An Olympia man was arrested after he allegedly occupied a stranger’s home, kept the homeowner’s son in the basement for over an hour, and assaulted a police officer.
According to Olympia police, Joshua Michael Ridgeway, 43, was arrested on Dec. 12 after a reported robbery in the 2500 block of Columbia Street NW.
Responding police officers were met at the scene by a 48-year-old man who identified himself as the homeowner’s son. He said he was watching the house while his mother was away.
The son said that upon entering the home, he was attacked from behind by a large man, later identified as Ridgeway, who kept him in the living room and eventually took him to the basement where the suspect appeared to have been staying.
The homeowner’s son told police that he did not sustain injuries from the assault but did not feel safe during his time with the suspect, which lasted more than an hour and a half, and followed Ridgeway’s commands out of fear.
The son added that Ridgeway did not make any direct threats, but the suspect warned him that he was “not big enough” to talk to him and that he was the one in charge. He managed to escape the house while Ridgeway was not paying attention.
The house had not been in the state that he left it in, the son told police. Police noted that the lower level of the home had been barricaded and the rear patio door was unlocked. A tent was also found propped up in one bathroom.
The son said his phone was also taken from him by the suspect during the assault. Officers used a tracking feature to locate the device, which led them to the suspect, who was near Capital Campus.
Ridgeway was positively identified by the son as the man who broke into his mother’s home.
When he was told to stop walking, the suspect ran toward an officer and swung at his head, according to the police report.
The officer deflected Ridgeway’s punch, but the suspect continued moving toward him, attempting to grab him while “yelling incoherently.”
During the arrest, police noted, the suspect said one officer was not “big enough” to talk to him and claimed that he was “The King of Great Northwest Oldest Dead Guy.”
Ridgeway was brought to the Thurston County Jail to be booked, but Olympia police were informed that the suspect needed a medical clearance because of his injured thumb.
At the Capitol Medical Center, doctors said Ridgeway’s thumb needed to be treated because it was broken and had a major infection, to which the suspect replied, “You are not of enough weight to talk to me, and I am a doctor and can fix myself.”
Police said Ridgeway would be booked for first-degree burglary, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, and third-degree assault once he receives medical clearance.
Throughout the arrest and at the hospital, Ridgeway refused to provide his real name and date of birth. Olympia police requested and received help from the Tumwater Police Department to identify the suspect using his fingerprint.
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