Kent Police arrested a male after he reportedly set an unmarked police vehicle on fire Monday afternoon, Jan. 11 parked at the City Hall campus and Police Headquarters.
“I am incredibly grateful that no one was in the car and I am even more grateful that no one was hurt by this dangerous and potentially lethal act,” Police Chief Rafael Padilla said in a statement. “And although it is clear that our officers were the target of this act they responded with professionalism and integrity. They were able to take this male into custody without having to use force.”
The incident occurred at about 3 p.m. at City Hall, 220 Fourth Ave. S. A bystander and a city employee witnessed the incident.
“Their quick actions to report this allowed us to respond quickly and take the male into custody,” Padilla said.
Padilla said the investigation continues with help from federal law enforcement partners and their resources to help determine what happened.
“We take this act very seriously,” Padilla said. “Any attack on my officers is something that is right at the top of our priorities, and we will do everything we can to keep them safe.”
Police did not release an age or hometown for the male or the crime he was arrested for. Police also didn’t release yet how the fire started, what damage it caused to the vehicle or how the fire was extinguished.
Mayor Dana Ralph released the following statement:
“I want to start by being really clear: what happened here today (Jan. 11) in Kent at City Hall, in our own backyard, is not acceptable,” Ralph said. “It’s not who we are as a community and it wont be tolerated. While we’re committed to taking care of and keeping safe our 130,000 residents, we are also committed to taking care of and keeping safe our 730 city employees who come to work every single day to serve this city.
“I’m extremely proud of the swift action of our police department. They not only prevented harm to any individuals here whether it be city employees, people visiting city hall campus, or further destruction of property. They were able to take the suspect into custody without any incident. That’s how we do things here in Kent. It’s important to me that as a community we stand together. We know that as a city the only way that we have moved forward is together.”