A Thurston County judge set bail at $10,000 for a 28-year-old transient man suspected in a Aug. 1 Bucoda robbery that left the victim with a broken nose, plus skull and facial fractures.
Travis J. Ritzenthaler was arrested Tuesday night by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office near Wolf Haven International. During a Wednesday afternoon Thurston County Superior Court hearing, Judge Gary Tabor found probable cause for first-degree robbery and second-degree assault charges.
Ritzenthaler has six prior felony convictions, including a 2005 second-degree assault conviction.
During the arrest, K-9 Marko and his handler were stung several times by bees. Marko was stung at least eight times but is recovering after being given Benadryl, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
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According to court documents, the robbery victim had gone to a friend’s house in Bucoda to see if he had any marijuana. When he arrived, Ritzenthaler was there and told the victim that he had something to show him in the backyard.
The two men entered a shed, and Ritzenthaler allegedly picked up a bat and told the victim to empty his pockets. The victim gave Ritzenthaler his wallet and two marijuana pipes, according to court documents.
Ritzenthaler then accused the victim of stealing a weed eater, and grabbed him by the neck. He allegedly then hit the victim between eight and 10 times
On Tuesday, deputies received an anonymous report that Ritzenthaler was at his sister’s house on Offut Lake Road, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.
As deputies and Marko were staging at a nearby store, they saw a blue van driving from the direction of the home. As the van approached the deputies, the driver made an abrupt U-turn.
A deputy followed the suspect, identified as Ritzenthaler, who pulled into the parking area at Wolf Haven and ran from his car. The deputy and Marko followed.
When Marko was about 75 yards from the suspect, the deputy called out and announced that he was a K-9 unit. The suspect took a few more steps, then raised his hands in the air and said, “OK, I give up,” according to the report.