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Bitter Lake standoff ends; cops nab man suspected of beating woman with baseball bat

KOMO News photo

SEATTLE - Police say they have arrested a man who reportedly assaulted a woman with a baseball bat and then barricaded himself inside a North Seattle apartment building, sparking an hours-long standoff and the evacuation of several residents there.

The incident unfolded Wednesday at about 4:30 a.m. as police responded to reports that a woman was being assaulted in an apartment near North 140th Street and Midvale Avenue North in the Bitter Lake neighborhood.

The first officers at the scene could see through the apartment windows that the man was still beating the woman with a baseball bat. But when police tried to enter the apartment and rescue her, they found it had been barricaded tightly shut, said Detective Mark Jamieson of the Seattle police.

A SWAT team was called to the scene as police discovered that the apartment door was not only barricaded, but the suspect had even drilled screws into the door to hold it shut. The third-floor apartment also had bars on all the exterior windows.

Finally, the woman was able to get to a bedroom in the apartment, and SWAT team members were able to cut the bars on the window and get her out. She told officers that she had been beaten and assaulted by the 45-year-old man who was now holed up alone in the barricaded apartment.

Meanwhile, the suspect was able to escape from the apartment and access the attic area of the third floor and move between the apartments on that floor. Officers then evacuated the residents living on that floor to a waiting Metro bus.

Negotiators tried to speak with the suspect throughout the morning, but the suspect was not interested in dialogue, Jamieson said. SWAT officers were finally able to take him into custody at 11:40 am.

Jamieson said the suspect will be booked into the King County Jail for investigation of felony domestic violence assault.

The investigation continues.

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