Son, pals arrested after house trashed in Everett
A 16-year-old boy's alleged plan to make a burglary at his mother's house appear to be a hate crime backfired, according to police. On Monday night, Everett...
Times Snohomish County Bureau
EVERETT — A 16-year-old boy's alleged plan to make a burglary at his mother's house appear to be a hate crime backfired, according to police.
On Monday night, Everett police returned to the scene of the April 12 incident and arrested the boy, who, according to Sgt. Dan Boardley, has "a history of anger."
The boy and his 16- and 19-year-old friends who also were allegedly involved in the incident have been booked on suspicion of several crimes, including residential burglary, malicious mischief and conspiracy to commit residential burglary.
The house, in the 6900 block of Lower Ridge Road, not only was trashed on April 12, but stolen items were pawned, according to police.
When news of the swastikas and other derogatory writing left on the walls reached the ears of local politicians, neighbors and the media, telephones lit up at the police department and City Hall. The county executive and mayor sent out e-mails decrying the act.
And on Saturday, more than 100 people showed up at the home of Chrissy Kitchell, her boyfriend Wes Washington and eight children living there for a clean-up party sponsored by the Interfaith Association of Snohomish County.
Immediately after the crime, family members pointed the finger at the 19-year-old man because they had recently asked him to leave when he was visiting the house, according to police. When officers caught up with him, he allegedly told them Kitchell's son, 16, wanted the burglary to happen because he was mad at his family, according to police.
The third boy was tied to the crime through the other two suspects, said police spokesman Sgt. Boyd Bryant.
Police suspected it wasn't a hate crime from the start, Bryant said. While the house was ransacked, certain things were untouched — such as Kitchell's diamond earrings and a china cabinet.
Detective Lester Letoto said that during the scheming, the 16-year-old resident allegedly told his friends not to harm anything that had significance to his mother.
"We still very much consider this a hate crime," said Janet Pope, executive director of the Interfaith Association of Snohomish County. "The person acted out of hate and anger and used the symbols of a hate crime."
The Interfaith Association of Snohomish County has thus far collected $900 to help the family.
They still intend to give it to them, Pope said.
"We're devastated. We feel so horrible for the family and the emotional roller coaster they are going through," Pope said.
Pope said she talked to Kitchell yesterday and could tell the woman and her boyfriend "are pretty upset ... you can tell their hearts are broken."
During a news conference yesterday, Police Chief Jim Scharf scolded the media, politicians and others because he said they refused to listen when police warned that officers didn't think it was a hate crime. It would be the second time in a year that an Everett resident is accused of staging a hate crime.
On July 9, Naveed Khan allegedly set fire to the Continental Spices Cash & Carry, 315 E. Casino Road, to help his friend Mirza Akram. Akram was overwhelmed by debt and planned the arson with the hope of collecting insurance money, according to court papers.
Investigators found a gasoline can and a derogatory message directed toward Arabs spray-painted on a wall. A white cross was spray-painted on a refrigerator in the back of the store. Nobody was injured, but the fire caused about $50,000 in damage to the store.
"It's again the rush of judgment that concerns us and concerns me," Scharf said yesterday. "Our people do a good job investigating these cases."
Jennifer Sullivan: 425-783-0604 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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