May 21, 2024 9:37 pm

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Edmonds police seeking unreported encounters of possible sexual predator

EDMONDSEdmonds Police are asking the public’s help to report current or past encounters of a man allegedly stalking children to smell children’s feet after the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the Assault 4 with Sexual Motivation charge against the suspect.

Edmonds police sexual
Alleged suspect. SOURCE: Edmonds Police Department.
Edmonds police sexual
Arrest of suspect by the Edmonds Police on October 17, 2023. SOURCE: Edmonds Police Department.

An Edmonds Police investigation that began in October led to the arrest of a 36-year-old Edmonds man for 4th-degree Assault with Sexual Motivation. The suspect was arrested at the Frances Anderson Community Center and was booked into the Snohomish County Jail and released less than 24 hours later without bond.

Chief Bennett
Michelle Bennett

Edmonds Police Chief Bennett wants the community to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behavior, saying, “From its onset, this case has been a priority for all members of EPD. While we identified and arrested the suspect in this incident, we know the community remains concerned. We share that concern and encourage you to call 911 if you observe anyone suspicious or believe you have encountered this suspect in similar situations.”   

After an additional investigation and new information, The Edmonds Police believes the community should be aware of these incidents.

Detectives will continue working on the investigation (23-21633) and would like to speak with anyone they believe may have had a similar interaction but did not report it. Community members can call our non-emergency number at 425-407-3999 to have an officer contact them.   

First encounter with suspect

The investigation began on October 9 of this year when the suspect approached and lingered amongst a youth ballet class that had just released the dancers into the hallway. The juvenile victim entered the dressing room, and the suspect followed behind her, closing the door behind them. He committed a non-injury misdemeanor assault of touching the child, but investigators determined that there was also evidence of sexual motivation. The suspect was also observed walking toward a group of juvenile dancers waiting in the hallway. He stood next to them as they knelt on the ground. He then quickly dropped to his knees and put his face down next to one of the juvenile’s feet as if sniffing them.

Police were notified, responded, reviewed surveillance footage, and initiated an investigation. EPD detectives were also involved with the case. As a result, probable cause was developed to arrest the suspect for Unlawful Imprisonment and Assault 4 with Sexual Motivation. Information was distributed to the staff of the Frances Anderson Center, and EPD proactively began a search for the suspect.   

Second encounter with suspect

On October 17, 2023, the suspect returned to the Frances Anderson Center and was recognized by employees. EPD officers responded within minutes and located him outside of a classroom area. He was arrested without incident and transported to Edmonds PD, where he declined to speak with detectives. The suspect was booked into the Snohomish County Jail. After a prosecutor review, the charges were amended to include the misdemeanor only. The suspect has since been released pending the judicial process.

ARTICLE UPDATED: 10:44 a.m., December 20, 2023.

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