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Why did he run? Skagit court records detail wrench attack, Molotov cocktail destruction

McClatchy

The man who led law enforcement on four manhunts over nine days was charged Thursday in Skagit County Superior Court.

Curtis Cameron, 26, was charged with one count of second-degree identity theft, one count of second-degree possessing stolen property and two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

His bail on those charges is $500,000.

After an hourslong manhunt Monday, Cameron was arrested near Swan Road and Nookachamps Creek.

He first led law enforcement on a manhunt Oct. 15 near Cockerham Island, court documents state.

Two days later, law enforcement undertook another search for Cameron in the area of Park Ridge Lane and Prairie Road northwest of Sedro-Woolley.

After failing to locate Cameron, law enforcement picked up the search again the next day.

Monday’s manhunt was the largest, involving law enforcement from the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office, the Sedro-Woolley Police Department, the Burlington Police Department, the Mount Vernon Police Department, the Skagit County Hostage Negotiators team, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, the Bellingham Police Department, the Marysville Police Department, State Patrol, the state Department of Fish & Wildlife and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Cameron also allegedly led law enforcement officers in another county on a similar hunt, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Cameron has an extensive criminal record in Skagit County and elsewhere, according to court records.

Party attack

Some of the more recent charges stem from a Jan. 7 incident where Cameron and two others went to a party near Sedro-Woolley allegedly with the intent of assaulting a 19-year-old man, according to court documents.

After locating the man, Cameron allegedly hit him in the head with a wrench multiple times.

Cameron and the other two men were chased from the party, and Cameron’s vehicle was damaged in the process, documents state.

Angry about the damage, Cameron allegedly began making Molotov cocktails and stated he was going to use them on those at the party.

While on his way back to the party, Cameron allegedly drove past a truck full of teenagers and threw one of the incendiary devices at the moving vehicle. It bounced off the truck and landed on the ground where it continued to burn, the documents state.

Cameron also allegedly threw a lit Molotov cocktail into a 17-year-old boy’s truck, completely destroying the truck, according to court records. Cameron allegedly threw another Molotov cocktail at another vehicle, also causing it to ignite.

He was arrested for investigation of that incident on Jan. 25. The affidavit filed with that incident, written by arresting deputies, states, “If Curtis is released Deputies do believe he will be a risk to the community and Law Enforcement.”

On Jan. 30, Cameron was charged in Skagit County Superior Court with one count of first-degree assault, one count of first-degree arson, and two counts of second-degree arson.

Out on bond

Cameron pleaded not guilty to those charges Feb. 2, and bail was set at $50,000 with a trial set for March 27, documents show.

After being released on bond, Cameron did not attend his court dates.

His next contact with law enforcement came April 11 when he was stopped by a Swinomish tribal police officer for allegedly speeding.

Cameron did not have a valid driver’s license at the time and the officer arrested him for investigation of driving with a suspended license, according to court documents. After he was handcuffed, the officer search Cameron and found a glass pipe with apparent drug residue on it in a pocket of Cameron’s pants, the documents state.

Cameron allegedly informed the officer that the pants did not belong to him, the records state.

Failure to appear

At his arraignment on those charges, prosecutors asked the judge to increase Cameron’s bail based on the new charges and the fact that 18 bench warrants had previously been issued for his failure to appear in court.

His bail was increased, and he was again released on bond, records show.

After Cameron again failed to appear in court, Judge Brian Stiles in September issued a nationwide warrant for Cameron’s arrest, according to court documents.

Following his Monday arrest, bail for the January incident has been increased to $200,000.

Two people arrested in connection with Cameron’s arrest Monday also face charges.

Cameron’s reported girlfriend, Shelby Len Wicker, 21, was charged Thursday with one count of first-degree attempted rendering of criminal assistance for allegedly helping Cameron evade law enforcement.

Wicker’s bail was set at $10,000.

Trent Michael Johnson, 25, the driver of the vehicle Cameron was in Monday before fleeing from police, was charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance.

Johnson, according to documents, stated he knew Cameron was wanted by law enforcement but was scared to report him. Upon seeing a Skagit County Sheriff’s deputy vehicle behind him Monday, Johnson allegedly told Cameron that he would not run from the deputy and pulled over, at which time Cameron allegedly jumped from the car and fled.

Johnson’s bail was set at $15,000.

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