An overnight SWAT standoff in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood ended with the arrest of a man who had broken out most of the home’s windows after locking out the homeowners.
At 11:16 p.m. on Feb. 1, officers were called to a report of a burglary at a home on North 45th Street and Meridian Avenue North, near Fat Cat Records.
The couple who lived there said they had stepped outside to look at a plant near their front steps when Michael Dorsey approached them and tried to sell them a tool he had in his hand. When the couple told him they weren’t interested, he ran through their open door and locked it behind him.
Officers approached the front door and saw Dorsey playing the piano inside. When they told him to come outside, Dorsey approached the door and said he had a gun. Immediately after, officers heard several loud bangs, and broken glass exploded from the door. Two officers were hit by the glass, with one receiving cuts on his face and hand.
It was then that officers realized that Dorsey had used the tool he had been trying to sell — bolt cutters — to break the windows in the door, not a gun.
SWAT officers, Seattle firefighters, a bomb squad and members of SPD’s Hostage Negotiation Team responded. Police said Dorsey was having a mental health crisis and refused to surrender.
While inside the home, Dorsey broke more windows, threw various items out of the house, and destroyed property. At one point, officers saw him with a knife. He also told officers he was going to “blow up” the house.
At one point, officers saw Dorsey sleeping on a bed and again asked him to surrender, but he refused.
At around 4 a.m., SWAT officers deployed an NFDD — a noise flash diversion device known as a “flash-bang” — which rocked nearby homes and woke neighbors. Police then entered the home.
By about 4:30 a.m., Dorsey had been taken into custody. Police booked him into the King County Jail for investigation of burglary and assault on an officer.
Dorsey’s bail was set at $30,000 in his initial court appearance Monday afternoon. He is facing charges of residential burglary and third-degree assault.
This incident was Dorsey’s third serious run-in with police in a month, according to charging documents. He was arrested for burglary on Jan. 14 and vehicle theft on Jan. 1.
Dorsey was also twice convicted of criminal trespass in 2022.