SoDo arson suspect walks away from hospital after King Co. Jail declines to book her

SEATTLE — Seattle police have arrested a woman suspected of string of arsons in the SoDo neighborhood area earlier this week.

According to a news release from Seattle PD, investigators believe the 31-year-old woman first set five small fires in a construction site in the 2400 block of 3rd Avenue just before midnight on March 24.

She then set a fire at an auto repair shop in the 2900 block of 4th Ave South, burned refuse at Occidental and Lander, burned in a garbage can in the 2700 block of South Hanford Street, ignited debris in the 3300 block of 2nd Avenue South, torched another garbage can and a forklift at a brewery in the 2900 block of 1st Avenue South, and set alight a dumpster and the bed of a pickup truck near the 2700 block of 1st Avenue South.

Police considered the woman as a person of interest shortly after the fires, but she was arrested for a separate crime, burglary, before police concluded their investigation into the fires. 

When officers attempted to book the woman into jail, the King County Jail declined her for medical reasons and she was taken to Harborview Medical Center.

After receiving treatment, she walked away from the facility, police said. 

On Wednesday (March 27), the South Precinct Burglary squad arrested her in the 2700 block of Occidental Avenue South, not far from where the last fire was set. 

She’s been booked into the King County Jail on charges of burglary and arson.

SPD spokesman Patrick Michaud says officers will stay with violent crime suspects at the hospital until booking paperwork is complete, but if King County Jail declines a nonviolent suspect for medical issues, officers drop that suspect off at the hospital. They may or may not be able to stay with them due to staffing issues.

They also don’t generally get a call from the hospital when they’re released, Michaud said.

Michaud says officers are tasked with keeping tabs on these people, and they do the best they can with the resources they have. In this case, they knew the woman would likely go back to the area where she was picked up, which is exactly what they did so they were able to arrest her again.

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