A suspect with a long criminal history finds himself in “third strike” jeopardy, the result of an alleged robbery in Enumclaw and ensuing car chase out of town.
Jacob L. Simpson, 38, will be arraigned Monday at the Regional Justice Center in Kent. He is presently behind bars, as his bail was set at $1 million.
After being arrested by Enumclaw police during the early-morning hours of Nov. 5, Simpson was booked into the King County jail on a laundry list of charges. Those included two counts of first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and first-degree kidnapping. Additionally, he was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Eventually, the King County Prosecutor’s Office charged Simpson with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.
HOW THINGS UNFOLDED
The police account was based on interviews with both the robbery victim and a woman who was with Simpson during the hours of the alleged crimes. When given the opportunity to speak with police, Simpson declined.
The female witness said she and Simpson were at an house in Auburn when he stated they were heading to Enumclaw to purchase heroin and methamphetamine. After arriving in Enumclaw, both entered the victim’s van, which was parked near downtown, in a lot just east of Railroad Street at Initial Avenue. While the men discussed details of a drug buy, the witness said she returned to Simpson’s car to get some cash.
At that point, she said, Simpson ran to the car holding a backpack, told her to get in and fled the scene. She reported hearing the victim yell, “He just robbed me.”
According to the witness, the victim jumped in his van and followed Simpson and the woman. The chase made a couple of turns in Enumclaw but eventually saw both vehicles traveling west on Griffin Avenue, which becomes state Route 164. As the vehicles approached Southeast 244th Street, the woman said, Simpson reached out the window of the Toyota Corolla he was driving and fired a shot at the van.
The victim had already dialed 911 and was describing the situation as he pursued the Corolla. A trio of Enumclaw police gave chase until Simpson pulled into a driveway in the 38000 block of SR 164, where both he and the female witness were taken into custody without incident.
The witness told police Simpson had thrown bags of drugs from the Corolla and tossed a handgun from the car when he quickly parked. The gun was found near the Corolla on the ground.
During the chase, the witness said, she had asked “at least 10 times” to be let out of the car. Simpson’s response, she said, was to put a gun to her head and advise her to be quiet.
DIFFERENT STORY IS TOLD
Hours after all had been handcuffed, the victim told a slightly different story; his version did not include a proposed drug transaction.
He told police he had been “jumped” by Simpson as he walked to his van. He said Simpson first put a knife to his chest and demanded a backpack, then displayed a handgun after the victim pushed him away.
Police observed a small puncture wound on the victim’s chest and a defensive wound on his left hand.
The presence of a gun convinced the victim to hand over the backpack, he told police. And, at that point, Simpson ran to his car and fled.
ABOUT THE ACCUSED
Simpson is no stranger to the justice system, possessing a record that stems to his juvenile days. His criminal history includes convictions for robbery, assault, stealing a vehicle, malicious harassment, escape, obstruction, driving under the influence and domestic violence/assault.
At the time of the Enumclaw incident, Simpson had a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia pending with the Federal Way court system and had another charge – possession of a stolen vehicle – under review. At the time of his arrest, Simpson was wanted on an active warrant issued by the state Department of Corrections for escaping community custody.
The handgun allegedly used in the Enumclaw incident was found to be stolen, as was the Corolla.
Due to his criminal past – specifically, a pair of earlier convictions – Simpson could face life in prison under Washington’s “three strikes” provision.