Around 10:00pm Friday, May 7, 2021, Mount Vernon Police Officers were responding to various service calls when a welfare check was reported at our main campus. The caller said he was being chased by others who had weapons and were trying to harm him. Officers arrived quickly in the area locating a 31-year-old Mount Vernon man about a block from the police department. He was acting erratic and had blood on his hands.
While contacting the individual, they heard alarm sounds coming from the police campus. An officer went to investigate and found a broken window and when he entered the facility there was smoke and small fire in one of the general work areas. The officer was able to extinguish the fire.
We requested help from Skagit County Sheriff’s Office who sent Detectives that took over the criminal investigation. Preliminary information indicates the suspect had consumed illegal drugs and was suffering from delusions. He came to the police department trying to evade people he perceived were trying to harm him. He broke into the building through a window and called 9-1- 1 for help. While in the building he set fire in a workspace intending to throw off his fictitious attackers.
The suspect was transported to Skagit Valley Hospital where he received treatment. Skagit County Detectives booked him into Skagit County Justice Center for investigation of Burglary and Arson.
We have no reason to believe the Police Department or any of our staff were the focus of this person’s actions. Although the individual entered the police department, sensitive areas like records, evidence and weapon storage have additional security layers and were not disturbed.
This incident serves as an example of the challenges we face as a community in dealing with people in crisis and the extremes they will go too. Credit goes to the officers serving last night for providing needed help for the subject and preventing significant loss to our community’s police department.
Police Chief Chris Cammock