News

1 week, 2 SWAT incidents - Snoqualmie

Five families were evacuated from their Reinig Place homes in downtown Snoqualmie June 19 during an 8-hour standoff between police and a wanted felon.

A King County Sheriff's Deputy notified Snoqualmie Police at 8:17 p.m. that Paris Robertellio, 35, was wanted on a felony warrant. Robertellio was known to be driving a truck owned by a Snoqualmie man, according to police.

A deputy and a Snoqualmie police officer went to the home of the vehicle's owner at 8426 Reinig Place Southeast.

The police found Robertellio in the residence and he fled, according to a police department press release. Officers were told he went out the back door but later determined he returned to the house after the officers left in pursuit, said Snoqualmie Police Chief Jim Schaffer.

The residents - who have not been charged with a crime - advised police that Robertellio was armed with a loaded hunting rifle, according to Snoqualmie police.

A man, identified as the homeowner by the woman who answered the door, had no comment.

Police evacuated the residents of the home, including two children. The suspect and his 42-year-old girlfriend remained inside.

Other cul-de-sac residents were also evacuated. Schaffer said the armored personnel carrier of the Snoqualmie/ Issaquah Special Operations Team was used to move the families because they had to pass by the house on the way out.

The families were taken to Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church on Railroad Avenue. Those who weren't able to be picked up by friends or family stayed the night at the church. The Salish Lodge provided blankets and bedding.


Getting nowhere

Robertellio and his 42-year-old girlfriend remained inside. At the time, police didn't know if she was a hostage or in the home willingly.

Officers repeatedly tried to call Robertellio's cellular telephone but nobody answered and no movement was visible in the home, Schaffer said.

He said police tried to initiate communication with large loudspeakers pointed directly at the home.

"That received absolutely no response," Schaffer said.

Several times during the incident officers sounded a loud siren to get a response, Schaffer said. However, one special operations officer saw someone through a window briefly, Schaffer said.

"[Robertellio] claims he was sleeping," Schaffer said.

At 1:17 a.m., the King County SWAT team was called because the local response team lacked the capability to gas the entire house, Schaffer said.

At 4:32 a.m., SWAT officers broke out a window at the residence to deploy gas, according to police.

"He woke up and answered the phone as soon as they broke the window," Schaffer said.

Charges pending

Within 20 minutes police negotiated a surrender. Robertellio and his girlfriend exited the back door of the house and both were taken into custody.

Police found a rifle with a full ammunition clip nearby stashed in a closet, Schaffer said.

"You could tell it was hastily put there," he said.

Schaffer said Robertellio was booked on the existing felony escape warrant and is being held in the King County Jail without bail. Schaffer said he didn't know the particulars that led to the warrant because it originated from another jurisdiction.

The woman was released. Charges against both were referred to the county prosecutor's office. Robertellio may face charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and obstructing police. The girlfriend may face obstruction charges, police said.

The Valley Record doesn't routinely identify people until they are charged with a crime. Robertellio was out on an active felony warrant.

The King County Sheriff Department and Washington State Patrol also responded to assist with setting up the perimeter of the scene.

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