It took only 10 seconds for attorney Ronald Clarke Mattson to circle a "bait car" and scratch the vehicle with his keys, according to a surveillance video released Thursday by the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
It took only 10 seconds for attorney Ronald Clarke Mattson to circle a “bait car” and scratch the vehicle with his keys, according to a surveillance video released Thursday by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Earlier this month, Mattson, a lawyer since 1972, admitted he scratched three vehicles with his keys in the Columbia Center parking garage because he didn’t like the way they were parked. He was given a one-year suspended sentence and was ordered to perform 240 hours of community service after pleading guilty to attempted second-degree malicious mischief, a gross misdemeanor.
Because Mattson, 63, took responsibility for his actions, paid nearly $10,000 in restitution, took anger-management courses and had no previous criminal history, the charge was reduced from second-degree malicious mischief, a felony, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Mary Barbosa said at the time.
Mattson’s attorney, Matthew Honeywell, said he is under the impression “there is an investigation pending” by the Washington State Bar Association into Mattson’s conduct. “He will cooperate with the investigation,” said Honeywell, who declined further comment.
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Mattson was caught on camera by Columbia Center security staff during a sting operation after two people reported their vehicles had been vandalized on March 9 and 11, according to charging documents.
In both incidents, the vehicles had been parked over the designated parking-space lines. In addition to the damage, insulting notes were left on the windshields criticizing the drivers. One driver was called a “dweeb” and the other an “idiot,” according to the documents.
One of the victims contacted building security staff, which hatched a plan to catch the culprit.
On March 15, security staff parked a bait car in the garage so the vehicle straddled the lines of two spaces and aimed a surveillance camera at it. A security officer in a car nearby waited, charging paperwork said.
The video, obtained by The Seattle Times through a public disclosure request, shows Mattson’s silver Porsche entering the parking lot, with the bait car to his immediate left. Less than 10 seconds after the Porsche disappears from the frame, it can be seen being driven in reverse, past the bait car and eventually out of view of the camera.
About three minutes elapse before Mattson enters the frame from the right. He walks between two cars and approaches the bait car in front of him. Carrying a bag in his left hand, he walks from the rear of the driver’s side, circles around the front, and passes along the passenger side. His right hand appears to swipe the length of the car before he doubles back the way he came, making his way to the elevator.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.