here, especially in broad daylight.”

Granquist was booked into the Snohomish County Jail, where he’s being held on $100,000 bail.

Reporter Katherine Schiffner: 425-339-3436 or schiffner@heraldnet.com.

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