Dori: Man arrested in Seattle arson case a homeless frequent offender

Feb 28, 2019, 3:03 PM
A four-alarm fire burns in North Queen Anne, arson...
The Gascoigne Lumber Company fire in November was arson. (KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

A man named Matthew Hooper has now been charged with second-degree arson for that string of fires to businesses in Fremont, Ballard, and Queen Anne late last year. Hooper is — surprise, surprise — a 38-year-old homeless guy.

I have to ask the question of Jenny Durkan, of Dow Constantine, of Jay Inslee. What is it going to take before you stop embracing policies that encourage as much homelessness as possible?

On Wednesday I talked to King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, who said that he doesn’t have the prosecutors or the jail space to lock up all the criminals out there. There is absolutely no way that Matthew Hooper should have been a free man out on the streets. He had six convictions over 13 years — assault, harassment, trespass, property destruction.

I have the charging papers for Matthew Hooper, and from the content, it’s unbelievable that this guy was allowed by our politicians to roam the streets of Seattle. As we told you earlier this week, 100 people in this region have committed 3,500 crimes — that’s 35 per person. We have got to stop locking up these prolific offenders. Here is what prosecutors noted in his charging papers:

Even more concerning than the extensive damage caused at the Lumber yard, Elks Club, and Seattle Gymnastics, was the defendant’s alarming decision to light a fire in a carport underneath an apartment building, where several residents lived [sic]. Had the Seattle Fire Department not responded so promptly, the defendant could have burned down the occupied apartment building where many residents would still have been sleeping.

RELATED: Seattle Elks Lodge #92 to close half a year after devastating fire

Is that what it’s going to take — a mass murder — before our politicians start doing something about the mentally-ill, drug-addicted people who have taken over the region and massively increased the crime on the streets?

You may recall, I talked to the owner of the lumberyard that burned down, Dave Gascoigne. This arson had unbelievable consequences in jobs lost and hundred-year-old family businesses destroyed. Besides the Elks lodge and lumberyard, Hooper allegedly is responsible for the fires at a restaurant, office complex, and gymnasium.

The alleged arsonist gave investigators his address as the Ballard Food Bank. According to court documents, Hooper admitted to arson, told investigators that he didn’t mean to hurt anyone, and said he had started the fires to “protect himself.”

So clearly, he is an incredibly mentally disturbed guy whom the system had been in contact with on many, many occasions over the last 13 years. And we keep turning him out on the streets to commit arson and many other crimes.

It could very well, one of these days, lead to a mass murder. This could have been one. And when it happens, Gov. Inslee will talk about what a tragedy the fire was. Mayor Durkan will say, “That’s not what we are as a city.” Hey Mayor Durkan, maybe that is what we are as a city, and maybe you are a complete utter failure as the mayor of this city.

Prosecutor Satterberg, we have got to start locking these people up. Your office doesn’t have enough money? Let’s take some of the $100,000 per homeless person per year we’re spending right now and start opening more jails, hiring more prosecutors, and locking people up, before something more dangerous occurs. What is it going to take?

We’ve got a bunch of bleeding hearts telling us over and over again that all we need is more tax money. A head tax on Amazon, a property tax increase from you. If you do that, things will be better.

We’re spending more on homeless people than any city in the country, per capita, and things have gotten worse. Why? The homelessness industrial complex is not about saving lives, it’s not about changing lives, and it’s not about helping the most desperate. It is about the people who run the business that is homelessness. That’s what this is all about.

We are fools if we give them another penny. But we are equally great fools if we don’t demand that they take the money we’re already spending — since the majority of people on the streets don’t want services and have chosen a lifestyle on the streets — and force people into rehab or, if they refuse, jail. We have to stop allowing this to just continue.

We could be better than this, but your stewardship is a failure, Jenny Durkan. Seattle Police has to hire more cops. Prosecutor Satterberg, you’ve got to start prosecuting the cases the cops bring to you. Jay Inslee, go run the country with your presidential announcement. I’m sure you’ll do as great a job for America as you’re doing for our region.

This is on all of our public officials. Sadly, one of these days, there might be a mass murder because of our elected officials’ failure of leadership. There could have been one, in this case.

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Menacing pitbull...
Dori Monson Show

Woman attacked by pit bulls near homeless camp: ‘These dogs have more rights than me’

With more than 12 vicious dog bites on her legs and “way too many” stitches to count, Amy Craven was released from the hospital this week following an 11-day stay to recover from an attack by two pit bull terriers near North Lake Union.
2 days ago
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Former prison cellmate believes triple murderer is `not evil,’ should be freed

The 42-year-old case is back in the news after the Washington state Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board approved a summer release for Pauley.
3 days ago
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Triple killer to be released unless Gov. Inslee overrules parole board

After 42 years behind bars, convicted killer Timothy Pauley, 63, has been approved for release by the Washington Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board.
4 days ago
Marysville School District...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Parent permission for Marysville school clubs becomes `hot button’ over LGTBQ issue

The intent to the proposed policy change, Atchley said, is to assure that parents “have the ability to know where their children are at all times.”
8 days ago
OlyToys, Don Wolph's toy refurbishing business in Olympia....
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Olympia Toy-Restorer ordered by County to kick disabled friend off his property

Wolph told Dori’s listeners, Thurston County officials have told him he and his wife of 47 years must evict their friend because “she cannot live on my property for more than 30 days.”
9 days ago
Sound Transit employee records video of homeless individuals on light rail. (Jason Rantz/KTTH Radio...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: The Sound Transit rolling drug den

Onboard: a series of apparently homeless drug addicts, riding the train while smoking various drugs or passed out across the seats.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Dori: Man arrested in Seattle arson case a homeless frequent offender