Residents of Sunbelt Apartments remain on site Tuesday as State Patrol troopers conduct an investigation of the crime scene after a resident allegedly attempted to kill her neighbor. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Residents of Sunbelt Apartments remain on site Tuesday as State Patrol troopers conduct an investigation of the crime scene after a resident allegedly attempted to kill her neighbor. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim woman accused of attempted murder

Man attacked at apartment complex, airlifted to Harborview Medical Center

SEQUIM — A 48-year-old Sequim woman was booked into the Clallam County jail early Wednesday after allegedly assaulting and cutting a man the night before.

Sequim Police Department said that Clallam County Fire District 3 medics responded to a reported medical emergency at an apartment complex, later identified as the Sunbelt Apartments at 505 S. Fifth Ave., at 7:21 p.m. Tuesday.

Inside, medics discovered a victim of a violent assault — 58-year-old Ricky Lynn McGowen — who lives in the apartment building, said Staff Sgt. Sean Madison with Sequim Police Department.

Sequim Police detained Larisa Jean Dietz of Sequim at the scene; she was later arrested Wednesday morning.

Dietz was booked into the Clallam County jail at 4:14 a.m. Wednesday for investigation of attempted second degree murder, burglary in the first degree and assault in the first degree.

She’s scheduled to appear in Clallam County Superior Court at 9 a.m. today.

Madison said he’s unsure of her prior criminal history.

McGowen was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and remains in stable condition, Madison said.

McGowen sustained lacerations and/or incisions to his neck area from an edged weapon, Madison said, but that it’s unknown if he was stabbed.

No firearms were involved, Madison said.

Madison said Dietz is a long-time Sequim resident.

Later an apartment complex resident confirmed Dietz was a neighbor of McGowen in the apartments.

“They did know each other, and we’re investigating to what extent they knew each other,” Madison said.

Police report they are investigating the incident with assistance from the State Patrol and the Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team (OPNET).

Madison said there’s no information on whether drugs or alcohol were involved.

No other people were involved in the assault and the general public was not in danger during the incident, he said.

The 9-1-1 caller didn’t give much information, Madison said, and that’s why the situation was treated as a medical emergency rather than a police incident.

As of Wednesday afternoon, State Patrol troopers were processing the crime scene, Madison said, and police continued to perform follow-up interviews. Residents have not been evacuated from the complex, he said.

The 16-unit Sunbelt Apartments are owned by Serenity House of Clallam County.

Residents qualify as chronically homeless for at least a year prior to living in the apartments and are classified by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development as 100 percent disabled with mental disabilities and/or physical ailments.

The apartment complex was home to 57-year-old Valerie Claplanhoo, who earlier this year was killed with a knife or other sharp weapon or object that caused deadly injuries to her head and neck.

Claplanhoo was found deceased in the building Jan. 2.

“It’s an interesting place to go [in thinking] but we treat this as its own investigation right now,” Madison said.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].