Suspect pleads guilty in fentanyl death

28-year-old Ryuji Kawashima pled guilty as charged to Controlled Substances Homicide for the overdose death of his 26-year-old friend on June 12, 2020.  The victim died after taking what he thought was a Percocet pill but turned out to be fentanyl. Investigators say the victim purchased pills from the suspect the night he died. The victim and his girlfriend both consumed the pills, yet only the victim’s pill had a fatal dose of fentanyl.

Suspect fentanyl laced tablets recovered from the suspect

“This case shows you how dangerous illegal fentanyl-laced drugs are,” warned Captain Shelby Shearer. “The victim purchased at least two pills. He took one and his girlfriend took the other, and he died. You must assume that unless you get your pain medication from a pharmacy, it’s likely laced with fentanyl, and that can be deadly.”

Over nearly eight months, Bellevue detectives investigated this alleged drug dealer. Ultimately, on March 17, 2021, detectives had enough evidence for probable cause to arrest the suspect on investigation of Controlled Substances Homicide. Officers recovered ten suspected fentanyl-laced Percocet M30 pills after his arrest.  The suspect says he knew the victim because they had played football together for four years in Bellevue. The charges alleged the suspect kept selling fentanyl-laced pills even after his friend’s overdose death.

“Controlled Substances Homicide cases are incredibly time-consuming and difficult to prove,” Shearer stated. “You must prove the victim got the drugs from the suspect and that it was those drugs that killed them. This successful prosecution is a credit to the Bellevue police patrol officers who initially investigated and our detectives who were able to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Bellevue detectives worked closely with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to ensure the successful prosecution. Kawashima pled guilty to Controlled Substances Homicide.

This is the first Controlled Substances Homicide guilty plea in King County in the last 18 years.

Suspect in carjacking spree in custody 

Bellevue police responded to reports of an armed robbery at a Bellevue Square parking garage just before 12:30 Monday afternoon. The victim reported that as the suspect stole her purse, he allegedly fired his gun at her. The then stole her car and sped off in it. Fortunately, she was not injured.

Officers spotted the suspect as he sped across the 520 bridge, hitting two vehicles, and then drove into the Eastlake area of Seattle. Shortly after that, Seattle Police received a report of a carjacking and shooting there.

Kent Police notified Bellevue and Seattle that they had a carjacking in Kent earlier this morning and the suspect’s description matched the Bellevue case. Bellevue police detectives recovered the stolen grey sedan at the scene that had been carjacked earlier in Kent. 

Within about two hours of the Bellevue carjacking, Kent police arrested the suspect.

The investigation is ongoing.

Case # 22-60840

Detectives halt burglary/theft ring

Bellevue police detectives have arrested three people on investigation of a combined 20 charges, including burglary, car theft and identity theft. Initially, patrol officers investigated a burglary on September 15, 2022, where suspects stole $5,000 from a business in the 100 block of Bellevue Way.

Days later, the officer recognized the two suspects from surveillance video. Once the suspects were identified, that launched a larger investigation.

Detectives began to monitor the suspects and were able to connect them to two additional burglaries a few weeks later. Following the suspects’ arrest, officers recovered credit cards, dozens of restaurant gift cards, miscellaneous key sets, car key fobs and bolt cutters.

Investigators then backtracked to the businesses where the gift cards were from and tied the suspects to burglaries there through surveillance video. They did the same with the credit cards and key fobs and connected them to the car and ID thefts. Detectives identified six businesses and three car dealerships that were victimized.

All three vehicles and many of the stolen items were recovered and returned to their owners.

The King County Prosecutor’s office has charged Alexander Swanger with eight counts of Burglary in the Second Degree and three counts of Motor Vehicle Theft. Samuel Morris has been charged with four counts of Burglary in the Second Degree and two counts of Motor Vehicle Theft. Kelsey Arias has been charged with one count of Burglary in the Second Degree.

Case # 22-57416

Assistant Chief Patrick Arpin retires

After a distinguished, nearly 35-year career with the Bellevue Police Department, Assistant Chief Patrick Arpin is retiring. AC Arpin began his law enforcement career with Bellevue after graduating from the University of Washington in 1988. He worked his way up through the ranks, first serving as a Field Training Officer, Evidence Technician and Crisis Negotiator for 19 years. AC Arpin especially enjoyed his assignment as a bike patrol officer and was an original member of the department’s Special Enforcement Team. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2004, Captain in 2010, major in 2013 and deputy/assistant chief in 2016.

“Patrick dedicated his entire career to serving the Bellevue community, and we are grateful to him for that,” said Chief Wendell Shirley. “He has been a wise advisor and valuable resource to me over the past year. His extensive institutional knowledge and caring mentorship are a loss for the department. We’re going to miss him.”

Throughout his career, Arpin received many commendations, including the Commander’s Award and two lifesaving awards.

AC Arpin will continue his volunteer work with the Bellevue Boys and Girls club and looks forward to traveling, doing home projects and rooting on his beloved UW Huskies, Mariners and Seahawks.

Thank you for your service, AC Arpin!

Gun recovered, two arrested for theft

Recovered loaded gun and ammunition

Officers recovered a loaded handgun with extra ammunition after arresting two shoplifting suspects Wednesday morning. The 35-year-old male and 34-year-old female are accused of stealing approximately $500 worth of merchandise from O’Reilly’s in Factoria, then fleeing in a stolen Dodge Charger. Detectives followed the car on traffic cameras to Marshalls on 148th Ave NE, where someone flagged officers down to report the pair stealing from that store.

Theft suspects

Officers approached the two as they left the store, the female gave up, and the male took off running. Eventually, he was taken into custody. The O’Reilly’s property was recovered and returned to the store.

Following the arrests, officers learned the male suspect is a convicted felon, and it is illegal for him to possess a firearm. He also had someone else’s social security card.

Both are suspects in thefts in Bonney Lake.

Case # 22-54651

Stabbing investigation

A 30-year-old male is in custody on investigation of assault following a stabbing in the Overlake area this morning near 148th Ave NE and NE 24th St. Just before 8:00 am, officers received a call that a person was stabbed multiple times and the suspect was seen walking away from the area.

Officers immediately helped the 34-year-old male victim with his wounds until medics arrived and transported him to the hospital with serious injuries. Officers saturated the area searching for the suspect. In less than two hours, a Redmond police officer spotted someone matching the suspect’s description outside the Overlake Safeway, about two blocks from the crime scene. The suspect was quickly identified and arrested. He had placed socks over his distinctive shoes in an effort to avoid identification.

After his arrest, officers discovered the suspect had a no-bail Department of Corrections warrant out for his arrest for Escape Community Custody.

Case # 22-54472

Coal Creek speed emphasis; theft suspect arrested

Waze September 27, 2022

Five traffic officers cited 36 drivers during a two-hour long speed emphasis on Coal Creek Parkway on Tuesday, September 27th. The drivers were ticketed for speeding, cellphone use (E-DUI) and modified muffler violations. The speed emphasis is part of the police department’s coordinated anti-crime initiative.

The department has received dozens of complaints from residents and construction workers on Coal Creek who don’t feel safe because of the excess speed of some drivers. “These high visibility patrols not only remind the cited drivers to slow down, but every other driver who sees the patrols will automatically slow down,” said Captain Landon Barnwell.

During the emphasis, one of the officers walked into a business and immediately recognized a person suspected of stealing a $2400 bicycle from REI. The officer looked outside the business and saw the bright yellow bike. The suspect admitted to the theft, was arrested and booked into jail.

There will be more speed emphasis patrols throughout the city in the weeks ahead.

Officers awarded Medal of Valor and Lifesaving Award

Officers Akahane & Sebers with Chief Shirley

Officer Kealii Akahane has been awarded the Medal of Valor, and Officers Jeff Sebers and Caleb Worthington have been awarded the Lifesaving award for rescuing a young man in distress. The man had jumped into Phantom Lake with 50-pounds of weights in his backpack.

Officer Akahane coming out of the water (left) – Officers Akahane, Worthington & Sebers (right)

Without regard for his own safety, Officer Akahane jumped into the deep murky water and brought the man to the surface. Officers Sebers and Worthington pulled him over the railing, began CPR, and saved the man’s life. The family reports he is doing well.

Officer Akahane is only the third recipient in the department’s history who has received the Medal of Valor.

If you or someone you love is in crisis, help is a phone call away. 𝐂𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐞𝐱𝐭 𝟗𝟖𝟖 – the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for support. It’s free & confidential.

Anti-crime operation leads to 50 arrests, thwarts trafficking of stolen goods

Bellevue police, in partnership with Home Depot, is working to reduce shoplifting and criminal activity in and around the business. Since January, officers have arrested well over 50 suspects at this location for crimes including shoplifting, robbery, and possession of a stolen vehicle, among others.

Stolen pressure washer

A recent emphasis patrol, which included uniformed officers, the Downtown Unit and undercover detectives, stopped two suspects from trafficking stolen goods. Loss prevention alerted officers that a vehicle that arrived in the parking lot was associated with a recent theft of a pressure washer at the Home Depot in Bothell. Detectives watched as one of the suspects sold a pressure washer to another person in the parking lot.

Detectives located pictures of the Bothell theft, and the suspects wore the same clothing. They were arrested and booked into jail. Both were released from jail the following day.

Each sector captain in the city is routinely analyzing crime statistics from the police department’s new Transparency and Accountability dashboards to identify area hots spots for criminal activity. They then develop specific anti-crime operations for that area. The operations are conducted on different days and times to be the most effective.

BPD needs help identifying assault suspect

Bellevue police detectives need your help identifying and locating an assault suspect. The man is accused of an unprovoked attack near 120th Ave NE and NE 1st St just before 1:00 pm Thursday, August 25th. Video shows a 62-year-old Bellevue resident walking along the sidewalk when the suspect comes up from behind him and allegedly hits him repeatedly with an 18” metal tool. The suspect was wearing a black hoodie with some detailing, black camo pants and a facemask.

Detectives believe the suspect ran to a nearby business and fled the scene in a green Kia Soul.

The victim was transported to the hospital and is being treated for his injuries.

If you see someone or a car matching this description or recognize this person, please call 911 with the information.