EVERETT – A Snohomish County man who was once in prison for more than eight years for shooting a Nevada lawyer is now charged with raping a stranger in north Everett.
James Robert Spitzer, 34, was arrested Saturday morning on investigations into rape, kidnapping and obstruction of justice, as well as an arrest warrant from Nevada.
In 2011, he and his brother Jessie Spitzer pleaded guilty to attempted murder with a deadly weapon and burglary. The brothers fled Washington with a stolen weapon in a stolen vehicle in order to evade criminal arrest warrants.
That day in 2010, Sgt. Todd Fincher escaped injury when 6 shots were fired at his patrol car during a traffic stop on a remote road near the U.S. The deputy had responded to a break-in report. James Spitzer later described the location where .357-caliber, .45-caliber, and 9mm handguns were disposed of. Records in Nevada show the brothers were granted parole in 2018.
At around 8:40 a.m. on Saturday, a woman called 911 from a Safeway store on Broadway to report that a woman in a bathroom told her she had been raped and was being held against her will by a man who waited in front of the toilet door.
The police stormed into the supermarket, where they found the suspect in front of the women’s bathroom. He initially refused to reveal his identity to the police. Fingerprints taken in prison matched James Spitzer, according to court records.
The woman, who is in her early 30s, told police she was walking to work around the 1800 block on Colby Avenue when she saw the suspect walk past her. She said he stepped behind her and hit her on the back of the head with an unknown object, causing her to fall. Police documented that the back of the woman’s head was swollen, suggesting that she had been hit with an object.
The man then picked the woman up by the elbow and ordered her to hold his hand and act normally, or he would cut her throat, the woman said. The man is said to have forced the woman into a nearby forest and raped her.
“When she was raped, the victim reported that the suspect was holding a gun,” the police report said. The woman said she feared for her life.
She told the police that she had faked a seizure to force the suspect to quit and told him to use the toilet. She convinced him to escort her to the store on Broadway’s 1700 block. At Safeway, she managed to alert the staff who called 911.
When police searched the suspect’s backpack, they found a realistic-looking BB pistol and the woman’s pink handbag.
They also found a green scarf. The woman told police the scarf was not hers, but the suspect forced her to wear it during the rape. She reported that the suspect put the purse in his backpack.
Spitzer told the police that he was the woman’s friend. She insisted it wasn’t and had never seen the suspect before.
A judge on Monday set the bail at $ 250,000. A court hearing in connection with the arrest warrant for the refugee is scheduled for the end of this month.
Eric Stevick: [email protected]