Charging papers say
Altomare was arrested Tuesday at his brother's Ballard apartment, where he has been staying, and booked into the
According to the criminal charges filed Thursday, Altomare suffers from severe mental illness and has not been taking his medications. Police say Altomare's brother told investigators Altomare has been triggered by conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and President
The brother also told police he recognized Altomare as the suspect seen in a photo circulated by the media, say the charges. It is an apparent reference to a photo released by
The photo's release resulted in "a flood of tips" identifying the suspect as Altomare, "who had frequented jiu-jitsu gyms in the area and had displayed bizarre and frightening behavior in the past," say charging papers.
Last year, the state Legislature changed the name of the crime previously known as "malicious harassment" to "hate crime." A hate crime is committed when someone threatens, injures or damages property based on perceptions of the victim's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, or mental, physical or sensory disability.
In March, the
According to the hate crime charges against Altomare:
A couple had gone grocery shopping and were walking in the 1700 block of
Bystanders intervened, enabling the couple to run into their secure apartment building. The couple later told police they were scared and certain the man was about to physically hurt them.
A witness told police the man had run into an apartment building in the same block where the victims were accosted.
Around noon Tuesday, Altomare's brother called his apartment manager and asked her to call 911, saying the suspect in the previous day's incident was Altomare and he was attempting to leave their apartment. Police responded and arrested Altomare.
Three years ago, Altomare was charged with multiple counts of burglary and malicious mischief for a crime spree that began in
The following day, he broke into a
A later psychological evaluation diagnosed Altomare with unspecified bipolar disorder with psychotic features and noted he responded well to Abilify, a drug used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, the records say.
In all three incidents, witnesses told police Altomare ranted about killing North Koreans and dismantling a North Korean spy ring, say the records. Prosecutors ultimately dismissed the criminal charges after Altomare agreed to have the cases resolved in mental health court, the records show.
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