SWAT team arrests sex offender at Mercer Island home

Mercer Island Police arrested a level-three sex offender in violation of his parole at an Island home on Saturday morning, just blocks away from the Boys & Girls Club.

According to Mercer Island Police Detective Pete Erickson, the IslandÂ’s eight-man Special Ops Team (generally referred to as SWAT) forced their way into an apartment in the 3000 block of 67th Avenue S.E. around 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 9 after receiving a tip earlier in the week about the sex offenderÂ’s whereabouts. Erickson said it took police several hours to apprehend the suspect, and they blocked off the neighborhood.

Harvey L. Sanders, 46, a twice-convicted sex offender, was arrested for violating his parole and immediately returned to prison, Erickson said. The arrest was made in collaboration with the State Department of Corrections as Island police obtained an arrest warrant from them prior to entering the apartment.

A woman was also arrested and booked into the Issaquah jail for obstructing justice by refusing police entry and denying that the fugitive was in her home.

Sanders was living at a halfway house in Tukwila before he befriended the Island resident nearly two weeks ago. According to a friend of the woman, an Island resident, who spoke to the Reporter on condition of anonymity, the woman and Sanders recently met in Seattle at a clinic at Harborview Hospital.

According to the friend, Sanders helped the woman move into her apartment earlier last week and then began staying there.

According to the Washington State Sex Offender Information Center, level-three offenders pose a high risk to the community and are a threat to re-offend. Most have prior sex crime convictions as well as other criminal convictions. The Center also states that some may be predatory and seek out victims.

Sanders was convicted by a King County court in 1993 of raping a child in the first degree. He was later convicted of child molestation in the second degree in 2002, after his release from prison.

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