Oak Harbor man arrested in Auburn stabbing

An Oak Harbor man is being held on $1 million bail in a Seattle jail for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend’s son to death last Thursday, according to Auburn police and jail records.

Fritz Ratcliffe, 26, was booked into jail on suspicion of second-degree murder.

The 21-year-old victim tried to break up a heated dispute between his mother and Ratcliffe at an Auburn apartment.

Ratcliffe allegedly pulled out a knife and fatally stabbed him, according to police.

Ratcliffe fled the scene but was located overnight in Anacortes by Swinomish police.

The Swinomish police were advised that Ratcliffe may be on his way to Oak Harbor from Auburn that night. An officer positioned himself on Highway 20 near the twin bridges and saw a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle come over the bridges at a high rate of speed, the Swinomish Police Department reported. The officer caught up with the vehicle and confirmed it was the right license plate.

Swinomish officers coordinated with Anacortes police officers and conducted a stop on the suspect at the Country Corner gas station on the highway. He was taken into custody without incident, the Swinomish police reported.

Ratcliffe has also had run-ins with the law in Oak Harbor, according to court records.

In 2008, prosecutors charged him in Island County Superior Court with third-degree assault, a domestic violence charge. He was accused of smothering, choking and striking his girlfriend during an argument over his alleged “hogging” of the bed, according to court records.

The charge in that case was later dismissed.


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