A Lake Stevens man was arrested on multiple counts of property crimes on Thursday, in Snohomish. (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)

A Lake Stevens man was arrested on multiple counts of property crimes on Thursday, in Snohomish. (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)

Man arrested in Snohomish vandalism, hate crime ‘rampage’

The Lake Stevens suspect seemingly targeted those he had personal grievances with, according to Snohomish police.

SNOHOMISH — Authorities believe a Lake Stevens man went on a “significant rampage” around Snohomish this month, causing over $20,000 in damage to businesses, churches and marked patrol cars.

On the evening of Feb. 8, the 23-year-old man went on a spree that left behind a trail of property damage, including a racist threat spray-painted on a parked car, according to a police report written by a Snohomish police detective.

The man’s parents told a judge Friday that he has been struggling with his mental health, and that he was not on medication in early February.

The report details the man’s alleged personal grievances with most of the victims, including several with ties to a Snohomish church. After collecting video evidence showing a vandal in the act, police booked a suspect into the Snohomish County Jail on Thursday.

The incident is believed to have started around 11 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Snohomish Police Department, where surveillance cameras caught a man striking the windshields of three patrol cars with a baseball bat, according to court documents. He was seen driving away in a silver car with a white driver’s side door.

Damage to the vehicles reportedly put them out of service for days.

Hours later, security footage caught the silver car entering an apartment complex parking lot where an acquaintance of the suspect lived. Police suspect the man hit his acquaintance’s yellow Volkswagen with the bat and slashed the tires. On the side of the vehicle, a racist death threat was written in silver graffiti.

The acquaintance told investigators he met the suspect at Bridge Church. The church also reported two of its hanging banners had been slashed the same night. The suspect reportedly posted a video to YouTube last year titled “(Expletive) THE BRIDGE CHURCH” in which he accused it of preaching a false gospel, according to police.

About a half-mile outside Snohomish, another man reported his tires had also been slashed at his home sometime overnight. That victim also suspected the man who had grievances with the church.

Around 4 a.m., security footage reportedly showed the suspect drove to the Snohomish gazebo at 10 Avenue A. He got out of his car and hit the side railings of the gazebo with a baseball bat, police reported. One block over, on Union Avenue, deputies believe he shattered the front windows of a building with a brick. The suspect may have had a drug-related conflict with the son of the business owner who rented the building, who also recently renovated the now-damaged gazebo.

Half a mile northeast, the suspect is also accused of throwing bricks at the glass front door of Pursuit Church at 265 Pine Ave., causing $8,000 to $10,000 in damage. The word “CULT” was also spray-painted on the building.

Deputies arrested the suspect this week for investigation of two counts of malicious mischief in the first degree, four counts in the second degree, three counts in the third degree, and one count of a hate crime. In court Friday, prosecutors suggested setting bail at $15,000, arguing he poses a danger to the community.

The defendant’s parents pleaded with Everett District Court Judge Anthony Howard for him to be released to take care of his mental health issues.

While concerned with the suspect’s potential for violence, Howard released the man under the “house rules” of his parents, noting “jail is a horrible place for people suffering from mental illness.”

Correction: A previous version of this article had the incorrect address for the Snohomish gazebo.

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434; maya.tizon@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @mayatizon.

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