Dori: Despite bail request, King County judge frees ‘out of his mind’ Georgetown home intruder

Mar 30, 2022, 4:42 PM | Updated: 6:18 pm
(The Dori Monson Show)...
(The Dori Monson Show)
(The Dori Monson Show)

Bedtime reading time with his son took a “traumatic” turn for Clint Berquist when an intruder who appeared “absolutely out of his mind” began forcing his way into the family’s Seattle Georgetown neighborhood home Sunday night evening.

Also disturbing? When Berquist learned that a King County District Court judge ignored a prosecutor’s request that would have held the eventually apprehended intruder on $100,000 bail. Instead, the Dori Monson Show discovered, Judge Protem Justin Walsh released the home invader.

“Did you know that?” Dori asked Berquist.

“No,” the Georgetown man said. “One of the failings of the system is that it consistently fails the victims. . . The only way I’m getting information is from the press. The way that I’m hearing this is from you guys.”

Meanwhile, Berquist shared details of Sunday’s break-in with Dori and his listeners.

It started with glass breaking near their front door while the Georgetown dad was reading with his 11-year-old. With his wife and son upstairs, Berquist said, he dashed down to the home’s entry where he used one hand to try holding the door back against a man forcing his way inside while calling 911 with the other.

The intruder, who kept screaming that someone “was trying to get him” appeared “absolutely out of his mind,” Berquist continued.

At first, the dad’s plan was “de-escalate (the situation). I was thinking that if I can get him outside, at least the cops can deal with it.”

Seconds later, the intruder was “running up the stairs” where Berquist’s wife and son were calling for help. “I tackled him . . . and was trying to get ahold of him as much as I could but he was really wiry.

“And then, all of a sudden, he was gone,” Berquist described. “It took me a second to make the connection, but my neighbor had grabbed ahold of his ankle and carted him outside.”

Home security footage shows neighbors dragging the intruder outside of the house to the sidewalk where he began running away.

“When the police eventually showed up, he was trying to break into another neighbor’s house down the street,” Berquist added.

Berquist praised his neighbors, whom he calls “a really tight-knit group of people.” Part of their shared problem, he said, is that Georgetown gets “dumped with a lot of problems. It’s been consistent since the time I’ve lived here. It’s a theme in our neighborhood.”

Dori believes the judge’s choice to release the intruder reflects that.

“It sounds like he (the intruder) is a paranoid/schizophrenic,” Dori said. “The King County Prosecutors Office tells us that they requested $100,000 bail because he’s a homeless guy and they know he won’t reappear for his next court case. They wanted to keep him locked up because he’s a danger to the community. They knew this but the judge – he’s a fairly new judge, Justin Walsh – he let him walk.

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“I cannot believe that we have so many people in the system who are willing to put you and your neighbors and the community at risk,” Dori told Berquist.

“You hit on it,” the home invasion victim responded. “I don’t know if it was mental illness or meth . . . (but) I want to know that this guy gets on the road to rehab.”

And how are his wife and son handling this? Dori wanted to know.

“This was a traumatic experience for all of us,” Berquist said. “Even though it ended as good as it possibly could, it was physical combat. We weren’t hurt. This guy wasn’t hurt. I don’t want anything bad to happen to anybody.”

Hear Dori’s entire interview with Georgetown home intrusion victim here:

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.

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Dori: Despite bail request, King County judge frees ‘out of his mind’ Georgetown home intruder