Tacoma Washington June 8th, 2023 Security cameras and the watchful eyes of security officers may have stopped a group of people from knocking out power at a station in Tacoma Monday night.
Five people made a first appearance in court, facing charges of attempted malicious mischief after police say they targeted the power vault in the 4500 block of S. Tyler Street.
So far, it’s unclear exactly what the motive may be, but prosecutors say this particular power vault is connected to the South Sound 911 system, so knocking that out could have done great harm to the community.
The judge addressed the accused suspects in court Tuesday: Richard Edvalds, Karly Johnson, Megan Mistretta and Dana Woolsey.
Police said in court documents that the four were caught on security cameras, trying to break into a power vault that sits near an old golf course, behind a concrete blockade.
“It’s also concerning to have an attack on what I would describe as the power grid,” said the judge Tuesday.
Investigators say the group could have disrupted the area’s lifeline for emergency services. Court documents stated that, “The power vault provides power to a tower that is believed to provide communications for SS911.”
Court documents indicate that security officers watched surveillance video as, “all 5 were seen on video trying to enter the power vault.”
Tacoma police say the power vault lid, “was secured with a large bolt and two welds”. They also reported noticing that there were, “fresh cut marks that appeared to be from the grinder on one of the welds.”
Charging documents state that police found a battery operated grinder at the scene, along with an extra battery, drugs, paraphernalia, a knife, gloves, lighters and a bag.
The judge focused on criminal history while setting bail, including convictions for stolen property trafficking and burglary for Edvalds.
“He says he’s the owner of R & R recycling, that is troubling to me. I’m going to post at $15,000 request from the state. That is a reasonable request,” said the judge.
Mistretta reportedly also had a warrant history in eight prior cases, including one active warrant. She became emotional after her bail was set at $25,000.
The defense cited family connections for Karly Johnson when arguing for lower bail.
“She’s indicated she is 3 months pregnant and that she has lots of community ties,” said her defense attorney.
The judge cited past history as a reason for a higher amount.
“There are 15 cases with warrant activity, virtual every criminal case she has involves warrant activity,” said the judge.
The judge said Woolsey’s criminal history stretches back to the 1990’s, and he’s currently involved in an assaultive conduct case.
“I’m going to post $50,000 bail and leave the $35,000 intact on the other case,” said the judge.
Court documents indicated that a fifth man accused in the case, Michael Vaughn, was taken to the hospital and has not yet appeared in court.
In court Tuesday, prosecutors said they are all facing charges of attempted malicious mischief. Woolsey also faces a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.
The judge ordered each of the four in court, not have contact with one another.