Police: Cascade Mall Shooter Arcan Cetin Blamed Cannabis for His Behavior

Arcan Cetin is escorted into Skagit County District Court by Skagit County's Sheriff's Deputies on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. Cetin is being held under a magistrate's warrant which will give Skagit County prosecutors 30 days to file charges in relation to the Cascade Mall shooting that took place on Friday …
Brandy Shreve/Skagit Valley Herald via AP

The Associated Press published more details about alleged Cascade Mall shooter Arcan Cetin on Wednesday, including the assertion that “cannabis use” was the cause of his prior brushes with the law.

This assertion was relayed by addiction counselor Jim Follman, who warned in January there was a “strong likelihood of similar future violations” unless Arcan Cetin was properly treated for mental health and substance abuse issues.

No doubt Follman did not envision those future violations would include five murders at a shopping mall, but the AP notes Cetin had numerous brushes with the law:

Court records obtained by The Associated Press detail a series of criminal charges and attempts to rehabilitate 20-year-old Arcan Cetin, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder and depression. They didn’t detail what caused the PTSD.

A court first ordered Cetin into treatment after he attacked his mother two years ago. He was following a program designed to erase that assault charge when he made unwelcome sexual advances toward two girls in his math class in 2015 and then punched his stepfather soon afterward, the documents say.

According to these records, Cetin also made several attempts to commit suicide and had overdosed on prescription drugs more than once.

The most recent of these overdoses is said to have occurred in September, when his mother “struggled to wake him up” after finding an empty pill bottle. However, as of September 6, he was found in compliance with all court-ordered treatment programs. His parents rented an apartment for him so could live on his own but felt he was “not taking care of himself.”

The AP report clears up some lingering questions from earlier accounts of Cetin’s past infractions, including the charge of domestic assault against his stepfather David Marshall and mother Hatice:

Cetin was arrested on domestic violence charges in October 2014 after arguing with his mother because she wouldn’t let him take his car to see his girlfriend, who had recently moved away. He broke glass in two pieces of furniture, put a hole in a wall and made dents in the refrigerator, she told police.

When Marshall got home and said he couldn’t visit the girl, Cetin exploded again and took his mother’s hand and started smacking himself in the face, she said.

Marshall called 9-1-1, and when the dispatcher asked if there were any guns in the home, Marshall said they were under his bed. When Cetin heard the comment, he bolted for the room, with Marshall close behind. Cetin tried to reach the guns, but Marshall pinned him against a wall until officers arrived, the documents say.

He was charged with assault and malicious mischief. In February 2015, the court agreed to dismiss the charges after two years if Cetin complied with the conditions of his probation, including not possessing firearms, drugs or alcohol and attending monthly counseling sessions.

[…] Later in June, Cetin had another violent outburst at home, and when his stepfather tried to stop him, he kissed Marshall on the lips. Marshall pushed Cetin away, and Cetin punched his stepfather in the face twice, records say.

He was charged with assault, which included an order not to contact Marshall. But the stepfather asked the court to end the order in December.

The various stories about Cetin harassing female classmates in high school also produced an official response, as the AP states he was “arrested on two counts of fourth-degree sexual motivation” for repeatedly placing his foot between the legs of two classmates.


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