Court: Zavala-Martinez

Manuel D. Zavala-Martinez makes an appearance in Lewis County Superior Court Monday afternoon in Chehalis.

A Centralia man who allegedly got in a standoff with police officers while wielding a knife made his preliminary appearance in Lewis County Superior Court on Monday.

Manuel D. Zavala-Martinez, 35, was charged with second-degree assault.

Zavala-Martinez’s attorney for the day, Rachael Tiller, noted that the officer who reportedly told her client to drop the knife, was speaking in English and Zavala-Martinez does not speak English.

However, while a translator was present during the hearing, Judge James Lawler still struggled to communicate with Zavala-Martinez about whether he understood the charge and his rights.

After several minutes of Lawler attempting to explain the charges and rights Zavala-Martinez has through the translator, the judge determined there might be more at play than just a language barrier.

“We’re going to address all of these issues, there may be competence issues, this seems like it is more than a language issue,” Lawler said before he heard the state’s bail request.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead requested bail be set at $100,000, citing a concern for the likelihood that Zavala-Martinez would fail to reappear due to a lack of ties to the community.

Tiller did not argue for a different bail amount and Lawler agreed with the state’s request and set bail at $100,000.

According to the probable cause report, On May 16 Centralia Police officers were dispatched to a residence in the 400 block of Pine Street to a report that a man with a knife was causing distress.

When the officers arrived they contacted several people standing on the front porch who told police there was no dispute, but a man, Zavala-Martinez, had a knife inside the house, according to the report.

The officers went inside and called for Zavala-Martinez to come down stairs. When Zaval-Martinez went down stairs, he was holding a “large, survival style knife,” according to the report.

One officer had his pistol drawn and the other had his Taser drawn as they repeatedly asked Zavala-Martinez to drop the knife, according to the report.

The officer used the Taser and Zavala-Martinez was then disarmed and taken into custody.

His arraignment hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

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