Northwest NEWS

April 17, 2000

Local News

Bothell man charged with arson

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   BOTHELL--Vladimir Y. Kalustyan, a 35-year-old Russian immigrant who allegedly fire-bombed a new laundry business in the 19200 block of SR-527 just after midnight on April 8, was charged with Arson in the First Degree and Malicious Harassment.

   Kalustyan was ordered held on $150,000 bail and told to have no direct or indirect contact with the laundry's owner Simins Hoghogi, in King County Superior Court last Friday, April 14.

   At his arrest, a Bothell Police Detective asked Kalustyan if he knew why he was being arrested. He replied, "Because I do fire," according to charging papers. When asked why he did it, he told the detective that the business owner was Iranian and he "does not like them." He admitted he had never met the woman, but that she had been in the shop where he works, also a clothes cleaning business.

   On April 8, at 12:53 a.m., a Bothell police officer on patrol saw a brown Mazda 626 pull into the lot of the Bothell American Legion Hall. The male driver exited the car and walked to the front of the building with something in his hand, the officer said. There was a dance being held in the building, with several people coming and going.

   The officer saw the suspect light the object he carried with a lighter, and throw it through the window of the laundry located below the American Legion Hall. The suspect ran to his car and attempted to leave, but was prevented by the officer's car, which blocked the escape.

   Kalustyan told police he was drunk. He said he had bought a bottle of beer at a nearby convenience store before filling it with gasoline and throwing it through the window. His clothes smelled of gas and were placed in evidence.

   Kalustyan, a Shoreline resident, has been in this country for three years and has no known criminal history, according to court papers.