Seattle Judge Releases Home Intruder Who Terrorized Family Back Onto the Streets

(Law Enforcement Today) An “absolutely out of his mind” home intruder terrorized a Seattle family at bedtime on Sunday but the truly terrifying part of the story is that a judge refused to hold the crazed man in jail.

Clint Berquist said the intruder forced his way into the family’s Georgetown neighborhood home while screaming that he was being pursued.

Berquist learned from KIRO News Radio’s Dori Monson Show that a King County District Court judge ignored a prosecutor’s request to hold the intruder on $100,000 bail.

The unidentified suspect was released by Judge Pro Tem Justin Walsh, known as the Seattle Cannabis Lawyer. Walsh, a cum laude graduate of Seattle University School of Law, has served as the Recent Developments and Technology editor of the Seattle Journal for Social Justice.

It started with glass breaking near the front door while the Georgetown dad was reading with his 11-year-old. With his wife and son upstairs, Berquist said, he dashed to the home’s entry where he used one hand to try holding the door back against a man forcing his way inside. With his other hand, he was calling 911.

The intruder, who kept screaming that someone “was trying to get him” appeared “absolutely out of his mind,” Berquist said.

Home security footage shows neighbors dragging the intruder outside to the sidewalk where he ran away. Berquist continued:

“When the police eventually showed up, he was trying to break into another neighbor’s house down the street.” 

Monson said he believes the judge’s choice to release the intruder reflects the lack of care from authorities.

“It sounds like he (the intruder) is a paranoid-schizophrenic. The King County Prosecutors Office tells us that they requested $100,000 bail because he’s a homeless guy and they know he won’t reappear for his next court case. They wanted to keep him locked up because he’s a danger to the community. They knew this but the judge – he’s a fairly new judge, Justin Walsh – he let him walk.

“I cannot believe that we have so many people in the system who are willing to put you and your neighbors and the community at risk.”