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Vancouver man accused of damaging rental house after learning of eviction

A 44-year-old Vancouver man is accused of severely damaging a house he had been renting after learning he was being evicted.

Michael G. Mitchell faces allegations of second-degree attempted arson and first-degree malicious mischief. Mitchell appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court; Judge Daniel Stahnke set bail in the case at $75,000.

On Friday, Vancouver police officers were dispatched shortly before 2 p.m. to the 700 block of Northeast 122nd Ave., on reports that Mitchell was destroying the home he rents from family members, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Prior to their arrival, Mitchell allegedly told dispatchers he would be arming himself, and he was “ready to be shot and killed by police,” the affidavit reads.

Mitchell approached one of the responding police vehicles and tried to open both rear doors. He had an object in his hands, which officers determined was a cellphone. Mitchell ignored commands to lie on the ground, but officers successfully handcuffed him and noticed his hands were cut and bleeding, the affidavit says.

He told the arresting officers that he’d been given a 20-day eviction notice due to “ongoing issues at the residence,” the affidavit states. Mitchell said he was mad and had planned to burn down the house if he was ever given an eviction notice, court records say.

Mitchell punched 35 holes in the walls and then spray-painted “DIE” throughout the home, according to the affidavit. He punched a window and cut his hand before using a baseball bat to break other windows, police allege.

Mitchell instructed a roommate to get out of the home and searched it to ensure it was empty before dumping about five gallons of gasoline inside, according to the affidavit.

He said, “I was going to burn the house down. I wanted them to lose the value of the house,” the affidavit reads.

Mitchell’s relatives told police he caused about $15,000 worth of damage, according to court records.

Police took Mitchell to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center for treatment before booking him into the Clark County Jail. Booking records say Mitchell has bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.


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