Marina attack suspect missing again after questionable release

Aug 1, 2017, 6:20 AM
marina attack...
Site of the assault: The Jim Clark Marina near Harbor Island in West Seattle.
LISTEN: Marina attack suspect missing again after unexpected release

The man accused of assaulting a local restaurant owner who had caught him breaking into a marina boathouse has again disappeared after his attorneys successfully argued for his release from custody so he could enter drug counseling.

According to a letter from the King County Prosecutor’s Office to Tim Ptak, the victim of the attack, accused thief and assailant Paul Story, 44, was released from King County Jail over the objections of local prosecutors.

“On July 17, 2017,” noted the letter from Senior Prosecuting Attorney William L. Doyle, “the defense asked again for Story to be released from custody, this time claiming that he would be transported directly to inpatient drug treatment by a family member. The State again strongly objected to Story’s release. Over the State’s objection, the judge agreed to release the defendant temporarily to inpatient treatment and said that by today (July 27, 2017), the defendant needed to provide proof that Story was in compliance with treatment.

“Today, we received no proof that the defendant even ended up going to treatment, and no one appeared in court on his behalf. In short, the defense would not provide the court with any details about Story’s whereabouts. As a result, the court today issued a warrant in the amount of $200,000 for Story’s arrest.”

Ptak, 45, said it was another troubling turn of events. “He was in for five weeks already,” Ptak said. “He didn’t get any drug counseling? The judge’s decision should really be questioned.”

This is the second time Story has been released from custody following the arrest for the alleged marina assault. Initially, he was arrested on March 22.

On that day, Ptak caught Story breaking into a boathouse at a West Seattle marina. In an attempt to escape, Story sprayed mace into Ptak’s eyes and punched him. After a brief fight, Story fell into the frigid water and swam underneath the dock where he tried to hide. Ptak called 911. Police dive crews attempted to get Story to come out. After an hour of unsuccessful attempts, officers brought in a chainsaw to cut a hole in the dock and extract him.

“I thought he was going to drown,” Ptak said at the time. “The water is so cold. I’ve jumped in there intentionally and it is cold. It takes your breath away. That he survived in that water for an hour is incredible.”

Story was treated for hypothermia and then taken into custody. In addition to the assault, he is suspected in a series of thefts at the marina. But a paperwork error by Seattle police put Story back on the streets 72 hours later.

After a month-long search and an alert on Washington’s Most Wanted, Seattle police received a tip and re-arrested Story at a West Seattle homeless camp in late April.

But now prosecutors don’t know where he is. Story has been arrested 22 times in the past decade.

Doyle called Story, “a potential danger to the community.”

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Marina attack suspect missing again after questionable release