Parolee accused of raping stranger on way to work in Everett

Bail set at $250,000 for James Spitzer, who served time for a shootout with a Nevada sheriff’s sergeant in 2011.

EVERETT — A Snohomish County man who once served more than eight years in prison for shooting at a law officer in Nevada is now accused of raping a stranger in north Everett.

James Robert Spitzer, 34, was arrested Saturday morning for investigation of rape, kidnapping and obstructing justice, and for a fugitive warrant out of Nevada.

In 2011, he and his brother, Jessie Spitzer, pleaded guilty there to attempted murder with a deadly weapon and burglary. The brothers had fled Washington with a stolen gun in a stolen vehicle to avoid criminal warrants.

That day in 2010, White Pine County Sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Fincher escaped injury when shots were fired at his patrol car during a traffic stop on a remote road just off U.S. 6. The deputy had been responding to a burglary report. James Spitzer later described the location where .357-caliber, .45-caliber and 9mm handguns had been discarded. Records in Nevada show the brothers were granted parole in 2018.

Around 8:40 a.m. Saturday, a woman called 911 from a Safeway store on Broadway to report that a woman in a bathroom told her she had been raped and was being held against her will by a man waiting outside the restroom door.

Police descended on the supermarket where they found the suspect outside the women’s bathroom. He initially refused to disclose his identity to police. Fingerprints taken at the jail matched James Spitzer, according to court papers.

The woman, who is in her early 30s, told police that she was walking to work around the 1800 block of Colby Avenue when she saw the suspect passing her. She reported that he came up behind her and struck her in the back of the head with an unknown object, causing her to fall. Police documented that the back of the woman’s head was swollen, consistent with being struck with an object.

The man then picked up the woman by her elbow and ordered her to hold his hand and to act normal or he would slit her throat, according to the woman’s report. The man then allegedly forced the woman to a nearby wooded area and raped her.

“As she was being raped, the victim reported that the suspect was holding what she believed to be a gun beside him,” the police report said. The woman reported she feared for her life.

She told police she faked a seizure to force the suspect to stop and told him she needed to use the bathroom. She convinced him to accompany her to the store in the 1700 block of Broadway. While at Safeway, she managed to alert staff, who called 911.

When police searched the suspect’s backpack, they found a realistic looking BB pistol, as well as a pink handbag belonging to the woman.

They also found a green scarf. The woman told police the scarf was not hers, but that the suspect made her wear it while she was being raped. She reported the suspect put the handbag into his backpack.

Spitzer told police that he is the woman’s boyfriend. She insisted she is not and had never seen the suspect before.

A judge on Monday set bail at $250,000. A court hearing related to the fugitive from justice warrant is set for later this month.

Eric Stevick:

Talk to us

More in Local News

Whispering Pines Apartments complex which is slated to be demolished in October but must be vacated on August 31. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
New low-income apartments to replace Whispering Pines

On Monday, Lynnwood approved the housing authority’s plan for another affordable apartment complex.

Election vote icon for general use.
2021 primary election results for Snohomish County

Returns for contested races and ballot measures, updated daily as mail-in ballots are counted.

Man hit by truck and killed in Lynnwood is identified

Charles Fritz, 20, was believed to be part of a group of people riding bicycles, scooters and skateboards.

Native American remains found at Oak Harbor construction site

Archaeologists are working with Tulalip, Samish, Swinomish and Stillaguamish tribes.

Mike Evans, Blue Heron Canoe Family patriarch, asks permission to navigate the Coast Salish waters as paddlers prepare to depart on their two week journey to Lummi Island. (Isabella Breda / The Herald)
Pandemic disrupted tradition, but not their love of the sea

The Blue Heron Canoe family has embarked on a two-week journey, launching from the Edmonds waterfront.

Lynnwood Job Fair is Tuesday at the Convention Center

The event is sponsored by the city, the Chamber of Commerce and the Lynnwood Convention Center.

County fish passage work blocks section of road near Stanwood

Snohomish County crews are replacing a culvert under 268th Street NW in the 1300 block.

A man was found dead in the Snohomish River in June 1980. More than 40 years later, cold case investigators used DNA and forensic genealogy to identify him as Steven Lee Knox, a U.S. Air Force veteran from Wisconsin.
41 years later, man who died in Snohomish River identified

Steven Lee Knox, 24, went missing in 1980. Genetic genealogy helped identify him last month.

Incumbent Everett, Snohomish mayors seem headed for November

After early counting, Cassie Franklin and John Kartak appeared to be headed for the general election.

Most Read