An Oregon man charged in September with felony assault for driving drunk to the gate at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and grappling with a Washington State Patrol trooper is now accused of attacking a man with a knife on Christmas Eve after entering his house.
Unlike numerous other people recently accused of crimes and released from the Kitsap County Jail without bail who go on to be accused of more crimes, Sebastian C. Lares, 36, was actually held on $50,000 bail following his arrest on Sept. 23. He posted bail three days after pleading not guilty to a count of third-degree assault and drunken driving.
After Lares’ latest arrest Dec. 24 near Southworth, he was held on $100,000 bail after being charged Wednesday in Kitsap County Superior Court with first-degree burglary and harassment.
The Kitsap Sun is documenting the increasing number of people awaiting trial who aren’t being held in county jail and then go on to be accused of additional crimes, such as rape, drive-by shootings, felony assault and drunken driving. Sometimes they are released from jail again with low bail.
However, the newspaper is unable to review every charge filed in the various courts that serve Kitsap County and is focusing on the most serious crimes filed each day in Superior Court. Therefore, the list of cases collected by the Sun is likely incomplete.
Kitsap County courts suspended jury trials in September because of the transmission of the delta variant – the third time trials were stopped since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.
When Superior Court and District Court judges suspended the trials, they set Dec. 6 as the day they could resume. However, since Dec. 6 no criminal trials have started in Superior Court. At the same time, the omicron variant of COVID-19 is now surging locally and across the country.
In Lares’ recent case, Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies were called at 2:20 p.m. to a “possible interrupted burglary in progress” on the 9400 block of SE Southworth Drive.
A man in the house said he woke up to sounds upstairs and believed the man, identified as Lares, was searching for a gun.
A woman who lives in the house later told deputies Lares had threatened to kill her with her own gun.
The man said he confronted Lares and shoved him out of the house, but Lares fought back, dragged the man outside by his feet, climbed on top of him, held a pocket knife to his throat and repeatedly said he was going to kill the man, according to the charging documents.
The man said he thought he was going to die but was able to talk to Lares and “bond with him” over their shared experience as military veterans.
No signs of forced entry were found on the house, but the woman who lives there said it was secured and that Lares did not have permission to be inside.
In the September incident, Lares was accused of driving drunk to the Trident gate at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Guards at the base called the State Patrol. The trooper who questioned Lares wrote that Lares admitted he had a suspended driver’s license but after an argument with a significant other in Oregon he drove to the base to talk to a family member.
The trooper, believing Lares was intoxicated, tried to arrest him but Lares fought back, according to the trooper’s report.
“A physical fight began and the defendant had gotten a hold of me from behind my back and gotten an arm around my neck in a headlock/chokehold,” the trooper wrote. “This was life-threatening behavior and I felt I was in fear for my life.”
With the help of guards at the gate, the trooper was able to handcuff Lares and take him to the Kitsap County Jail.
On Dec. 20, four days before Lares was accused of entering the house and assaulting the man with a knife, a Superior Court judge granted his request to postpone his trial for assaulting the trooper from Jan. 24 to March 14. Court documents note that prosecutors did not object.